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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nancy Cantor
2nd Chancellor of
Rutgers University–Newark
Assumed office
Preceded bySteven Diner
11th Chancellor of
Syracuse University
In office
Preceded byKenneth Shaw
Succeeded byKent Syverud
7th Chancellor of the
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
In office
Preceded byMichael Aiken
Succeeded byRichard Herman
Personal details
Born (1952-02-04) February 4, 1952 (age 69)
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
Stanford University
ProfessionProfessor, University administrator
Academic background
ThesisPrototypicality and personality judgments (1978)
Academic work

Nancy Cantor is the chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark, in Newark, New Jersey.


She received her A.B. in 1974 from Sarah Lawrence College and her Ph.D. in psychology in 1978 from Stanford University. Previously, Cantor served as chancellor at Syracuse University,[1] provost at the University of Michigan, and chancellor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Cantor is married to sociology professor Steven R. Brechin, who teaches at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.


Cantor is widely recognized for helping forge a new understanding of the role of universities in society that re-emphasizes their public mission.[2] She is responsible for the development of Syracuse University’s vision, Scholarship in Action, emphasizing the role of the university as a public good. The Connective Corridor was the physical part of Scholarship in Action that aimed to bridge gaps between a wealthy university and a surrounding struggling city.[3] A central aspect of the pursuit of this vision is cross-sector collaboration in the City of Syracuse that has won acclaim locally and nationally.[4] This includes the university's having been named among the first institutions to earn the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's classification as a university committed to Community Engagement, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York's having granted Cantor the 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award.[5][6] Scholarship in Action was both popular and divisive at the same time.[7][8]

Cantor has been an advocate for racial and gender equality in colleges. She was a key player[how?] at the University of Michigan's case of affirmative action in the cases of Grutter and Gratz, which were decided by the Supreme Court in 2003. The Supreme Court ruled against the University of Michigan in the latter case, holding that their policies of affirmative action were unconstitutional. Cantor lectures and writes extensively on the role of universities as anchor institutions in their communities, along with other issues in higher education such as rewarding public scholarship, sustainability, liberal education and the creative campus, the status of women in the academy, and racial justice and diversity.[citation needed]

A social psychologist, Cantor is recognized for her scholarly contributions to the understanding of how individuals perceive and think about their social worlds, pursue personal goals, and how they regulate their behavior to adapt to life's most challenging social environments. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, she is the author of numerous books, chapters, and scientific journal articles. She has received the Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association, the Woman of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League, the Making a Difference for Women Award from the National Council for Research on Women, the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, and the Frank W. Hale, Jr. Diversity Leadership Award from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.[citation needed]

Among the boards of which Chancellor Cantor is a member are the American Institutes for Research, the New York Academy of Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Say Yes to Education, in addition to being past chair of the board of directors of the American Association for Higher Education and 2006 chair of the board of the American Council on Education (ACE).[9] She is an Honorary Trustee of the American Psychological Foundation and was national co-chair of Imagining America's Tenure Team Initiative. She served as co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, a post to which she was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.[when?]

Viral Video and Apology

Cantor was video-taped angrily confronting police during a minor Rutgers-Newark traffic accident investigation on March 4, 2019 involving her driver's car and a Rutgers University police car. The confrontation which involved Cantor trying to pull rank on the police was reported in the news media.[10][11] The police video of the incident also went viral online when outburts of Cantor shouting: "If I miss my plane, you folks are in big trouble!" and "I’m the chancellor!" caught the public's attention. One of her staff members who had arrived on the scene was recorded saying: "Take a picture and let her go. Would you do this if she was the president of the United States? No, no you wouldn’t."[12] The officers on the scene however remained passive and stated that they could not allow Cantor to leave until they had gathered all the details of the incident and received approval from their supervisor.

On June 11, 2019 Cantor issued an apology for her behavior with campus police after reportedly becoming aware of the released police video. “I write with my heartfelt apology to you for the way I reacted to the situation,” Cantor said in her apology letter.[13] “I realize clearly that I was not my best self that morning. I have great respect for RUPD and am grateful for the work that our officers do every day to keep our campus and community safe and secure.” Rutgers senior vice president Peter McDonough released a statement: “The chancellor saw the video, apologized and her apology was accepted by those involved. There is really nothing to add to that.”[14] Rutgers-Newark Police Chief Carmelo Huertas said the campus police accepted Cantor's apology.[15]


  1. ^ Marwa, Eltagouri (4 December 2013). "Bird by Bird: Nancy Cantor, community reflect on her tenure at Syracuse University". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  2. ^ Rita Axelroth Hodges and Steven Dunn (2012). The Road Half Traveled: University Engagement at a Crossroads. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.
  3. ^ Wasilewski, Walt (2013-12-11). "The Cantor Legacy". Syracuse New Times. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  4. ^ The Post-Standard Editorial Board (October 16, 2012). "Engaged Chancellor: Cantor will leave a campus and city transformed". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Press Release (17 June 2008). "Visionaries At Berkeley, Syracuse Honored With Top Educator's Prize". Carnegie Corporation of New York. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor honored by Carnegie Corporation with national Academic Leadership Award, $500,000 grant". SU News. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  7. ^ M, David (2013-11-10). "Nancy Cantor's vision: Good for the city, divisive on campus (David M. Rubin)". Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  8. ^ Board, Editorial (2013-12-08). "As fans and foes debate Nancy Cantor's legacy, they can't argue with this: She was good for Syracuse". Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  9. ^ Munsey, Christopher (December 2006). "Breaking town/gown barriers". Monitor on Psychology. 37 (11): 30 – via APA.
  10. ^ "'I'm the Chancellor!' Rutgers Official Apologizes After Video Shows Her Yelling at Campus Police". NBC New York. June 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "'I'm the chancellor!' university leader, a former Cuomo appointee, tells campus cops after traffic accident". FOX News. June 27, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  12. ^ "Rutgers Chancellor Apologizes After Body-Cam Footage Shows Her Berating Campus Police Officers". June 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  13. ^ "'I was not my best self,' Rutgers chancellor says of her outburst at campus police". North Jersey. Retrieved 2019-09-04.
  14. ^ "Top Rutgers leader yells 'I'm the chancellor!' at campus cops after fender bender. She issues an apology". NJ News. June 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  15. ^ "Rutgers-Newark chancellor to police after car accident: 'If I miss my plane, you folks are in trouble!". NJ News. June 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Michael Aiken
Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2001 - 2004
Succeeded by
Richard Herman
Preceded by
Kenneth Shaw
Chancellor of Syracuse University
2004 - 2013
Succeeded by
Kent Syverud
Preceded by
Todd Clear, interim chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark
Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark
This page was last edited on 15 April 2021, at 07:01
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