NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Dean James Hughes of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University is stepping down from his position at the end of the upcoming 2016-2017 school year.

On August 17, Rutgers students were informed of this announcement by Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Richard Edwards.

“Dr. Hughes…is a nationally-recognized expert on demographics, housing, and regional economics, and I am grateful for his exceptional leadership of the Bloustein School since he became dean in 1995,” said Edwards.

Dean Hughes, a Rutgers alumnus, has been involved with the Rutgers community as both a researcher and a scholar and served as a faculty member since 1971.

His career has also included serving positions on several New Jersey commissions and tasks forces, including the Governor’s Property Tax Commission.  He co-authored 34 books and monograph and more than 150 articles.

One of his most critically acclaimed books was “The Atlantic City Gamble,” which discussed the journey the state of New Jersey began when gambling in Atlantic City was authorized back in 1976.

In 2014, Dean Hughes won the Distinguished Service Award of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities and the Rutgers School of Engineering Medal of Excellence.

In addition, he has won several other awards and served fellowships in several organizations.

As the dean of the Bloustein School, Hughes has lifted the undergraduate and graduate programs to high standards and attracted academic acclaim nationwide in the recent years.

USA Today had ranked the school’s undergraduate Public Health program 4th in the country and recently received accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health.

In 2015, the school’s graduate Planning program ranked 6th in the country by Planetizen.

The Bloustein School had recently celebrated its 25th anniversary during the recent Rutgers’ 250th anniversary.

Chancellor Richard Edwards concluded his message to students regarding Dean Hughes’ upcoming departure by stating the school will begin an extensive nationwide search for a candidate to serve as his successor.