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Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD

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Barbara Berreski, Esq.

Government & Legal Affairs


Patricia A. Berry

Budget & Administration


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Marketing


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Charlene R. Pipher

Executive Assistant/Web Design


Terry Toth

Part-Time Secretarial Assistant


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New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities

150 West State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

609-989-1100 office

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Mahwah College Students Pledge to End Sexual Assault
April 3, 2017

Student athletes at Ramapo College of New Jersey pledged recently to help end sexual assault as part of the Its On us campaign.

The nationwide campaign is an attempt to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations where sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not been given and create an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

Several collegiate athletic conferences, international companies and media outlets have partnered together and taken the pledge.

SOMSD Heat Mapping Project Wins $8,000 in Sustainable Jersey Competition
April 1, 2017

The presentations and on-site judging of Sustainable Jersey’s ever civic tech competition, Coding for Community, took place recently at The College of New Jersey, which is where Sustainable Jersey is based. Competing teams working with 10 municipalities presented their civic tech solutions to an audience and judges for prizes. Encore Dev Labs came away with the first-place prize for its project which maps overheating in SOMSD classrooms. AT&T provided $10,000 to Sustainable Jersey to use for prize money. The winning team received $8,000, free co-working space at a premiere location and coaching sessions with a venture capitalist and digital marketer.

County College of Morris Partners with Montclair to Work on Grant
April 1, 2017

County College of Morris’ Department of Psychology and Education will be partnering with a Montclair State University team that has received a three-year, $1.1 million National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant for its project “Preparing the Effective Elementary Mathematics Teacher.” Eligible Montclair State University mathematics majors will soon take part in an innovative collaborative program that addresses the shortage of high-quality science, technology, engineering and math teachers by preparing them to teach math in the New Jersey elementary schools that need them most.

Stockton Sets Date for Island Campus Groundbreaking
March 31, 2017

Stockton University celebrated the groundbreaking of its Island Campus in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Gateway Project, which includes the university’s new Island Campus, will had an official groundbreaking on April 20th. Governor Chris Christie was a speaker.

The Gateway Project is a public and private partnership between the Atlantic City Development Corporation, South Jersey Industries, and Stockton. The completed site will feature Stockton’s highly anticipated Atlantic City residential campus, along with new offices for South Jersey Gas and a parking garage.

Stockton officials say that they plan to have the campus open in 2018.

DCO Energy to Develop State-of-the-Art Micro-Grid System at Montclair State University
March 28, 2017

DCO Energy and Montclair State University are pleased to announce that they are expanding their existing partnership to create and develop a state-of-the-art “Micro Grid” on the institution’s campus.

Upon completion of this new project, Montclair State University will be one of only a few educational institutions in New Jersey to have a fully integrated Micro Grid, a localized energy grid with independent control capabilities, including automatic disconnect from the traditional grid if an outage occurs and the ability for the system to operate autonomously.

This project follows the success of the Combined Heating, Cooling and Power (CHCP) project that DCO staff developed and has been operating on the Montclair State University campus since 2012. Results of the CHCP project include lower energy costs related to electric, heating and cooling, improved efficiency and a reduction of the University’s overall carbon footprint. The capability for expansion was built into the original system, and has facilitated other new capital projects which have further benefitted the University.

Expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Micro Grid is a fully integrated, all-inclusive form of power that will create numerous benefits for Montclair State University. Perhaps most noteworthy among them is the fact that, upon completion of the project, the University will be able to operate completely independent of local utilities when required, enabling the institution to control its own power usage and costs while benefitting from more reliable power delivery.

