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Chancellor Nancy Cantor Records

A description of the records at the Syracuse University Archives

Finding aid created by: Nicole Wright
Date: August 2019


Nancy Cantor was Chancellor of Syracuse University from 2004 to 2013 and was the University's first woman chancellor.

Cantor was born in 1952 and grew up in New York City. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University in 1978. Her scholarly contributions in social psychology relate to the understanding of how individuals regulate behavior to adapt in social situations, pursue personal goals and how they conceptualize their social worlds. As a leader in higher education, Cantor emphasizes the public missions of higher education institutions and their importance in contributing to innovation, discovery, and social mobility.

Before her time at Syracuse University, Cantor served as chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to her time at the University of Illinois, she taught at the University of Michigan and later served as dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and then as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. While at Michigan, she was involved in the defense of affirmative action before the Supreme Court in the cases of Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger in 2003.

At Syracuse University, Nancy Cantor pushed for more community involvement and was responsible for the creation of the Connective Corridor. Additionally, Cantor was passionate about the Scholarship in Action program, an effort to create and cultivate meaningful ties between the University and the city of Syracuse. Her efforts earned her the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award, in 2008. Under Cantor, Syracuse University was honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service with a spot on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts in 2008 and was one of three colleges and universities in the nation to receive the Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances. Cantor also pushed for Syracuse University to set goals to become a more environmentally sustainable institution.

In 2005, Cantor sparked controversy and campus debate about free speech and diversity by revoking the status of HillTV, a student run TV station after one program, "Over the Hill," aired offensive content. A hearing panel reviewed Cantor's decision, concluding that HillTV violated the Syracuse University's Code of Student Conduct and other policies, and suspended the organization for 2 months with its reinstitution contingent on several requirements including a public apology.

Cantor left Syracuse University in 2013 to assume her current position as Chancellor of Rutgers University - Newark.

Scope and Content Note

The Chancellor Nancy Cantor Records is made up of files and other materials from her time at Syracuse University. The records includes travel, event, and other subject files, as well as awards, memorabilia, photographs, and speeches.


Access Restrictions:

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

Records of the Office of the Chancellor are restricted for 50 years from date of creation.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The University Archives holds clipping and portrait files on Nancy Cantor.

Selected Search Terms


Cantor, Nancy, 1952-
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.

Types of Material


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Chancellor Nancy Cantor Records,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

The records were transferred to the University Archives by the Office of the Chancellor between 2005 and 2016.

Processing Information

This collection has not been processed.

Table of Contents


An inventory has not yet been created for this collection. Please contact the Repository listed above for more information.