James H. Whitney III

James H. Whitney III

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

James H. Whitney III, Ed.D. Assistant Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs is a three-time graduate of Rutgers University, receiving a B.S. in Administration of Justice and Africana Studies from Rutgers College, a Master’s of Social Work (M.S.W.), and Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) from Rutgers Graduate School of Education.  Throughout his career, Dr. Whitney has created initiatives, improved the quality of services, completed successful internal and external reviews, written award-wining grants, and directed programs that have helped thousands of students. Dr. Whitney has been called upon by university leaders, faculty, administrators and colleagues to help design, develop and improve programs, initiatives and plans with a particular emphasis on improving student services for students who first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented; advance access to resources, increase faculty engagement, and programs for students.

Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Whitney, a Rutgers EOF Program student himself, faced many adverse circumstances growing up, and believe that opportunity programs like EOF are responsible for his successes today.  He has dedicated his career, educational pursuits and professional life to serving the needs of all students, but has a passion for those who are first-generation, low-income, and underprivileged students. Whitney has served many roles prior to his work in administration to support student in and outside of the classroom. Dr. Whitney’s research, “Fictive Kin as Capital: A Case Study on African American Youth Aspirations for College” examines how fictive kin is used as social capital to facilitate college aspirations among low-income & first-generation African Americans. His findings revealed the importance of community, religious organizations, and programs like Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and TRIO, provide for helping African American youth aspire to college.

Dr. Whitney’s work with Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA) began as the inaugural Senior Executive Director of Student Access & Educational Equity (SAEE), which coordinates support services for nearly 3,000 students and oversees $10 million in state and federal grants. As Assistant Vice Chancellor, Dr. Whitney is charged with providing support and coordination for all undergraduate students on Rutgers New Brunswick campus. Under Dr. Whitney’s leadership the coordination and work of units such as SAEE, the Aresty Undergraduate Research Program, Distinguished Fellowships, Byrne Seminars and First-year Interest Groups (FIGS), Faculty Initiatives, and operations for UAA serve over 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, he is the P.I. and Project Director of two successful grant programs to prepare first-generation and underrepresented students for a doctoral education and or graduate degrees: Ronald E. McNair Program and Graduate Education Preparation. 

Most recently Dr. Whitney has been asked to lead the RU-1st Initiative, which is a New Brunswick Chancellor and UAA Vice Chancellor initiative to increase community dialogue on campus diversity. The RU-1st Initiative also includes increasing coordination and support among schools and programs in New Brunswick for first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students. In spring 2016, Dr. Whitney establish the Paul Robeson Leadership Institute. Dr. Whitney continues to advocate and involve himself, serving on many university-wide committees; public lectures, speeches, and presentations on issues of access, diversity, inclusion and student success, on behalf of the University, UAA, as well as many community and local organizations. 

In the classroom, he has developed and instructed courses within the Africana Studies Department, including “Black Family,” “Blacks and Economic Structures,” “Hip Hop Culture,” as well as “Black Male Identity”—all aim to increase knowledge and awareness of African American culture in the United States. Dr. Whitney also instructs in the schools of Public Policy and the Graduate School of Education.