Association Staff
Directors

Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
mwklein@njascu.org

Barbara Berreski, Esq.
Government & Legal Affairs
bberreski@njascu.org

Paul R. Shelly
Communications & Marketing
prshelly@njascu.org

Wendy A. Lang
Programs & Policy Initiatives
walang@njascu.org

Support Staff:

Patricia A. Stearman
Budget & Administration
pastearman@njascu.org

Charlene R. Pipher
Executive Assistant
crpipher@njascu.org

Theresa M. Toth
Secretary
tmtoth@njascu.org
Contact Info
New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities
150 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Email: info@njascu.org

Phone: (609) 989-1100
Fax: (609) 989-7017

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How are the higher education institutions of New Jersey Arrayed?

To what extent does the State of New Jersey control and coordinate the colleges and universities?

Why don't all the state's colleges have the same policies and practices?

How can you tell if one school's policies or practices are unique?

Why is Rutgers not a member of the state college/university association?

Who negotiates employee salaries and benefits at the state colleges/universities?  Who pays the cost of what is negotiated?

Can state colleges and universities accept private donations?  Can donors specify how funds are used?

Which of the above segments award the greatest number of bachelor's degrees?

Does everyone who applies to a state college or university get accepted?

Will four-year colleges accept credits from a course taken at a two-year college?

Who actually sets tuition at the state colleges?

What is the actual cost of education at a state college/university for a full-time student?

Does the public tend to underestimate or overestimate the cost of tuition?

 

HOW ARE THE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS OF NEW JERSEY ARRAYED?

In New Jersey, higher education is arrayed in various segments and includes the group of nine state colleges and universities (The College of New Jersey, Kean University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State College and William Paterson University); three public research universities (New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rowan University, and Rutgers University); nineteen county colleges (community colleges); and fourteen independent colleges and universities.  Higher education also includes several proprietary institutions and special purpose religious institutions.

TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY CONTROL AND
COORDINATE THE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES?
 

New Jersey colleges and universities are governed by institutional trustee boards and are coordinated through New Jersey Higher Education, an agency which is administered by the Secretary of Higher Education, with advice from the NJ Presidents' Council and others. State college and university trustee boards are composed of lay citizens appointed by the Governor, and confirmed by the Senate. Trustees serve six-year terms, which may be renewed. They serve as unpaid volunteers.

WHY DON'T ALL THE STATE'S COLLEGES HAVE THE SAME POLICIES AND PRACTICES? 

Rather than being part of a system governed by a single board and a set of rules, in New Jersey, four-year public higher education institutions are highly autonomous.  The latter is an American tradition associated with educational excellence.  This has been the case for the state colleges and universities since the 1985-1986 autonomy laws, which were strengthened by the restructuring of higher education in 1994.  Local trustee boards, which were created in 1966, today have a great deal of latitude in determining institutional policy and mission in service to the residents of the State of New Jersey.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF ONE SCHOOL'S POLICIES OR PRACTICES ARE UNIQUE? 

Check with other colleges.  Regarding the state colleges and universities, check with the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities.  You can also check with the Commission on Higher Education.  Other sources include the national higher education associations in  Washington, DC, such as American Association of State Colleges and Universities (policy issues) and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (governance).  The county colleges and independent colleges also have state policy/advocacy offices.

WHY IS RUTGERS NOT A MEMBER OF THE STATE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ASSOCIATION? 

Its history and law sets it apart from the state colleges/universities.  Six of the latter began as teacher training institutions, originally called "normal schools."  Rutgers started out as a church-related private (independent) school, later became a public institution and a multi-campus research university.  The state colleges/universities, Rowan, Rutgers and NJIT (which together make up New Jersey's twelve senior public institutions) are governed by similar but different sets of laws, and separate boards of trustees.

WHO NEGOTIATES EMPLOYEE SALARIES AND BENEFITS AT THE STATE COLLEGES/ UNIVERSITIES?  WHO PAYS THE COST OF WHAT IS NEGOTIATED? 

Labor's interests are served by unions.  The NJ Council of State College Locals AFT/AFL-CIO is the faculty's bargaining unit.  Management is represented by the NJ Governor's Office of Employee Relations (OER), with state college/university representatives on the management negotiation team.  The state pays benefits and in principle should pay in full state negotiated salary increases for employees.  However, the state does not ordinarily fund these increases, but instead passes the cost of raises on to colleges.

 

CAN STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ACCEPT PRIVATE DONATIONS? 
CAN DONORS SPECIFY HOW FUNDS ARE USED?
 

Yes.  The degree of self-governance trustee boards have, and the existence of institutional foundations, allow state colleges/universities to have a great deal of freedom to encourage private contributions and allow major donors to dedicate gifts.


Academic and Admissions

WHICH OF THE ABOVE SEGMENTS AWARD THE GREATEST NUMBER OF BACHELOR'S DEGREES?

 The state colleges and universities, including Rowan University, serve about 95,000 undergraduates annually are the leading source of bachelor's degrees in New Jersey.  Annually, these institutions award about 19,000 bachelor's degreeds.

DOES EVERYONE WHO APPLIES TO A STATE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY GET ACCEPTED?

No.  Admissions are competitive, but many who apply do get in.  Each public four-year institution has its own standards and unique set of applicants.  Typically, fewer than one-half of the applications to the freshman class at New Jersey state colleges result in an offer of admission.

WILL FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES ACCEPT CREDITS FROM A COURSE TAKEN AT A TWO-YEAR COLLEGE?

More than ever.  This is particularly true due to a well established agreement between the New Jersey state colleges and New Jersey community colleges.  When there is a good match between the learning objectives of a beginning (lower-level) course at a two-year college and advance courses at senior colleges; they are said to be "well-articulated." 

Two-year college students are well advised to remain in close contact with their advisors/counselors about their degree attainment goals. 


Costs

WHO ACTUALLY SETS TUITION AT THE STATE COLLEGES? 

Trustee boards set tuition based on anticipated costs of educational operations over the years ahead.  Before making a decision, they are required by law to hold open public hearings to allow comment from students and the general public.

WHAT IS THE ACTUAL COST OF EDUCATION AT A STATE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY FOR A FULL TIME STUDENT? 

The per student cost of delivering an undergraduate education to full-time students is about $20,000.  The state pays about $8,000 of that.  In tuition and fees, full-time students who are New Jersey residents pay on average $12,200 (less any aid they receive).  Full-time residential students pay, besides tuition, about $17,600 in room, board books and other costs per academic year.  Full-time tuition and fees, plus room and board and other academic costs total about $29,800 on average per year.

DOES THE PUBLIC TEND TO UNDERESTIMATE OR OVERESTIMATE THE COST OF TUITION? 

The public tends to overestimate the cost of tuition significantly for all categories of colleges, according to polls sponsored by the American Council on Education.