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

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Association Staff

Barbara Berreski, JD, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Director, Government & Legal Affairs



Patricia S. Berry

Chief Operating Officer


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Public Affairs


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.

Supreme Court Upheld Presidential Travel Ban
June 26, 2018

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld Presidential Proclamation 9645 which imposed restrictions on the entry of citizens of eight countries into the United States (Chad was removed from the list in a revised Proclamation on April 10, 2018).

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) was one of the higher education associations that submitted an amicus brief in support of the state of Hawaii and in opposition to the Administration. Today, AASCU president Mildred Garcia issued a statement expressing regret about the Court’s decision.

We believe the ban and the Court’s ruling will continue to damage US standing overseas and further cement the perception that America is less welcoming to international students than it has historically been. The Proclamation – the third version of the travel ban – does include exceptions for international student and scholar visa categories for all but three of the countries listed (Syria, North Korea, and Somalia). In the case of Iranians, however, who represent the largest group of international students and scholars affected by this order, continued eligibility for “F,” “M,” and “J” visas will be conditioned upon unspecified “enhanced screening” which may serve as a de facto method of preventing their entry or re-entry into the United States.

Several higher education associations have banded together to form a powerful voice for DACA reform.  See their letter to Congressman Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, here.

Reform of the State College Contracts Law: An Urgent Priority

June 14, 2018

New Jersey state colleges and universities fully support these important bills, which reform the State College Contracts Law – the highest legislative priority for the state institutions.  The State College Contracts Law (SCCL) is a 32-year-old law establishing the procedures that the state colleges and universities must follow in order to enter into contracts, purchase goods and services, and construct buildings on their campuses.

The proposed changes will save the colleges and universities millions of dollars and allow them to be more efficient and nimble institutions.  They will be allowed to offer a more affordable education while preserving the high-quality education for which New Jersey institutions are renowned.  Also noteworthy, this legislation will directly lead to significant positive economic impact for the state without costing the taxpayers a single additional dollar.  No one is asking for any money from the state.  New Jersey’s senior public higher education institutions are just asking for the ability to use their limited resources in the most prudent and productive manner for the public good.  Read more here.


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.

NJ State Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley (District 20), New Jersey City University, Class of 2002; Kean University, Class of 2006

“The first,” “the youngest,” “the most” are superlatives defining New Jersey State Assemblyman Jamel C. Holley, a New Jersey City University undergraduate alumnus and Kean University graduate alumnus. His goal is to embrace a public service career that would be defined by yet another superlative – “the best,” specifically “the best” at helping others.

In 2002, Jamel earned his B.S. in criminal justice from New Jersey City University (NJCU) and followed that in 2006 with an M.A. in public administration from Kean University. He was the first in his family to go to college.

In 2001, before he even finished NJCU, Mr. Holley was appointed by New Jersey’s deputy majority leader to serve as chief of staff. That appointment earned him as the youngest chief of staff in the State of New Jersey for any of New Jersey’s 120 Legislators.

On November 2, 2004, Mr. Holley at the age of 25 won the seat of councilman in the Borough of Roselle, and, by doing so, he earned the designation as the youngest councilman in Union County. In November 2011, Mr. Holley became Mayor Holley, and became the youngest mayor ever elected in Roselle’s 117-year history.

Most recently, in January 2015, Assemblyman Holley was appointed to fill a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 20th Legislative District (including the municipalities of Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle, Union). By doing so, Mr. Holley became the first African-American to represent the 20th Legislative District in the New Jersey State Legislature.

Assemblyman Holley describes himself as a most passionate supporter of New Jersey’s public education system (K-16), because he never would have acquired all the professional superlatives without “the amazing educational support.”   Read more.

See our previous alumni profiles here.

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

New Jersey City University’s Center for the Arts Announces its Inaugural Director
July 16, 2018

New Jersey City University (NJCU) announces the appointment of Stephanie Chaiken as the inaugural full-time director of the NJCU Center for the Arts, a cultural hub for diverse performing, visual, film, and literacy arts in Jersey City and the surrounding metro-area.

Ms. Chaiken, a director with 25 years of experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, specializes in leadership, fundraising and community development for arts, education, and performance organizations. She was selected following a national search, and her appointment is effective July 16, 2018.

In announcing the appointment, President Sue Henderson said, “We are delighted to have Stephanie Chaiken, a talented professional with extensive experience in the arts, as a driving force on our creative team and as the inaugural director of NJCU’s Center for the Arts.”

“Nurturing and promoting the arts in the Jersey City community is one of our top priorities. We have achieved much since establishing the Center in 2016, and with Stephanie’s savvy and experience, we anticipate making many more contributions to cultural diversity and opportunity in Jersey City and Hudson County.”

The director of the Center for the Arts will work closely with Jason Kroll, NJCU vice president and chief strategy officer, who commented that “Ms. Chaiken will have the opportunity to assist the university in strengthening and expanding its arts identity and initiatives at a critical time in our development. NCJU is fortunate to have Stephanie on board to collaborate with our senior executive team, our faculty and staff, civic and arts community leaders, and members of the Center’s Arts Advisory Board, who are key individuals in the metropolitan cultural community.

“Ms. Chaiken will build upon the solid foundation that Alyssa Alpine so capably constructed in an advisory capacity as the Center for the Arts moved from concept to the thriving cultural resource it is today.”  Read more.

Stockton Polling Institute Predicts Winners and is a Winner 
July 12, 2018

John Froonjian, a senior research associate at Stockton University has lots of opinions. Best of all, he gets paid to express them, but the opinions belong to others.

Soliciting opinions via opinion polls and then compiling and analyzing the results make up the “extremely gratifying” job of John Froonjian, who runs the Stockton Polling Institute, part of the Stockton University Hughes Center for Public Policy. Since 2012, he has immersed himself in thousands of opinions responding to hundreds of questions, a job that has provided academic researchers, administrators, business owners, and elected officials with information needed to carry out their work successfully.

The Stockton Polling Institute conducts independent public opinion polling on elections and issues of importance in southern New Jersey and across the state. It conducts about a dozen polls each year for the public, Stockton faculty, Stockton administrators and non-Stockton private clients.

A point of pride is that Stockton’s polls themselves are winners. Stockton’s final election polls always have predicted the correct winner. In addition, they predicted the winning spread within the margin error for president in 2016 and governor in 2017. Stay tuned for the upcoming elections in November 2018.

Stockton’s distinction among academic polling centers in New Jersey is two-fold: 1) it is one of the very few polling centers who poll at the legislative district level; and 2) it has its own calling center.

“We have a staff of 90-120 interviewers, the vast majority of them being Stockton students, who make the calls from a dedicated call center right on the Stockton campus. This provides some student employment that also teaches qualitative research skills. The only downside is that it does limit the times when we can conduct polling to the academic year, when students are available to work,” said John.

As soon as the students return to school in a few weeks, the call center will be buzzing with calls about the open Congressional District Two race. The race may generate a higher response rate than usual, and “usual” these days generally means a low response rate.

“This is how it is with many polling operations today, response rates are extremely low, sometimes in the single digits …. Fortunately, research has shown that low response rates have not hurt accuracy when good methodology is employed. We definitely find that interesting poll topics produce greater participation,” said John, who noted that the past year featured “interesting” topics with healthy response rates. Topics included: marijuana legalization, Governor Murphy, President Trump, gun control, immigration, New Jersey’s economy, and federal income tax overhaul. Read more.

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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