Rutgers Camden Chancellor Wendell Pritchett has been elected President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), an international organization of universities in large metropolitan areas that seek to help advance their host communities.
Pritchett, 48, will serve a one-year term as leader of CUMU. He succeeds John Christensen, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, in the role of CUMU President.
“I am delighted that Wendell Pritchett will succeed me as President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities,” says Christensen. “I have worked with Dr. Pritchett on the CUMU Executive Committee over the past two years and know he is a consummate voice for metropolitan institutions and passionate about the work we do in partnership with our communities. CUMU will thrive under his leadership and I wish him all the best in this new role.”
“I am honored to serve as President of CUMU, which is an extraordinary organization of universities and colleges dedicated to applying their intellectual and human capital toward helping America’s cities grow and thrive,” says Pritchett.
“Rutgers Camden is committed to becoming, and becoming known as, a national model for civically engaged universities. I look forward to working with the members of CUMU to develop new best practices, and to bringing those ideas back to southern New Jersey and the Delaware Valley.”
Founded in 1990, the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities is comprised of approximately 70 institutions that recognize a shared mission to apply their educational, research, and service efforts to enhance the communities in which they are located. CUMU promotes the development of university-community engagement concepts that will advance metropolitan planning, cultural enrichment, the improvement of schools, and the preparation of civic leaders.
As Chancellor, Pritchett has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Rutgers Camden Campus, reporting directly to the Rutgers President, since 2009. He has responsibility for the daily administration of an institution that enrolls 6,500 students in 35 undergraduate programs and 25 graduate programs at the Masters 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.
In 2010, Pritchett instituted a comprehensive civic engagement initiative at Rutgers Camden, including the creation of an Office of Civic Engagement that is seeking to incorporate civic learning into coursework and faculty research. The initiative has increased the number of Rutgers Camden students, faculty, staff, and alumni who participate in meaningful efforts to advance Camden neighborhoods, families, and organizations.
Pritchett is a member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, appointed to that role by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter in 2011. Additionally, Pritchett co-chairs the World Class Greater Philadelphia Initiative of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and serves on the boards of the Cooper Health System and the CEO Council for Growth.
Pritchett serves as a professor of history and law at Rutgers Camden. 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: Brownsville, Brooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto (University of Chicago Press 2002) and Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer.
Pritchett 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.