Moody’s Investors Service Downgrades New Jersey’s General Obligation Rating from A2 to A3
March 28, 2017

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded to A3 from A2 New Jersey’s general obligation rating. The ratings on the state’s appropriation-backed debt, other GO related debt, moral obligation debt, intercept programs and certain special tax bonds that require state appropriation have also been downgraded by one notch. The downgrade affects approximately $37 billion of rated debt. The outlook on the state’s ratings has also been revised to stable. The downgrade to A3 reflects the continued negative impact of significant pension underfunding, including growth in the state’s large long-term liabilities, a persistent structural imbalance, and weak fund balances. Despite the state’s significant increases in pension contributions since fiscal 2012, contributions remain well below the actuarial recommended contribution and unfunded pension debt continues to grow. The downgrade also reflects the expectation that the statutory pension contribution schedule will be increasingly difficult to meet given the lack of structural budget adjustments to incorporate General Fund tax reductions that took effect in January 2017 (Chapter 57) and the state’s reliance on optimistic revenue growth assumptions to balance the budget. Without balancing actions, the recent tax cuts will reduce revenues by $1.1 billion by fiscal 2021 and strain the state’s ability to resolve its large structural imbalance in the near term.

Editorial: SGA Legislators Show Cowardice on Sanctuary Campus Vote
March 25, 2017

Montclair State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) must be accepting applications due to the insufficient and cowardly student leadership on display in the wake of the sanctuary campus bill.

After two weeks of excuses and unproductive meetings, the SGA finally made a decision on the bill proposal. Against the will of the Montclair State community, the SGA anonymously voted against the bill, which would have recommended to administration that Montclair State should become the first official sanctuary campus in New Jersey.

While many are upset over the outcome of the vote, nothing is quite as upsetting as the way in which the SGA handled the entire matter. On the SGA’s HawkSync page, it says the SGA is run by student leaders who work “closely with [the] administration to serve the student body.” Yet, since the inception of the sanctuary campus bill, the SGA has only acted as a disservice to the student body.

Rowan Food Pantry Combats Campus Hunger, Stigma
March 24, 2017

Graduates look back on their undergrad years as their poorest, scraping pennies together for insanely cheap packages of microwaveable Ramen noodles and mac and cheese.

The joke isn’t funny anymore. Rowan University student Rbrey Singleton said Wednesday as he stood between aisles of canned goods in the school’s first student food pantry he founded. The SHOP – Students Helping Other Profs – opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

“We made a joke out of college students being hungry,” Singleton said. “It’s not funny. It’s a health issue, and it affects people in the long run. If you can’t eat, you can’t be focused on the calculus exam you have the next morning.”

William Paterson University Presents “Explorations 2017”: Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression Across All Academic Disciplines with Series of Events in April
March 24, 2017

Explorations 2017: Research, Scholarship and Creative Expression, a series of events showcasing research across all five colleges at William Paterson University in Wayne, will be held from April 4 through April 28, 2017. Events include lectures, presentations of faculty and student research and awards, Honors Week student presentations, a faculty authors celebration and poster sessions.

“We are very proud of the wide range of research, scholarly and creative work conducted on an ongoing basis by our faculty and students in all of our academic disciplines,” says Warren Sandmann, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Exploration 2017 provides an opportunity for us to celebrate their many accomplishments with several important events.”

Businesses Worry That Too Many Millennials Headed Out of New Jersey
March 23, 2017

Last year, the size of the nation’s millennial generation grew enough to top baby boomers and become the largest of the five living generations. But in New Jersey, business leaders are tracking a different trend as millennials have been leaving the state at a higher rate than other groups. The New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA) hosted a daylong conference on March 21, 2017 in East Windsor on the issue of millennials and the state workforce. Among the presenters were Dr. Sue Henderson, president of New Jersey City University, and Dr. Ali Houshmand, president of Rowan University. NJASCU CEO Michael Klein was part of the NJBIA-led planning committee for this event.

The loss of millennials is not only a waste of taxpayer investment in their K-12 education, but there are also concerns that it could be having a broader impact on a state economy that has taken several years to fully recover from the Great Recession.

That’s caused business leaders to begin talking about ways to keep New Jersey’s millennials from leaving the state in the first place, as well as doing things to attract millennials from other states as they launch their careers, and as more and more boomers here reach retirement age.

