Robson Is Appointed Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of Graduate Studies
The new role expands initiatives that are focused on the success of graduate students
Mark Gregory Robson, a seasoned professor and administrator, has been appointed as the inaugural associate vice provost for graduate education for Rutgers University–New Brunswick and the dean of the School of Graduate Studies.
The new role, which began Aug. 1, expands the dean position to encompass new initiatives focused on graduate student success, the graduate student experience and graduate student belonging at the Big Ten university, administrators said.
“I am very excited for this opportunity, my next chapter at Rutgers,” said Robson, adding that he is grateful to Rutgers–New Brunswick Chancellor Francine Conway and Saundra Tomlinson-Clarke, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, for the opportunity. “I really wanted to do this.”
Robson, a Distinguished Professor and Extension Specialist in plant biology and Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, will lead the Graduate Education and Student Support Initiative, which is part of the Rutgers–New Brunswick Academic Master Plan.
As dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Robson oversees the academic unit that supports graduate education for Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). He will report jointly to Conway and the RBHS Chancellor Brian L. Strom and will work closely with Kathleen Scotto, vice dean of the school.
As associate vice provost, Robson will oversee and advocate for the well-being of Rutgers–New Brunswick graduate students, increase the visibility of graduate education and expand graduate education-related partnerships with the state under the direction of Tomlinson-Clarke.
“The chancellor has a very clear vision on reshaping and reimagining graduate education,” Robson said. “She also has a clear vison of how to better deploy the resources in New Brunswick to benefit all of our students.”
“Mark is deeply committed to bringing out the best in our outstanding graduate students through rigorous, challenging and enriching academic and research opportunities and in developing a culture of graduate student life,” Conway said. “I look forward to seeing him lead our new Graduate Education and Student Support Initiative and find new ways to increase the impact of graduate education not just for our students but for our partners in research, industry, and the state of New Jersey.”
“Dr. Robson has proven himself time and again as an insightful and effective educator, researcher, and leader,” Tomlinson-Clarke said. “He truly cares about the graduate students with whom he and his colleagues work so closely and is always in search of new ways to improve on providing graduate students with opportunities that will foster their success.”
Research is the underpinning of a great university. Question: What is the most essential part of research? Answer: Graduate students.
Mark Gregory Robson
associate vice provost for graduate education for Rutgers–New Brunswick and dean of the School of Graduate Studies
Robson will lead the academic unit that supports graduate education for Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). He will report jointly to the Rutgers–New Brunswick chancellor and the RBHS chancellor and will work closely with SGS Vice Dean Kathleen Scotto, who will maintain her academic and administrative roles within RBHS as vice chancellor for research and vice dean, School of Graduate Studies.
“Research is the underpinning of a great university,” he said. “Question: What is the most essential part of research? Answer: Graduate students. They are the intellectual engine that drives discovery and innovation, no matter the discipline, from history to cell biology from English to engineering, the research happens as part of the graduate mission of the university.”
Robson previously held various leadership roles, including director of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, associate director of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, executive director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and assistant dean of student affairs at the School of Public Health. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of Rutgers’ Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching.
In addition, Robson is one of three United States citizens to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok for his work in establishing a Global Environmental Health Center and Graduate Program in Environmental and Occupational Training.
Dean Henrik Pedersen, who was the interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies since July 2021, will continue to work as a professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the School of Engineering.