Phoebe A. Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers-Camden, will step aside in July after six years at the helm, the university announced Monday.
Haddon, 70, said she had accomplished more in her five-year term than she had set out to do, including increasing enrollment and improving the school’s status as a research institution and community resource.
“I thought it was a good place to pause and have them look for new leadership,” said Haddon, Rutgers-Camden’s first female African American leader.
The Camden campus is one of three that compose the state university. The others are the main campus in New Brunswick and a campus in Newark.
Haddon will leave just as Rutgers, New Jersey’s largest university, welcomes its first black president, Northwestern University provost Jonathan Holloway.
“That’s not exactly what’s prompting this decision,” Haddon said, but it does allow Holloway to look for new leadership and allows her time to put more energy into other projects, including her new role as chair of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
“That’s going to take a lot of my attention,” she said.
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Haddon, a former Temple University law professor who splits time between her homes in Philadelphia and on Long Beach Island, said she is proud of the campus’ growth. Rutgers-Camden enrolls about 7,400 students, up from about 6,400 when she arrived.
Helping to fuel that growth was the launch of a tuition-reduction program in 2015, called Bridging the Gap. Through it, families making less than $60,000 a year pay no tuition and fees; Rutgers-Camden pays whatever is not covered by federal and state aid. For families making between $60,000 and $80,000, the university pays 75% of the family’s cost after the aid is applied, and for those earning between $80,000 and $100,000, the school covers 50%.
Rutgers-Camden also last year was elevated to a classification as an national research university, bringing more prestige. The school has added master’s and doctorate programs. They include the state’s first master’s program in forensic science, as well as programs in nursing practice, business analytics, digital marketing, and investments and private wealth management.
Also under Haddon’s tenure, the university opened a $62.5 million Nursing and Science Building, an alumni house, and a writers’ house.
“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,” outgoing Rutgers University president Robert Barchi said in a statement.
Going forward, Haddon said she hopes the university will work even more closely with the K-12 schools in Camden to prepare students to enroll at Rutgers-Camden.
“We have done some work, but we can do better,” she said.
Haddon said she also would like to see the campus continue to deepen its regional reach, going further into Philadelphia and parts of Delaware and New Jersey.
Haddon, a constitutional law scholar who serves on several local boards, said that she will continue mentoring young leaders through various associations and that her ties to Rutgers-Camden will stay.
“Leading this institution has been — and remains — one of the defining honors of my life,” she said.