NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Jonathan Holloway, who has blazed an uncharted trail across the highest ranks of academia, was hired Tuesday as Rutgers University's first black president.

Holloway, who was approved Tuesday in a joint meeting of the university's board of governors and trustees, served as Yale's first African-American dean.

He was most recently served as Northwestern University's provost, where he was charged with supervising the university’s educational policies and academic priorities, leading initiatives in undergraduate and graduate education, overseeing faculty appointments and promotions and managing the allocation of academic resources and preparation of the university budget.

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Holloway, 52, will succeed Robert Barchi, who served as Rutgers president for eight years.

Barchi announced at a Board of Governors meeting in July that he would be stepping down at the end of the academic year in June.

"I was drawn to the opportunity at Rutgers University because of its amazing history, its foundation of excellence in teaching and its ambition to continue conducting life-changing research that improves our communities, our country and our world,” Holloway said.

“Bob Barchi’s extraordinary leadership has helped place Rutgers among the preeminent public universities in the world,” he added. “I cannot wait to help write the next chapter in the history of this magnificent institution.”

Holloway, who earned his Ph.D. in history from Yale in 1995, began his career at the University of California-San Diego, before joining the Yale faculty in 1999.

He is a noted scholar of post-emancipation U.S. history, with a focus on social and intellectual history.

He is an author of books such as “Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941” and “Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940."

As provost, he served as Northwestern’s chief academic officer. He was charged with supervising the university’s educational policies and academic priorities, leading initiatives in undergraduate and graduate education, overseeing faculty appointments and promotions and managing allocation of academic resources and preparation of the university budget.

He was a hot-shot football recruit who chose to play Stanford. However, his athletic career fizzled with the Cardinals.