150 West State Street. Trenton NJ 08608 -- 609-989-1100 office

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Association Staff

Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

Chief Executive Officer



Barbara Berreski, Esq.

Government & Legal Affairs


Patricia A. Berry

Budget & Administration


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Marketing


Support Staff

Charlene R. Pipher

Executive Assistant/Web Design


Terry Toth

Part-Time Secretarial Assistant


Contact Info

New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities

150 West State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

609-989-1100 office

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Who We Are

New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities - the leading voice for public higher education in New Jersey.

Acting as an advocate in the state capital and throughout the state, the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) supports the missions and well-being of senior public institutions of higher education.  In cooperation with trustees, students, faculty and campus administrators, NJASCU plays an active role in developing and proposing state higher education policy to better serve New Jersey's citizens.  Its members are the eight senior public institutions of higher education:  The College of New Jersey, Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Stockton University, Thomas Edison State University, and William Paterson University.

Rowan University, which recently assumed the status of a research institution, now is an affiliate member.

Specifically, NJASCU does the following:

  • Analyzes and monitors public policy issues and legislation affecting its member institutions.  Issues include: college access and affordability; higher education finance trends and comparisons; trustee governance, student welfare, ethical standards; unprecedented enrollment demand and the need to increase capacity; addressing the needs of evolving student populations;
  • Collaborates with public institutions on communicating and promoting the distinctive excellence and advantages of New Jersey's senior public institutions of higher education; and
  • Creates educational and public service opportunities for those interested in the success and sustainability of New Jersey's public institutions of higher education.

The Association played a key role in achieving landmark legislation in 1986 and 1994, which transferred important fiscal and administrative authority to the campuses from state government, emphasizing trustee governance and direct public accountability.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey are among the nation's most autonomous public institutions.

The link below will transport you to the world of the NJASCU 2017 Symposium on Higher Education - The Lifelong Value of a Bachelor's Degree - a morning packed with thoughtful dialog and presentations on higher education issues.  A summary of the proceedings will be posted on Monday, October 23rd.  Thanks to all of you who attended.

Photos from Symposium

Make College More Affordable:  Modernize Contracts Laws for NJ State Colleges & Universities

Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

Executive Director/CEO

NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities

August 11, 2017

The ideal college, according to President James Garfield, was having Mark Hopkins, the President of Williams College from 1836 to 1872, "on one end of a log and a student on the other."  Times have changed a bit since Garfield graduated from Williams in 1856.  To be sure, professors and their classrooms are important, but so too are libraries, laboratories, computers, and high-speed connections to the internet.  All colleges need these types of facilities and equipment, and they try to get the best price from the most responsible vendor or contractor.  But in New Jersey, the rules that public four-year colleges and universities follow to purchase goods and services, or construct a building, depend on how the institution is categorized under the law.  This differentiation no longer makes sense.  It is time to abolish the State College Contracts Law - which applies to seven institutions - and replace it with the same rules followed by public research universities.

New Jersey divides public four-year institutions of higher education into two categories:  
(1) state colleges and universities, which include The College of New Jersey, Kean University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College, Stockton University, Thomas Edison State University, and William Paterson University; and (2) public research universities, which includes Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, and Montclair State University.  Read full story here.

Statement in Response to Trump Administration's Rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

September 5, 2017

The member institutions of NJASCU resolutely ask Congress and President Trump to enact a policy as soon as possible that protects the young men and women who have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Over 25,650 of these bright and talented young people are from New Jersey.  They are making significant contributions to our communities, our economy, and our nation by studying in college, working, and serving in the Armed Forces.

We are deeply disappointed that the Trump administration rescinded DACA, which will fully expire on March 5, 2018.  We assure the students at our institutions that we will work closely with New Jersey's congressional delegation and federal officials to find a way to ensure that these extraordinary young people can stay in the only country they know as home.


Profiles of NJASCU alumni whose work is making a difference in the lives of others.  The website will feature a new profile each month.  Please submit suggestions for profiles to Pam Hersh or call (609) 256-8256.

David Klein, Montclair State University, Class of 1957
 September 2017

David Klein, a Montclair State University alumnus class of 1957 and married to the same woman, Miriam, for 58 years, enjoys playing the field. Furthermore, he thanks his alma mater for encouraging him to do so.

