Syracuse chief named to lead Rutgers-Newark

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers University on Thursday announced the hiring of a new chancellor for its Newark campus who has had her own problems with a basketball program.

The university named outgoing Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor to the $385,000-a-year position running the campus, which has been ranked the most diverse in the nation. She is to start Jan. 1.

Todd Clear, dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, was named interim chancellor of Rutgers-Newark.

Cantor, a social psychologist, has also held posts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Michigan and Princeton University over her 35-year academic career.

She's taking the helm at a campus that has been promised more autonomy as part of a reorganization of higher education in New Jersey that takes effect Monday.

She said that she is devoted to research and that top scholarship and social impact work hand-in-hand.

"Rutgers-Newark is a place where all of these impulses come together in a remarkable way - as a research university creating innovation, engaging in public scholarship, educating the next diverse generation and partnering to make a difference in a remarkably resilient city where the global becomes local, and the future is being charted," she said in a statement issued by the university.

Cantor was criticized for her handling of molestation accusations against Syracuse men's associate head basketball coach Bernie Fine. The university had previously investigated Fine, but Cantor fired him in 2011 after new allegations were made. One of Fine's accusers last year admitted he fabricated the allegations and federal prosecutors announced the coach would not be charged.

"I think these are complicated situations," Cantor told The Associated Press on Thursday after she was introduced to the Rutgers Board of Governors. "In hindsight, you can always learn from them."

She said she now believes she should have told law enforcement earlier about the university's investigation of Fine.

Rutgers President Robert Barchi said the university was aware of the ordeal at Syracuse and it didn't hurt Cantor's candidacy at Rutgers. "I can't tell you how excited and delighted I am to have Nancy on board," he said.

The situation has some similarities with one this year at Rutgers.

Rutgers fired Mike Rice, the head basketball coach on its main New Brunswick campus, in April after a video showed him verbally and physically abusing his players. The school's athletic director and top in-house lawyer resigned in the aftermath of Rice's ouster.

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