University President Jonathan Holloway announced today that Antonio D. Tillis will become the next chancellor of Rutgers—Camden, according to a press release. He will be taking the position over from the current interim Chancellor Margaret Marsh on July 1.
“Tillis is a brilliant scholar and gifted administrator whose commitment to the transformative power of higher education presents an exceptional opportunity for both Rutgers and New Jersey,” Holloway said. “We are proud that he will lead Rutgers University—Camden.”
Tillis recently served as interim president for the University of Houston—Downtown, an institution with more than 15,000 students, as well as dean of the school’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the largest of 15 academic and professional colleges at the university, according to the release.
As interim president, some of his work included promoting the development of students and faculty, engaging the community and advancing the campus’ strategic vision, according to the release. During his time as dean, Tillis led a $60 million fundraising campaign, developed new student learning opportunities and created partnerships with community organizations, among other achievements.
“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to lead an institution as engaged, diverse and student-centered as Rutgers University—Camden,” he said. “This is an outstanding university that clearly demonstrates its commitment to public values and to building upon its tradition as a place of access for first-generation college students seeking a world-class Rutgers degree, and the opportunities that come with that degree.”
In addition to his recent roles, Tillis was named by the University of Houston as the M.D. Anderson Professor of Hispanic Studies in 2017 and served as the dean of the School of Languages, Culture and World Affairs at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, according to the release. He is fluent in Spanish as well as Portuguese and is a scholar in Afro-Hispanic studies.
Tillis also chaired the Department of African and African American Studies at Dartmouth College, held the position of inaugural director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Purdue University and has additional experiences and accomplishments in various areas as well.
“I am a first-generation college student. I understand what drives Rutgers—Camden students. It’s not just about them — their success also is about the elevation of their families and their communities,” he said. “I look forward to working with these students to help them take full advantage of the opportunities before them and to make sure that they are supported.”