Rutgers University to Launch the Samuel D. Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice

The Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University has announced that it will establish the Samuel D. Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice in the fall of 2019. The new institute is named for the late Samuel DeWitt Proctor, who was a Rutgers faculty member for 15 years and who served as the first Martin Luther King Jr. Chair and visiting professor in the Department of Africana Studies. Proctor was the first Black faculty member at Rutgers to have an endowed professorship named in his honor.

Dr. Proctor was a graduate of Virginia Union University and earned a Ph.D. in theology at Yale University. He served as president of Virginia Union University and what is now North Carolina A&T State University. He joined the faculty at Rutgers University in 1969 and taught there for 15 years. Dr. Proctor died in 1997.

The university has appointed Marybeth Gasman as the leader of the new institute. She will also hold the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education in the Graduate School of Education.

Currently, Dr. Gasman is the Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves as the founding director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. She is a scholar of American higher education and focuses on historically Black colleges and universities, racism, diversity, philanthropy, and higher education leadership.

“I am honored to join Rutgers GSE as the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education and a Distinguished Professor,” said Dr. Gasman. “We are at a critical moment for education in our country and I am looking forward to honoring the legacy of Dr. Proctor by advancing his and my collective vision for diversity, justice and equity in education in New Jersey and across the country. I am particularly excited to join a public research university that boasts such rich and beautiful diversity.”

Related Articles


  1. Dr. Proctor earned his doctorate from Boston University not Yale. He started at Yale but transferred to Boston to be closer to Boston hospitals because of his ailing son.

  2. Dr.Proctor was President at Union in 1957 when I entered Union,he was one of the people that taught us to be all we could be,I believed him as did so many more Unionites.
    Thank you Rutgers for this payment of respect.

  3. I appreciate that Rutgers has created this Institute. It seems like an honor long overdue. However, When I see and hear that it is being headed by a white woman (I don’t know how she identifies) I feel frustrated, perplexed, and aghast. Another example of white privilege? I really wish this post was fulfilled by a black or brown academic (whose numbers are shrinking at universities).. Universities please do a better job of hiring people with identities associated with their positions.. This leader may have oppressed intersecting identities that are not obvious, but they do not trump their whiteness, privilege, and supremacy.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Alcorn State University Recruited for Federal Student Pathway Program for Careers in Public Service

The Pathway Public Service Program was established in 2019 to develop the next generation of diverse, qualified, and motivated public health servants. Over the past five years, the program has hired over 100 student interns.

Five Black Scholars Selected for New Faculty Positions

The five Black scholars who aer taking on new roles are Khadene Harris at Rice University in Houston, Nakia Melecio at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Bettina Drake at Washington University in St. Louis, Arlette Ngoubene Atioky at Goucher College in Maryland, and Kandi Hill-Clarke at the University of Memphis.

Getty Images to Preserve Digital Photo Archives at Delaware State University

Currently, Delaware State University's photo archives contain thousands of photographs taken over the course of the university's 133 year history. Thanks to a new partnership with Getty Images, those images will be digitized and made available on

Porché Spence Recognized for Outstanding Commitment to Advancing Diversity in Ecology

Dr. Spence currently serves as an assistant professor of environmental studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Throughout her career, she has developed several educational programs geared towards introducing students of color to environmental science fields.

Featured Jobs