Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD
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.
In Honor of
Fred J. Abbate,
NJASCU Trustee, a Man for All Seasons
August 17, 2017
Fred J. Abbate, Thomas Edison State University’s (TESU) longest serving board member (30 consecutive years from 1987 to 2017) and a New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) trustee representative from 2009 to 2017, died on Friday, August 10, 2017 after a brief illness. The 77-year-old, well known among his friends and colleagues as a Renaissance man, was a philosopher, author, playwright, musician, teacher, business executive, husband, father of three, and grandfather of seven. He brought wisdom, joy, and humanity to every individual he touched in his professional and personal roles. NJASCU institutions and staff were so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him and benefit from his advice that was always dispensed with humility and humor. Read more.
NJASCU Statement on Senate Bill No. 3281/Assembly Bill No. 4969
Establishes Montclair State University as a Public Research University
July 21, 2017
We congratulate Montclair State University on the enactment today of the legislation designating the institution as a public research university.
Montclair has a long history of distinguished contributions to the students and residents of New Jersey, and its evolution from a teachers’ college to a public research university reflects how its mission has kept pace with the needs of the state.
Key provisions in the Montclair State legislation remove the institution from restrictions under the State College Contracts Law for procurement and construction. The State College Contracts Law is 31 years old and constrains the operation of the remaining state colleges and universities. The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, in its December 2010 report, stated that the State College Contracts Law restricts the ability of these institutions to enter long-range contracts, slows the pace of construction, and increases procurement and construction costs.
The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, chaired by former Governor Tom Kean, endorsed a recommendation from the New Jersey Presidents’ Council to revise many provisions of the State College Contracts Law. The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities looks forward to working with the legislators to cut red tape in the New Jersey’s laws to enable all the state colleges and universities to serve New Jersey’s residents more effectively and efficiently.
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.
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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.
Alison Banks-Moore, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Class of 1977
Alison Banks-Moore gets goosebumps of inspiration – as opposed to tears of nostalgia – when thinking of her commencement from Ramapo College in 1977. The commencement speaker was Shirley Chisholm, politician, educator, and author, who became the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress, where she served for seven terms representing parts of New York City from 1969 to 1983.
Congresswoman Chisholm’s words and example reinforced for Ms. Banks-Moore the essence of her Ramapo experience – connecting with others for the purpose of helping others. Instead of being apprehensive about leaving the nurturing next of Ramapo, Ms. Banks-Moore, who earned a B.A. in Contemporary Arts, felt excited about flying from the nest and facing whatever personal and professional challenges were in her future. Read more.
Previous Alumni Profiles:
John Reitmeyer, The College of New Jersey, Class of 1997 (Featured June 2017)
James J. Florio, The College of New Jersey, Class of 1962 (Featured May 2017)
Nelida Valentin, Stockton University, Class of 1986 (Featured March/April 2017)
Mohamad Bassel Khair, Montclair State University, Class of 2013 (Featured February 2017)
Robin Schwartz, William Paterson University, Class of 1979 (Featured January 2017)
Denis Onieal, New Jersey City University, Class of 1976 (Featured November/December 2016)
Kenneth Lacovara, Rowan University, Class of 1984 (Featured October 2016)
NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band (Featured September 2016)
Dean Peter Straub, Stockton University, Class of 1980 (Featured August 2016)
David Keefe, Montclair State University, MFA, 2009 (Featured July 2016)
Kayleigh Shangle and James Shangle, The College of New Jersey (Featured June 2016)
Edward Shannon, Ramapo College of New Jersey, 85 (Featured May 2016)
Joanne Robinson, William Paterson University School of Nursing, '75 (Featured March 2016/April 2016)
Danielle Kovach, New Jersey City University, '01 (Featured February 2016/March 2016)
Patricia Powell, William Paterson University, '73 (Featured January 2016/February 2016)
Harvey Kesselman, Stockton University, '79 (Featured December 2015/January 2016)
Lamont Repollet, The College of New Jersey, '94, Kean University, '00 (Featured November/December 2015)
Dennis Devery, Thomas Edison State University, '05 (Featured October 2015)
Lester E. Taylor, III, Montclair State University, '97 (Featured September 2015)
A.J. Sabath, Ramapo College, '93 (Featured August 2015)
Rick Ricciardi, Stockton University, '76 (Featured July 2015)
Quick Takes (below) are current brief updates on legislative and policy issues being followed by NJASCU
August 15, 2017
Stockton University has been approved by the Panamanian Ministry of Education to offer training to teachers from Panama as part of the government’s Bilingue Initiative.
The University has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Universidad Latina de Panama to expand opportunities for Stockton students to study in Panama.
The Panama Bilingue initiative is a national effort to improve public education and economic development in the country by increasing the English language fluency of its citizens. Read more here.
July 17, 2017
The New Jersey Association of State College and Universities asked its members to provide one example of a significant research initiative taking place on their respective campuses. Even though some schools just provided one example, other schools provided several. One administrator said, “we couldn’t decide which project was more important.” All the projects are significant and impressive and illustrative of the fact that the NJASCU schools have extensive research portfolios. Read more here.
July 11, 2017
The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) President R. Barbara Gitenstein, the first woman to serve as the school’s president, announced at the July 11 meeting of the college’s board of trustees that she will retire in June 2018 at the conclusion of the coming academic year. It will mark the end of a nearly 20-year tenure, the third longest in the college’s 162-year history. She is the first woman to serve as president.
“This was not a decision I arrived at easily, but the timing is right for the institution, for my family and for me,” said Dr. Gitenstein, who assumed office on January 1, 19999. “It has been the highlight of my professional career to have served as president of this extraordinary institution.”
“With deep respect and admiration, the board of trustees has accepted President Gitenstein’s intention to retire,” said Jorge Caballero, chair of the board. “Under Dr. Gitenstein’s leadership, the college has continued to pursue a path of excellence ….” Read more 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.