Strategic Plan 2023-2028

A Century and Beyond of Excellence, Commitment, and Elevation.

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Antonio Tillis and students

Chancellor's Message

The year 2026 will mark a century of Rutgers University excellence in Camden. These ten decades of service to our community are characterized by an unyielding dedication to higher education access for citizens of New Jersey and beyond. Affordability and access have been the “north star” guiding strategic initiatives and priorities that have made Rutgers University–Camden a sought-after institution for many New Jerseyans and prospective students nationally and globally. Because of our ardent dedication to making education affordable, students who successfully complete our undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs do so with comparatively little or no debt. As a result of priorities like “Bridging the Gap” and targeted donor scholarship support, Rutgers–Camden continues to assure that those wanting access to higher education can attain it, fulfilling dreams of bettering their lives and those of their families. Thus, access and affordability will continue to guide priorities during the next five years of this strategic plan, “Rutgers University in Camden, a Century and Beyond of Excellence, Commitment, and Elevation.” The plan centers on five strategic priorities. These priorities are the pillars around which key efforts are concentrated:

1. Innovation in Academic Excellence
2. Transformative Student Success
3. Holistic Student Experience
4. Beloved Camden Community 
5. Internationalism

These overarching priorities are value propositions that will elevate Rutgers–Camden well beyond the next five years.

Rutgers–Camden has graduated over 80,000 living alumni who are thought leaders in education, public policy, law, health care, business, public service, and other notable sectors. Thus,

commitment to student success has been, and continues to be, the common denominator and driver of all we do. Since 1926, our campus has welcomed students from varying stages of life: fresh out of high school, first-generation, veteran, late-life learners, and part-timers. Their success continues to be our legacy. Over the next five years, we will endeavor to increase the overall six-year graduation rate, Pell-eligible student graduation rate, and student retention rate. Additionally, we will focus on reaching students with “some college no degree” in our effort to elevate student success. 

In looking toward our future, we will increase our student recruitment efforts locally, state-wide, domestically, and abroad. Additionally, the focus over the next five years will be to increase the number of enrolled students from Camden city. Enrollment data reflect a paucity of student applications from the Camden City School District. Through a partnership with city schools, we hope to increase the number of students from Camden City and County Schools over the next five years. In addition to a focus on local markets, we will concentrate on national markets and emerging international markets for student recruitment, academic collaborations, and student experiential learning opportunities.

While not a discrete strategic pillar for this plan, an uncompromising commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is intrinsic throughout. As a federally designated Minority-Serving Institution and an Asian American, Native American and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution based on the demographics of our student population, we will continue to make Rutgers–Camden a safe and welcoming environment for all. This spirit will reflect through curricular offerings, experiential learning opportunities, academic research, and community engagement. Each of the five pillars will demonstrate a sustained commitment to the rich diversity of our campus and extended community.

As we focus on the next five years, we are reminded of the advancement of Rutgers–Camden. We are a Carnegie R-2 classified institution. We are among the nation’s top 50 public universities and top 100 national universities according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. More importantly, we are among the top academic institutions for social mobility and for veterans. We are committed to community partnerships and alumni/donor engagement. Our exemplary faculty, dedicated staff, and amazing students continue to advance intellectual innovation through research in multiple disciplinary areas, resulting in annual increases in research expenditures and cutting-edge scholarly advances. Innovation and academic excellence over the next five years is what this plan is all about. However, we know the action items that undergird the priorities for the various pillars are not set in stone. With this knowledge, we will evaluate the progress of, and make necessary modifications to, each identified strategic priority along the way.

In summary, intentionality is the leitmotif that characterizes the strategic priorities that are outlined within this five-year plan. To that end, collectively, we will produce the next generation of citizens, who will use their talents to address the challenges facing humanity. Collectively, we will make a difference in Camden and the Delaware Valley as an anchor institution. Collectively, we will continue to advance our campus among the nation’s top national and public universities. Collectively, we will collaborate locally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally to advance the common good.

