Chancellor Tillis Affirms an Abundance of Success in 2023 Fall Address

Rutgers University in Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis spoke to an enthusiastic audience of students, faculty, staff, and civic and community leaders at his 2023 Fall Address on Wednesday, October 11, recognizing the need to pause and reflect on what the university has accomplished by affirming the abundance of recent achievements. The Chancellor greeted Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen, and The Honorable Dana Redd, as well as Angel Fuentes, president of the Camden City Council. He also acknowledged university board members, trustees, alumni leaders, and more.

“It is with immense pride that we gather here today,” Chancellor Tillis said. “As we embark on this new academic year, we come together as a thriving community of scholars, students, and leaders, united by our unwavering commitment to excellence in education, research, and service.

“This address serves as a reflection on our achievements, an acknowledgement of the challenges we face, and a focus on our future, which holds boundless promise and possibilities.”

(left) Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, (right) Mayor Vic Carstarphen

(left) Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, (right) Mayor Vic Carstarphen

(left) The Honorable Dana Redd, (middle) Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, (right) Joe Myers, COO, Camden Community Partnership

(left) The Honorable Dana Redd, (middle) Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis, (right) Joe Myers, COO, Camden Community Partnership

Taking time to recognize new leaders at Rutgers–Camden, Chancellor Tillis acknowledged Thomas S. Risch, vice chancellor of research; Mike Sepanic, vice chancellor of government and external affairs; and Chuck Wright, vice president for development and vice chancellor for advancement at Rutgers–Camden.

News of the financial health of the university, still fighting a budget deficit, was clarified by Chancellor Tillis saying there are key factors that have increased in cost such as goods and services and overall expenses, but he said Rutgers–Camden remains focused on cost-conscious planning and budgeting.

An update on enrollment figures indicated a slight (-3.35%) downward movement in overall numbers but the severe deficit created by the pandemic is beginning to reverse. The Chancellor was optimistic that as students prepare for lives and careers in an increasingly global economy, his mission to create international academic partnerships will be crucial for supporting enrollment by bridging RU-C with the world.

There was nothing but good news in the announcement that Rutgers–Camden has hit an all-time high in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. There were significant gains in multiple key areas. The school has jumped to #49, up from #61 in 2022, in the Top Public Schools category. And in the National Universities category, Rutgers–Camden is now #98, up from #127 in 2022.

As a Carnegie R2 research institution, Rutgers–Camden thrives on the strength of the innovative, hands-on scholarship of its renowned faculty and exceptional students. Chancellor Tillis emphasized research gains and painted a bright picture of future initiatives in research. In fiscal year 2023, Rutgers–Camden brought in $21.3 million in research funding, which was slightly lower than anticipated but he said momentum is growing and new award dollars in the pipeline will raise the bar significantly.

“The research enterprise at Rutgers–Camden is in high gear,” the Chancellor said. “Much like their peers across the university, our faculty are applying for, and getting, more competitive grants than ever.”

He made particular mention of Biology and Center for Computational and Integrative Biology Professor Maria E. Solesio who received a $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health AND a $949,958 grant from the National Science Foundation to elevate her research on mitochondrial dysfunction.

The Chancellor also cited the remarkable achievement of Rutgers Future Scholar Teresa Osorio for earning the highest undergraduate award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), acceptance into the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. “This prestigious recognition underscores her exceptional dedication to academic excellence and research prowess,” the Chancellor said.

Thanking the Rutgers–Camden community for their spirit, support, and commitment to community well-being, Chancellor Tillis took time to celebrate the reopening of the Scarlet Raptor’s Nest, an on-campus food pantry; the awarding of Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution designation from the U.S. Department of Education; and that Rutgers–Camden has earned the distinction of being designated a Minority Servicing Institution for the second time.

In concluding his remarks, Chancellor Tillis left the audience with a message of gratitude.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for the various roles you play in making Rutgers—Camden a special place to live, learn, and grow,” the Chancellor said.

Creative Design: Bea Santos
Photographer: Ron Downes, Jr.

Connect with Us

LinkedIn Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Website Icon