Rutgers University

Campus Call for Free Expression Participating President:

Rutgers University

Jonathan Holloway, President

Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway

“Academic freedom—the right of our faculty in the discharge of their duties to express their ideas and to challenge the ideas of others without fear of retribution—is a cornerstone of American higher education. – Jonathan Holloway 

Campus Call for Free Expression Planned Activities

Free expression will be the focus of president Holloway’s new student convocation speech for the 2023-24 academic year.

President Holloway will teach a course on citizenship through the lens of public institutions, with civil discourse and free expression among the themes of that course. Learn more >

About the President

Jonathan Holloway, a U.S. historian, took office as the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, on July 1, 2020. He also serves as a University Professor and Distinguished Professor. 

Prior to accepting the presidency of Rutgers, Dr. Holloway was provost of Northwestern University from 2017 to 2020 and a member of the faculty of Yale University from 1999 to 2017.  At Yale, he served as Dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. 

President Holloway’s scholarly work specializes in post-emancipation U.S. history with a focus on social and intellectual history. 

He is the author of African American History: A Very Short Introduction and The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans (Oxford University Press, February 2023 and February 2021, respectively). He also published Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 (2002), and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940 (2013), both with the University of North Carolina Press. He edited Ralph Bunche’s A Brief and Tentative Analysis of Negro Leadership (New York University Press, 2005) and coedited Black Scholars on the Line: Race, Social Science, and American Thought in the Twentieth Century (Notre Dame University Press, 2007). He wrote the introduction for the 2015 edition of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk (Yale University Press), and is working on a new book, A History of Absence: Race and the Making of the Modern World. 

Dr. Holloway, who began his academic career at the University of California, San Diego, received a bachelor’s degree with honors in American studies from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. 

He serves on boards of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gates Cambridge Trust, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Universities Research Association, the Institute of International Education, and the Academic Leadership Institute. 

Dr. Holloway is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians. He is a Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

He is married to Aisling Colón. They have a daughter, Emerson, and son, Ellison. 

The Campus Call for Free Expression is a commitment by a diverse group of college presidents to urgently spotlight, uplift, and re-emphasize the principles of critical inquiry and civic discourse on their campuses. The Campus Call is centered on a coordinated set of presidential and campus activities focused on free expression that collectively amplify higher education’s role in preparing young people to be the empowered citizens our democracy needs.