Chancellor Haddon’s Legacy

A Champion of Excellence, Access, and Engagement

Some of the seeds that Phoebe A. Haddon planted when she arrived at Rutgers University–Camden were literal: the new chancellor led the campus in a flower-planting exercise that beautified the grounds and strengthened a sense of community on campus. Other seeds she planted blossomed during her six-year tenure: Rutgers–Camden’s national profile grew, enrollment reached record levels, and research and civic engagement efforts earned greater prominence.

Haddon, who will return to faculty as a professor of law in July, led the university to new enrollment milestones, in part through the introduction of the acclaimed Bridging the Gap tuition reduction program that focused on making college more affordable. As a result, the number of first-year undergraduate students choosing Rutgers–Camden has nearly doubled since fall 2014. “We have renewed Rutgers University–Camden’s pivotal role as a place of access for first-generation college students seeking the life-changing opportunities associated with a Rutgers degree,” Haddon said. “Our student body now reflects the rich diversity of our state, and Rutgers enjoys increased energy and engagement with our students as a result.”

Also during Haddon’s tenure, Rutgers–Camden grew academically, adding graduate programs, including New Jersey’s first master’s program in forensic science, along with graduate programs in nursing practice, business analytics, investments and private wealth management, and digital marketing. Undergraduate opportunities also expanded with the addition of programs in digital studies, health sciences, and global studies, as well as a certificate in Spanish for the health professions.

Rutgers–Camden’s global stature was enhanced when it was elevated to a new Carnegie classification as an R2 national research university in 2019. “As an alumnus of Rutgers–Camden, I will be forever grateful to Chancellor Haddon and the incredible legacy that she has built,” said Sandy Stewart CCAS’81, GSC’87, a biotech entrepreneur and donor who is a former chair and current member of the Rutgers Board of Governors. “Through her exceptional leadership and creative ideas, she and her team have transformed the campus into a highly ranked regional powerhouse with world-class faculty and innovative programs at a more affordable cost for many.”

Carnegie also designated Rutgers–Camden as a national community-engaged university, a confirmation of Haddon’s commitment to the university’s civic engagement program and its role as an anchor institution for the city of Camden and southern New Jersey. Among the many noteworthy initiatives launched to improve the quality of life for New Jersey families, Rutgers–Camden opened a health services center in Camden and is a lead partner in a $1 million Bloomberg Philanthropies grant to reclaim dumping sites in Camden through public art projects.

A constitutional law scholar and an expert on access and equity in higher education, Haddon, in addition to teaching, will continue to serve as chair of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, one of many leadership roles she fulfills in the Delaware Valley region and the nation.

Marian Wissman, sole trustee of the estate of Herman CCAS’62 and Marilyn Wissman CCAS’60, which in 2017 committed to a gift of $3 million to support an endowed chair in the Rutgers–Camden Department of Economics and an additional $50,000 to support the Department of World Languages and Cultures, said Haddon will be missed. “Phoebe Haddon is an educator, innovator, lawyer, and builder,” Wissman said. “She also is dynamic, intelligent, and charming. It is an honor knowing her and having her as chancellor for the past six years. I know that she will be an asset to the boards she serves and an inspiration to those whom she mentors.”

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