I would like to thank the co-chairs of the planning committee, Drs. Marsha Lowery and Jane Siegel, for their leadership. Additionally, thanks to members of the steering committee inclusive of the hundreds of colleagues and constituencies (students, staff, faculty, alumni, board members, and donors) who sacrificed personal and professional time for this undertaking. This plan reflects your perpetual dedication to Rutgers–Camden and its future success. I look forward to the next five years of elevation in this place we all call home, Rutgers University in Camden.


Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.
Rutgers University–Camden


The Rutgers University–Camden strategic planning process began on September 19, 2022, with a call to members of our community to serve on the steering committee. There were 80 responses to the application, far exceeding our expectations for interest. In addition, the consultancy service of Dr. Sally Mason, former president of University of Iowa and Senior Consultant and Senior Fellow AGB Consulting, was procured to guide the process and advise the co-chairs and steering committee. The steering committee comprised 25 members representing faculty from all four schools, deans, undergraduate and graduate students, staff, cabinet leadership, members of the board of directors, and alumni.

aerial shot of campus with Rutgers Housing in background


The methodology for data collection was guided by a general research question: What areas of opportunity and aspiration should Rutgers–Camden strategically plan for over the next five years? From responses gathered, the steering committee segregated commonly referenced responses into a thematic bucket or pillar. Responses were subject to a developed “3X3X2 Rule” meaning themes had to be identified thrice, from three different data sources, by at least two different stakeholder groups. An example would be the theme “junior faculty mentorship” that emerged more than three times in the collected data from the SWOT analysis, faculty focus group, and alumni focus group by faculty and alumni stakeholders.

Campus Sign

Data Gathering

Data gathering was a three-phase process that included SWOT analysis, focus groups, town halls, and community surveys. The SWOT analysis was conducted with the steering committee members to identify strengths, opportunities for growth and challenges that could be addressed through the strategic plan. With the assistance of Gianna Bowler, executive director of campus planning and data analytics, the steering committee reviewed the SWOT analysis and helped to develop focus groups and survey questions for each constituency: undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and alumni. There were eight focus groups throughout the process: two staff, four faculty, and two alumni. In addition, two town halls were held to gather data. Finally, an undergraduate and graduate student survey was conducted to ensure that student voices were heard in the process, to which there were 345 respondents.

Students Studying



Admissions Building


September 2022 through May 2023:
The co-chairs and steering committee worked with Dr. Mason throughout the plan’s developmental process.

December 2022 through February 2023:
Data gathering occurred.

February 2023 to mid-March 2023:
Data analytics occurred.

March 2023:
Thematic pillars were identified after data analysis.

March 2023 through May 2023:
Sub-committees were formed to identify strategic actions for each thematic pillar.

June 2023:
First draft of the plan was compiled by the steering committee and presented to Chancellor Tillis for initial cabinet-level review and feedback.

June 2023:
Cabinet-level feedback on the draft was completed and feedback was given to co-chairs. 

July 2023:
Revised first draft was completed by the steering committee and presented to Chancellor Tillis.

August 2023:
Cabinet review of revised first draft continues.

October 2023:
Draft plan presented to President Jonathan Holloway for review and approval.

November 2023:
Rutgers University–Camden Strategic Plan for 2023-2028 released.

Mission Statement

Rutgers University–Camden provides access to world-class education, innovative research, and transformative opportunities to multiple constituencies. Our mission is to prepare the next generations of leaders by delivering rigorous academic programs that are bolstered by excellence in teaching and scholarship, experiential learning, and community engagement. As one of the nation’s top comprehensive public research universities, Rutgers University–Camden is committed to creating an environment that fosters critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship, and societal responsibility. Building on our core strengths, we create distinct areas of academic excellence, strengthen interdisciplinary programs, expand our global reach, and transform the lives of students through personalized experiences. 

aerial shot of campus with ben franklin bridge in background

Vision Statement

As a top national research university dedicated to serving a 21st-century demographic, Rutgers University–Camden is committed to elevating its position as a leader among urban public research universities in research, teaching, experiential learning, and civic engagement. On a local and global scale, our students will be the visionary leaders and global citizens that will shape a society that is equitable, just, and sustainable. We endeavor to retain our intimate and collaborative campus culture, nurturing the aspirations of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other aligned constituencies.

commencement 2023 nursing

Document Download

View and download the PDF version of the Strategic Plan