For the past six decades, Mr. Klein has been playing on the softball and baseball fields at high schools and, until recently, colleges, in New Jersey. Mr. Klein is renowned among New Jersey youth sports enthusiasts as an umpire of high school baseball and softball, and as a referee in soccer for almost as long as he’s been an umpire. Even though officiating is work not play, Mr. Klein said his work as an official on the diamond and on the field brings him satisfaction as great as any game has he played.

His legendary status was on display several weeks ago, when the New Jersey State Baseball Umpires Association (NJSBUA) honored Mr. Klein with the eponymous David R. Klein Award. This is the first year of the award, whose purpose is to honor those NJSBUA members who, “through good standing and active participation in the NJSBUA, make exemplary contributions” (to) the high school communities in New Jersey by participating in baseball and softball officiating.
 Read more.

See our previous alumni profiles here.

Quick Takes (below) are current brief updates on legislative and policy issues being followed by NJASCU

TCNJ Opens New State-of-the-Art STEM Building, Chemistry Addition, and Forum

October 13, 2017

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann, and TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, October 12, 2017, to officially open the college’s new, state-of-the-art STEM building, Chemistry addition, and Forum.


The cost of the project, which broke ground in July 2015, was $76,211,000 including $40 million provided through the Building Our Future Bond.  An additional $1.075 million in funding came from the New Jersey Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund.  The college funded the balance through a variety of sources, including philanthropy.


“This is an investment that is paying off,” said New Jersey Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, who authored the Building Our Future Bond Act.  “This project – like others around the state – generated immediate benefits from the jobs associated with its planning and construction and will provide significant, long-term benefits through education, research, and development.  The 2012 bond act was New jersey’s first investment in higher education in a quarter century, and will pay dividends for generations to come for Garden State students, colleges and universities, and for New Jersey’s growth and prosperity.  We need to continue to invest in our future by providing resources today.”  Read more here.

What is a College Degree Worth?  

This commentary by Stockton President Harvey Kesselman appeared in the Courier-Post on October 5, 2017

October 6, 2017

Recent national surveys by such reputable organizations as Public Agenda and Pew Research indicate some American citizens are losing confidence in higher education.

The value of college is often measured only by earnings after graduation. This is a serious mistake that threatens our core values and hopes for a prosperous and secure future.

Higher education does lead to better lives and better societies, according to both national and global research.

For example, data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development show that every country among the 15 analyzed does better on virtually every measure of quality of life the more educated the citizens are. More education leads to better nutrition, better health care, less crime and higher wages, leading to a stronger economy.

This does not mean that everyone should go to college, nor that higher education is responsible for all prosperity. But there is a strong correlation between higher learning, individual achievement, prosperous societies and contributions to the common good. Read full story here

Kean University and Middlesex County College Sign Joint Admissions Agreement 

October 4, 2017

Kean University President Dawood Farahi, PhD, and Middlesex County college President Joann La Perla-Morales, EdD, on Tuesday, September 26, signed a Joint Admissions Agreement providing Middlesex County College (MCC) students provisional admission to Kean. Upon successful completion of their associate degree at MCC, students may gain full admission to one of a growing list of approved degree programs at Kean University.

“This new Joint Admissions Program provides students with a seamless route to earn a bachelor’s degree from Kean University – without wasting time or money taking credits that don’t transfer,” said Dr. Farahi. “This initiative also serves to extend the reach of Kean’s world-class programs, faculty, facilities and services to students who begin their studies at the community college.”

For the last five years, more than 200 Middlesex County College students have transferred to Kean each year, accounting for more than 15 percent of Kean’s transfer admissions population. Now, MCC students who enroll under the Joint Admissions Program will start experiencing a Kean University education from the start of freshman year, getting access to Kean’s faculty and advisors, as well as invitations to special campus programs and events.  Read full story here.

NJASCU is part of the Innovation NJ Coalition

Innovation NJ is a coalition of busineess and academia established to promote policies that foster an environment for innovation in the state that will: 

  • encourage increased private and public sector R&D and the commercialization of new medicines, technologies and products to improve our quality of life;
  • stimulate economic growth in New Jersey;
  • retain and advance high-paying jobs in the state;
  • retain and advance high-paying innovation-related jobs in the state; and
  • increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related graduates from New Jersey colleges and universities.

Learn more

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