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Introducing Our New Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden

April 27, 2021

Dear Friend of Rutgers University–Camden:

I am delighted to announce that the Board of Governors has confirmed the appointment of Dr. Antonio D. Tillis as Chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden, effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Tillis, a scholar of Latin American Literature with an Afro-Hispanic emphasis, has served for the past four years as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston Downtown (UHD), and in July 2020 was appointed as interim president of UHD.

In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Antonio D. Tillis has been a visionary and effective administrative leader. Among other achievements at UHD, Dr. Tillis has established new programs and grant funds for faculty development and research, created a postdoctoral fellowship program, instituted a professional development award for staff, launched a center for Arab studies, enhanced undergraduate advising, and provided funding to hire additional underrepresented tenure-track faculty. As interim president, he established a presidential task force on diversity and worked with city authorities to create new student internships in Houston.

Prior to his arrival in Houston, Dr. Tillis served as dean of the College of Charleston’s School of Languages, Culture and World Affairs for three years. From 2009 to 2014, he chaired the African and African American Studies program at Dartmouth College. And while on the faculty at Purdue University from 2000 to 2009, Dr. Tillis was director of Study Abroad, then director of undergraduate and graduate studies, and then the inaugural director of Purdue’s Latin American and Latino Studies Program.

Antonio D. Tillis earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Vanderbilt University, his master’s in Spanish Literature at Howard University, and his doctorate in Latin American Literature (Afro-Hispanic Emphasis) at the University of Missouri at Columbia. In his scholarship, Dr. Tillis has authored or edited several books, most recently co-authoring The Afro-Hispanic Reader and Anthology in 2018. Earlier titles include The Trayvon Martin in ‘US’: An American Tragedy (2015) and Critical Perspectives in Afro-Latin American Literature (2013). He is also co-editor of the book series Black Diasporic Worlds: Origins and Evolutions from New World Slaving. For more details, see the news story here.

Dr. Tillis is the right leader for Rutgers University-Camden, which is well-positioned to build on its successes, including its continued commitment to students of all backgrounds and its growing research impact. I’m thrilled that we found such a talented person to serve as chancellor, and I want to thank all the members of the search committee, led by Executive Vice President Prabhas Moghe and Professor Jane Siegel, for their diligence and thoughtful consideration of a very strong pool of candidates.

I am extremely grateful to Margaret Marsh, one of our university’s greatest citizens, for answering the call last year to step in once again as Interim Chancellor and providing strong and steady leadership over the past year. We couldn’t have been better served, especially at such a difficult time in our institution’s and nation’s history, and I thank her on behalf of the entire Rutgers community.

As noted earlier, Dr. Tillis will begin his tenure July 1. I am deeply impressed by his experience and expertise and inspired by his passion and excitement about leading the Rutgers–Camden community. I know he is eager to meet the members of our community in the coming weeks and months as public health guidelines allow. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tillis to Rutgers.


Jonathan Holloway

President and University Professor

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