Transforming Student Lives by Making Education Accessible, Affordable, and Applicable
Talent has no borders. It is limited only by scarcity of resources, opportunities, and imagination. And when it comes to students, excellence can be found everywhere: every zip code, income bracket, ethnicity, and nationality. Letting go of the notion that excellence is scarce and realizing that it exists everywhere requires taking responsibility for finding it. Letting it flourish drives our nation forward.
Dreams Fulfilled harnesses an array of programs to improve accessibility and affordability at Rutgers, create pipelines of high-achieving New Jersey undergraduates, and provide students with the academic and financial support they need to graduate in a timely manner and without excessive debt. Most of these Rutgers graduates will go on to live and work in New Jersey, supporting its economy and forming the backbone of its communities while becoming the parents and teachers of a new generation.
Rutgers features nationally acclaimed college access programs and graduates more students with financial assistance needs than its peers. But more can be done. In unifying several related programs under Dreams Fulfilled, the university can leverage its tremendous size, scale, and expertise to open the bottlenecks where students get stuck on their way from demonstrating strong grade school aptitude to finding meaningful work as productive members of society and contributors to a vibrant economy.
Dreams Fulfilled can change the trajectory of students’ lives by improving access to and preparation for a Rutgers education, by providing financial support to make college more affordable, and by boosting students’ academic success, which can shorten the time to graduation. In doing so, Dreams Fulfilled will empower generations of students and make Rutgers an exemplar in higher education, ensuring that employers look to the university as an incubator for the nation’s best and most diverse talent.
This initiative takes the long view of student success—what do our students’ lives look like five years after graduation? Ten years? Twenty? Are they starting families and buying homes? Are they advancing in their chosen fields? Do they think of themselves as part of a Rutgers legacy, and do they feel like they are making positive contributions to their own communities? Positive answers to these questions will mean that Rutgers has equipped its students to lead lives of meaning and consequence.
Success also will require long-term, substantial investment in programs, staff, and infrastructure—the sort of investment that this nation’s elite universities have long been making. Dreams Fulfilled partners with donors to alter the trajectory of students’ lives through college preparation (as early as fourth grade), affordability (grants), and decreased time to graduation (learning assistance and support).
Dreams Fulfilled is an opportunity to create a pipeline of successful Rutgers students who, upon graduation, make the decision to live and work in New Jersey, supporting its economy and its communities.
Big Ideas are driven by faculty, staff, and researchers across disciplines, divisions, and locations. Project champions represent the robust, expansive, and highly collaborative project teams whose work will bring these ideas to life.
Executive Vice Chancellor and Associate Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University–Newark
Butterfield is a nationally recognized scholar, teacher, and thought leader in race and ethnicity, immigration, and diversity in higher education. She is also a sought-after facilitator on managing diversity within complex institutions. As an advocate for leveraging diversity in all its dimensions, she works with her Rutgers–Newark colleagues to fulfill the public mission of colleges and universities as engines of social mobility and as anchor institutions that collaborate with partners from multiple sectors to help communities succeed. Her work has appeared in many journals, including the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy and the Research in Urban Sociology series. She has been a visiting academic fellow in Nuffield College at Oxford University and an American Council on Education fellow at New York University. While at Rutgers–Newark, she has been a faculty fellow in the Office of the Chancellor; acting director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program; associate director of the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience; and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Sangeeta Lamba, MD
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Lamba’s primary responsibility is to champion, lead, and implement a fully integrated strategy for diversity, inclusion, and health equity initiatives that nurtures a supportive and inclusive culture across Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). She leads and coordinates efforts to foster opportunities for diversity and inclusion with special emphasis on academic and faculty advancement. She is a professor of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS) and she plays an active role in both medical education and patient care. While serving as associate dean of education at NJMS, Lamba implemented innovative curricula that cultivate diversity and inclusion, including health equity and social justice, care of LGBTQ patients, and processes for students to report bias in the learning environment. Lamba champions the mentoring of diverse faculty and trainees at Rutgers, and she leads local and national empowerment workshops that offer strategies to mitigate bias and build a climate of respect and allyship. She has received many awards for excellence in teaching and mentoring.
Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
McAnuff is an innovative leader, active collaborator, and enrollment expert. He oversees Undergraduate Admissions, Office of Financial Aid, Office of the Registrar, One Stop Student Services Center, RU-Info, and critical early outreach and retention programs at Rutgers–New Brunswick. Before coming to Rutgers in 2006, he was vice president for Enrollment Services at Eastern Michigan University. He is a consultant to many boards of directors, advisory boards, universities, and colleges, and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and the New Jersey Senate. He was elected vice chair of the Coalition for College and was co-chair of the College Board National Forum. He has received the Chancellor’s Award for Most Outstanding Administrator-State University of New York System and Administrator of the Year at Eastern Michigan University.
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement, Rutgers University–Camden
Watson oversees efforts to connect the resources of the university with communities in Camden and across southern New Jersey. She is an experienced leader in civic and community engagement, higher education administration, anchor institution partnerships, student success initiatives, policy and program development, and research on issues relating to minority children and youth living in high-poverty areas. She speaks across the country on the role of urban colleges and universities as anchor institutions, especially as it relates to forging partnerships with K-12 institutions to create pipelines to higher education for underrepresented youth. She serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations, including the Center for Family Services, a nonprofit human service agency dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in southern New Jersey. She was a member of the Camden City Public Schools Board of Education from 2006 to 2009. Her commitment to Camden and serving others has been honored by the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Rutgers University–Camden
Westman began his career in higher education at Florida State University, where he served as the registrar for the Center for Professional Development. He then worked at Ferris State University, starting as the registrar and finishing his tenure as the assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of enrollment management. He next served as the associate vice president for academic affairs and enrollment management solutions at the University of Texas at El Paso before joining Rutgers–Camden in 2015. Westman is a frequent speaker at conferences in the United States and abroad. His enrollment research has centered on strategic enrollment management, the gamer and millennial generations, customer relationship management strategies, communication management systems and strategies, online communications, and the role of user-generated content. He has written and edited many books and articles relating to these areas and has been a consultant on issues relating to strategic enrollment management.
Associate Vice President for Academic Equity, Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement
Wooten manages Rutgers’ Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. She provides strategic leadership for universitywide priorities that connect existing programmatic efforts and emerging initiatives to national best practices in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in the student and faculty ranks. Wooten is the author of In the Face of Inequality: How Black Colleges Adapt (SUNY Press, 2015) and is researching how 20th and 21st century philanthropists get involved in causes related to Black education.