NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Stating that the move was “in the spirit of shared sacrifice that this moment requires,” new Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway -- on his first day at the helm of the university -- said he will take a 10-percent pay cut.

In addition to the pay reduction Holloway, the 21st president in the university's history, will personally donate $75,000 to the 'Scarlet Promise Grants' program to help meet the needs of the university’s most economically at-risk students, and also will direct $125,000 in presidential discretionary funds to launch a $10 million focused campaign for the program.

The grants help students – especially those who face unforeseen or sudden life-changing circumstances – offset the gap between financial aid and costs.

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In a video message to the Rutgers community, Halloway said, “I am proud that I now have the privilege and the responsibility to lead an institution that is committed to making the world better while also opening its doors to that world."

Holloway, who accepted his appointment in January and arrives at Rutgers after serving as provost of Northwestern University, also previously served as dean of Yale College at Yale University. He noted that said the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly made clear that the terms of his future presidency had changed and added that, while the pandemic continues to demand attention, “we are also living in a moment of global racial reckoning – a development born of tragedy, willful ignorance and grotesque violence.”

“I don’t need to tell anyone in New Jersey or at Rutgers how much damage COVID has caused personally, emotionally, psychologically and financially,” he said. “Because of these enormous setbacks, I will be focusing much of my initial energy as president on repair and rebuilding.”

This global racial reckoning, he said, presents the Rutgers community with an opportunity “to work toward a world where phrases like ‘social justice’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ are understood not as assaults on the common good, but as declarations that we should be a country that lives up to the aspirations in its founding documents.”

“Getting to that point will also require repair and rebuilding,” Holloway said.

An eminent historian, Holloway also was a professor of history and African American studies at Northwestern, specializing in post-emancipation social and intellectual United States history. He is the author of several books, including Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002) and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013).

Holloway said he will embrace the call for more concrete commitments and empathy from leaders and their institutions to address the nation’s systemic inequities, and he is certain Rutgers will be a major contributor to answering that call.

“I want you to know that I will not shy away from the uncomfortable conversations that must emerge if we deal with these issues honestly,” he said. “While I can’t promise you that we will always agree – we certainly won’t – I can assure you that I will always listen to your thoughts with the seriousness and respect that they deserve.”