“It’s a challenge that is screaming out for some attention and some solutions,” said Michele Siekerka, president and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association

New Jersey to Universities: Act as ‘Safe Zones’ for Illegal Alien Students
March 23, 2017

Looks like the state legislature for New Jersey is formally asking their state universities to act as “safe zones” for illegal alien students in their state. Stockton University was the first to say it will accept the invitation.

Looks like the state legislature avoided the controversial terms “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary campus” to ask for universities to become “safe zones.”

Good Financial Stewardship Means Fulfilling Our Educational Missions
March 22, 2017

This piece is an op-ed contributed by Daniel Julius, Senior Vice President and Provost of New Jersey City University.

Greater fiscal stability for the nation’s colleges and universities can be achieved right inside our classrooms. That’s the important finding of a new paper released this month by the American Council on Education (ACE). The report, Instructional Quality, Student Outcomes, and Institutional Finances, demonstrates that efforts to improve instructional quality lead to stronger rates of student retention and graduation, generating tuition revenue that outweighs the cost of the investment. This report could not be better timed. The erosion of financial support for public higher education institutions over the past decade is starting to look permanent. For example, here in New Jersey the governor’s executive budget keeps our operational funds flat, at levels 23% below what they were in 2008.

Ramapo Readers Program Honored by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey and COMMERCE Magazine
March 22, 2017

Ramapo College of New Jersey was recognized for its volunteer efforts when the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine recently hosted their Fourth Annual Chairman’s Reception – paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of the business community.

The College’s Ramapo Readers program was among the thirty-nine entities, including leading manufacturers, retailers, hospitals, banks and colleges and universities, who were honored as “Champions of Good Works” at the gala reception, attended by more than 260 business executives.

“The Ramapo Readers Program is fueled by the good will, compassion, and contagious energy of the students, faculty, and staff of Ramapo College. It is initiative of which I am proud to be a part and one that I trust will continue to grow,” said Peter P. Mercer, President of Ramapo College.

Ramapo Readers is an ongoing book drive initiated by student and faculty volunteers of the College and supported by generous donors throughout the College and community.

The project began in 2006 when faculty spearheaded through students of the Social Work Club a textbook drive to provide books for the devastated South University library in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. In all, 7,500 books were shipped.

To sustain the project, Ramapo Readers has since shifted its focus to help local organizations and schools, including 52 public schools in Paterson. Students of the Social Work Club have expanded their efforts to establish additional collection points throughout the community as well as on campus. Their commitment to the project has resulted in the collection and distribution of approximately 134,000 books of all genres and appropriate for all age groups. True to its mission, Ramapo Readers is changing the world, one reader at a time.

CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy organization, representing more than 950 corporate members from every industry sector. The organization asked the business community to share stories of its philanthropy. Their stories became a special section of the March issue of COMMERCE Magazine that was distributed at the reception, which was held at the elegant Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville.

NJIRA Teams Up With Thomas Edison State University for Staff Development
March 21, 2017

The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) is hoping to boost its effectiveness through staff development, partnering with Thomas Edison State University to help employees complete college degree programs, the two announced Tuesday. Thomas Edison and NJRA said in a news release that a recent survey found that 61 percent of employers offer undergraduate tuition assistance, while 59 percent offer graduate tuition assistance. “The partnership with Thomas Edison allows the NJRA employees to continually grow in their respective roles to serve the community,” Leslie Anderson, NJRA’s executive director, said in a prepared statement. “Providing the staff the opportunity to grow personally and professionally strengthens our effectiveness as an organization.”

Fears for New Jersey if Federal Budget is Slashed
March 16, 2017

Looming large over this year’s legislative review of Gov. Chris Christie’s latest budget proposal is the uncertainty of federal budget cuts. Yesterday, advocate after advocate told lawmakers that state programs and appropriations will be in danger if the federal budget is slashed as deeply as many expected. Lawmakers are in the midst of a series of public hearings on Christie’s proposed budget for the state’s next fiscal year, a process that in the last few years has influenced several changes made to the governor’s original spending plan.

