Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Indian American chancellor resigns

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Debasish “Deba” Dutta, an Indian American, has decided to resign as chancellor of Rutgers New Brunswick campus, just after being in the position for about more than a year.

In a university-wide email, Dutta said: “It has become clear that my vision for the chancellorship is not in alignment with that of the University. It is only fair that I step aside and let the university select a new leader for the New Brunswick campus,” adding that serving in such a role “at one of America’s oldest and most prominent land-grant public universities, has been a distinct privilege.”

Dutta was appointed as chancellor in April of last year and he will continue to receive a base salary of $480,000 for the next year while he is on sabbatical and will return to the university as a distinguished professor in the school of engineering, according to a news report.

Christopher Molloy, who has been Rutgers senior vice president for research and economic development since December 2013, will be the interim chancellor of the New Brunswick campus.

He was previously the dean of the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, the interim provost for biomedical and health sciences and the interim chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Though the university has not provided any details of Dutta’s resignation, news reports have quoted university staff suggesting that Dutta and Rutgers president Robert Barchi have had their differences which have resulted in fallout.

As chancellor, Dutta held responsibilities that included overseeing the largest of the three major Rutgers University campuses.

Prior to working at Rutgers, he spent three years at the National Science Foundation, was the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity at Purdue University and worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Dutta holds a PhD in industrial engineering from Purdue, a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Evansville and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India.

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