Rutgers University names first African-American president

Posted: Updated:

Dr. Jonathan Holloway has been elected the 21st president of Rutgers University, the first African-American president in the university’s history.

Dr. Holloway will start his new job July 1 after receiving approval today from the Rutgers Board of Governors.

RELATED: Rutgers to name first African American president, school officials say 

Dr. Holloway will replace 73-year-old obert Barchi, who announced last summer that he would be stepping down as head of Rutgers' three campuses with more than 70,000 students. He’s led Rutgers since September 2012.

“It's always important for university leaders to balance this tension between the airing of unpopular ideas, the airing of dangerous ideas, certainly dangerous actions should be stopped right away,” says Dr. Holloway. “But balancing unpopular ideas with the freedom to express them, so there will be, I’m certain of it, just because of this era that we're living in, moments at Rutgers where people are going to be saying some very uncomfortable unpleasant and unkind things. That is the cost of doing business at a great university. It is not mean that it's okay to say these things, and that's where a president can speak up and offer a sense of moral value. But the fact is, I'll protect the right for people to say unpopular things. That's critical to the job. it's critical to the whole scholarly enterprise.”

Dr. Holloway has served as Northwestern's provost since 2017. He earned degrees from Yale, where he later worked as an academic, and from Stanford University, where he was on the football team with Sen. Cory Booker, according to a published interview.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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