CAMDEN, NJ — Phoebe Haddon, the first African-American woman to be named Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, will step down from the role in July, she announced Monday.

Through correspondence obtained by TAPinto Camden, Haddon wrote in an email to the campus community that the term of a chancellor typically runs between five and six years. Having reached the six-year mark in 2020, Haddon said it is “the right time to turn over the reins to a new chancellor.” 

She added, “leading this institution has been — and remains — one of the defining honors of my life. Rutgers University–Camden is a place of optimism, creativity, and determination. I am forever grateful to be a member of this great community.”

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Her tenure will officially end on July 1, wherein she will rejoin the faculty as a law professor.

Mike Sepanic, spokesman for Rutgers-Camden, said Rutgers President Robert Barchi is expected to make an announcement soon regarding the vacant position.

“It has been my great pleasure to serve alongside Chancellor Haddon since the day she joined the Rutgers–Camden community six years ago and to witness the inspiring leadership she has provided at a pivotal time,” said Barchi. “Championing excellence, access, and engagement, Phoebe Haddon has moved Rutgers University–Camden forward in vital ways, and we are a better and stronger institution because of her.”

Haddon’s time as chancellor of the Camden campus began with its first comprehensive strategic plan in 2014 — culminating in the launch of the Bridging the Gap tuition reduction program a year later. 

In the five years it was in effect, the plan saw new enrollment records set annually. It is also the subject of a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  

During her tenure, the university also added New Jersey’s first master’s program in forensic science, as well as programs in nursing practice, business analytics, investments and private wealth management, and digital marketing. 

Haddon assured that in stepping down, she is “not winding down.”

“There is a lot that we can accomplish on behalf of our students and our state this spring, and I intend to make certain that Rutgers–Camden continues to rise,” she said.

Frank Hundley, a member of the Rutgers University–Camden Board of Directors and the Rutgers Board of Governors, said Haddon has done a “remarkable job” of raising the profile of Rutgers-Camden in the state. 

“As the city of Camden continues to experience urban renewal, and campus growth explodes, Phoebe’s legacy as a phenomenal chancellor has made an indelible mark on this renaissance,” he said. “Learning of her departure as chancellor is bittersweet. While I’m personally happy and excited for the next phase of her life, I will sorely miss her presence as a campus leader and terrific partner.”

Other additions that took place during her tenure: a new Office of Scholar Development and Fellowship advising, the opening of the Nursing and Science Building, the first Alumni House on any Rutgers campus, the Writers House, and a building that is home to the nation’s first Ph.D. program in childhood studies program.

“Chancellor Phoebe Haddon has not only dedicated herself to supporting the faculty and staff and enriching the lives of every student at Rutgers–Camden, but she has dedicated herself to the entire city, helping nurture the remarkable Camden Renaissance,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “Phoebe has been a transformative leader on campus, a fierce advocate in our community, and a valued friend, and I wish her the very best in her next endeavor.”

Haddon earned an LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1985 and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Duquesne University School of Law in 1977. She was the recipient of the 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of American Law Schools and the 2019 Smith College Medal.

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