NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Wendell E. Pritchett, a noted scholar in urban history and policy and an experienced government and university administrator, has been appointed chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick announced today.
The appointment was approved during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Rutgers Board of Governors held on the Rutgers–New Brunswick campus today.
Pritchett, currently a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, will start his new position on June 30. Selected after a national search, he succeeds Roger Dennis, who retired in 2007 and now serves as founding dean of the Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University. Margaret Marsh, dean of the Rutgers–Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has served as interim chancellor since Dennis’ retirement.
“Wendell Pritchett is an outstanding choice who will help the Camden Campus continue to grow as a national leader in teaching, research, and service,” says McCormick. “He brings vision and energy to the role of chancellor, as well as a keen perspective on how higher education institutions can become critical partners in the advancement of a city and a region. I look forward to working with him on the university’s leadership team.”
As chancellor, Pritchett will serve as chief executive officer of the Rutgers–Camden Campus, reporting directly to the Rutgers president. He will have responsibility for the daily administration of an institution that enrolls 5,600 students in 34 undergraduate programs and 16 graduate programs at the master’s and Ph.D. levels. The southernmost of three regional campuses that comprise Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers–Camden is located across 40 acres in Camden’s University District, in the very heart of the metro Philadelphia region.
Pritchett will oversee approximately 1,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $50 million. He will collaborate with organizations to promote the revitalization of Camden and advance the economic, social, and cultural development of southern New Jersey and the Delaware Valley.
“I am humbled and honored by this appointment. Rutgers–Camden is an exciting campus within Rutgers, a world-class research university,” says Pritchett. “The Rutgers–Camden faculty is highly regarded worldwide as thought leaders in their fields. They share a commitment to developing the campus as a comprehensive center of undergraduate and graduate education. Our students at Rutgers–Camden are smart, focused, and engaged, and enjoy the full benefits of a major state university with the service of a small liberal arts college. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and alumni to make a great institution even better.
“As chancellor, I will work to continue growing Rutgers–Camden’s academic programs, while developing new opportunities for our students. We also have a wonderful opportunity to advance our commitment to civic engagement in ways that will help our students to sharpen their skills while working with their professors on programs that benefit our host city and region.”
Pritchett has taught at the University of Pennsylvania law school since 2001. As associate dean at Penn Law during 2006-08, he focused on faculty development and improving the quality of experience for students. He has written two books and numerous articles on topics relating to urban history and policy, particularly in the areas of housing, race relations, land use, and economic development. His first book, Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto (University of Chicago Press 2002), explores race relations and public policy in 20th century Brooklyn. His most recent book, Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer (University of Chicago Press, 2008), is a biography of the first African American cabinet secretary, a leading thinker and practitioner of 20th century urban development.
At Penn, Pritchett is also a member of the faculty of the graduate programs of the School of Design and the history department in the School of Arts and Sciences, and he has led or participated in many university-wide initiatives. He is a founding member of the Penn Institute for Urban Research; was one of the principal investigators on a major federally funded project to examine racial disparities in the treatment of prostate cancer; and served for three years on the Provost’s Planning and Budget Committee, the primary advisory group to Penn’s chief academic officer. Before coming to Penn, Pritchett spent five years as assistant professor of history at Baruch College of the City University of New York.
“Rutgers–Camden has chosen a tremendous leader and first-rate educator whose work and life have centered around urban affairs,” says Michael Fitts, dean of Penn Law. “His contributions to Penn Law have been innumerable and invaluable, and I applaud Rutgers’ choice.”
Pritchett served as deputy chief of staff and director of policy for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter during 2008. Among other initiatives, he was responsible for writing the city’s Five-Year Plan and Budget, reorganizing the city’s anti-poverty programs, and supervising the operations of the mayor’s office. During 2007, Pritchett chaired the Urban Policy Task Force for U.S. Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Earlier in his career, Pritchett served as director of district offices for Congressman Thomas M. Foglietta (D-PA) and as an attorney representing non-profit organizations in the development of affordable housing.
Pritchett serves as president of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, vice chair of the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, and a member of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board. He is a former board chair of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.
Pritchett, 44, resides in the University City section of Philadelphia with his wife, Anne Kringel, senior lecturer and legal writing director at the University of Pennsylvania law school. They have two children: Eleanor, 12, and Clara, 8. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1986, his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1991, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997.
Media Contact: Mike Sepanic