What exactly gets hits and how deep the cuts will be largely remains to be seen though more information could be released as early as today. But with New Jersey’s fiscal year beginning on July 1, and the federal fiscal year starting on October 1, the impact of the potential federal cuts was on the minds of many who testified during a hearing held yesterday to collect public comments on Christie’s proposed $35.5 billion spending plan for the 2018 fiscal year.

$34 Million Boost for NJ Colleges and Universities Now Law
March 14, 2017

Gov. Chris Christie signed a law Monday that appropriates $34 million for facility improvements at New Jersey colleges and universities, including the renovation of an academic hall at William Paterson University and the conversion of a vacant warehouse owned by Passaic County Community College into a technology center. The sum represents the balance of a $750 million general obligation bond issue that voters approved in 2012 as part of the Building Our Future Bond Act, which dedicated $300 million to Rutgers, Rowan and the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the remainder to other state colleges and universities, county colleges and private institutions. NJASCU worked with the reporter to provide the analysis and facts for this story.

NJCU Offers Free Workshops to Support Local Arts Organizations
March 13, 2017

NJCU Center for the Arts and the NJCU Arts Advisory Board are sponsoring a series of three free workshops, beginning in March, as part of a larger effort to support local arts organizations and artists and encourage dialogues to shape the cultural landscape of the arts in Jersey City and the region.

The series opened on Thursday, March 16 with a program on Capacity Building for Arts Organizations. The workshop, intended for those who wish to grow their arts organization, will provide a roadmap of best practices in marketing, fundraising and board development for small to mid-sized non-profit art organizations, and for all who are interested in attending.

$42.72 Billion
March 13, 2017

The latest official state borrowing totals released by the Department of Treasury last week indicated bonded debt decreased slightly during the 2016 fiscal year to $42.72 billion. For context, New Jersey’s current total for bonded debt is still among the highest of all states, and it remains larger than New Jersey’s current annual budget of $34.6 billion.

The 1 percent reduction in bonded debt from last year’s total of $43.23 billion followed a year in which the state’s Transportation Trust Fund ground to a halt for several months as Gov. Chris Christie and lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a way to renew the fund. A 23-cent gas-tax hike was eventually enacted on November 1 to create a new source of dedicated revenue for the TTF.

State Approves Mullica Hill Hospital Next to Rowan University
March 12, 2017

N.J. Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett has approved Inspira Health Network’s application to build a new 204-bed hospital on Routes 322 and 55, next to property owned by Rowan University in Mullica Hill. In a statement released Saturday, Inspira’s president and CEO, John DiAngelo, called the approval a “significant step” in the process to build a new medical center in Gloucester County. The $326 million hospital will replace Inspira’s existing hospital on North Broad Street in Woodbury, about 10 miles away.


Obamacare Repeal Could Be Bad for Business - EducationDive.com (March 10, 2017)
Stockton Student Veterans Travel Greece Odyssey March 2017 - Stockton.edu (March 10, 2017)
William Paterson University Student-Run Radio Station Named Nation’s Best - Fios1News.com (March 8, 2017)
Here’s How NJ College Students Can Save $21,000 in Tuition - NJ.com (March 8, 2017)
Rowan College at Gloucester County Wants to Change the Two-Year School Paradigm - EducationDive.com (March 8, 2017)
Candidates for Governor Struggle to Qualify for Public Funds to Take on Murphy’s Millions - NJBiz.com and Politico.com (March 8, 2017)
Stockton University Poll: NJ Residents for the Most Part Have Little Faith in News Media - Stockton.edu/HughesCenter (March 8, 2017)
Senate Overturns Obama-Era Regulations on Teacher Preparation - WashingtonPost.com (March 8, 2017)

NJCU Gains National Ranking Improving Students Economic Futures - NJCU.edu (March 8, 2017)

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