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

Governor Phil Murphy Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Communities with Opportunities for Valuable Public-Private Partnerships (P3 Legislation) 
August 14, 2018

Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, signed bipartisan legislation to further foster economic growth in New Jersey through public-private partnership (P3) agreements between government entities and the private sector for building and highway infrastructure projects in the state. The bill, S-865, provides for financial oversight and approval of these agreements by the State Treasurer.

The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) and its senior public higher education institutional members worked diligently to gain passage of this legislation and make sure that the law permitting these partnerships had no expiration or “sunset,” as did prior P3 legislation.

“Today, I’m proud to enact bipartisan legislation that gives our communities greater opportunities to benefit from common sense public-private partnerships for essential construction and capital projects,” said Governor Murphy. “Democrats and Republicans alike recognize the tremendous benefits that can arise when public officials and private sector partners work together. By doing so, we give state, county, and local officials the much-needed flexibility they need to improve their communities while creating good-paying new jobs – in most cases good, union jobs – while leveraging private capital to invest in public infrastructure.”

Governor Murphy signed the bill at The College of New Jersey’s Campus Town development, a $120 million residential and retail town center project built collaboratively with private-sector partners. “Campus Town is an enormously successful public-private partnership between The College of New Jersey and The PRC Group,” said TCNJ President Kathryn A. Foster at the signing event. “This 350,000 square foot development provides attractive housing, retail outlets and amenities that we did not have and would not have without a P3 agreement.”  Read more here.

William Paterson University Director of Jazz Studies Collaborates with Tony Bennett and Diana Krall on New Album, Love is Here to Stay 
August 13, 2018

Bill Charlap, internationally acclaimed pianist and director of William Paterson University’s Jazz Studies program, collaborated with music icons Tony Bennett and Diana Krall on Love Is Here to Stay, an all-Gershwin recording that features The Bill Charlap Trio. The Verve Records/Columbia Records album is set for a September 14 release.

Mr. Charlap, who joined William Paterson University in September 2015, is considered one of quintessential interpreters of the American Songbook. In addition to Mr. Bennett and Ms. Krall, he has performed with many leading artists from Phil Woods to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis.

His trio comprises Charlap on piano, Peter Washington on bass, and Kenny Washington on drums.

Not only does Love Is Here to Stay feature The Bill Charlap Trio, but Mr. Charlap also served as co-producer for the album, along with Grammy Award winner Dae Bennett and executive producer Danny Bennett. The album will be released on CD, vinyl, digital and streaming platforms.

In it, Mr. Bennett and Ms. Krall share their love of George and Ira Gershwin’s music, performing duets of “Love Is Here to Stay,” “S’Wonderful,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and “Fascinating Rhythm,” among the hit parade of Gershwin tunes.

Bill Charlap and Tony Bennett have a successful history together. They won a Grammy Award for their 2016 collaboration, The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern.

Stockton Board Approves Purchase of Large Mixed-Use Property in Atlantic City, Near New Boardwalk Campus

August 8, 2018

The Stockton University Board of Trustees on August 8 authorized moving forward with a purchase agreement with TJM Properties for property near the new Atlantic City campus that will open in September.

The property includes 11 upland lots totaling approximately nine acres, one beach lot totaling approximately 11 acres, a nine-level parking garage containing approximately 550,000 square feet for parking and approximately 50,000 square feet of office space, and a 23-story hotel tower and improvements. The site, formerly the Atlantic Club, has been unoccupied since 2014. The seller, as part of the final agreement, would demolish the hotel tower.

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said the proposed purchase is an investment in the future of both Stockton and Atlantic City. “We are buying our future,” Dr. Kesselman said. “And we are trying to make the best investment we can.”

President Kesselman said the proximity of the site to the new Atlantic City campus and the new University District makes this parcel attractive. “There is so much excitement around our new campus,” he said. “We want to be able to provide even more opportunities for New Jersey students to remain in the state to attend college."  Read more.

Stockton President Makes Compelling Statement on Campus Sexual Assault
August 7, 2018

Campus sexual assault: a reality that can’t be tolerated

In just a few weeks Stockton University will open a new campus in Atlantic City and welcome almost 1600 new freshmen to our campus in Galloway Township. They will arrive with the hopes and enthusiasm of those embarking on a great new adventure. Welcoming them and watching them grow to become civic-minded, responsible adults is the highlight of my job as president.

But in recent weeks several civil suits have been filed in federal court claiming that for some young women those hopes and enthusiasm have been shattered by sexual assault. 

That any student on our campus should have to fear for their safety is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Yet sexual assault on campus is a reality. According to a 2017 report by the American Association of Universities, 23.1 percent of females and 5.4 percent of male undergraduate students surveyed at their member institutions reported experiencing “nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching involving physical force or incapacitation” since entering college. These are shocking statistics. We know Stockton is not immune, and we continue to work diligently to educate and protect our students.

Nearly 9500 students attend Stockton, more than half of them women. We care for our students as they are cherished members of our community. But, as we all know, no matter how hard we try we cannot always shelter those we care about from heartbreak and tragedy. 

With recent reporting and heightened awareness of sexual misconduct in our society, it’s only natural we ask ourselves “Are we doing enough?” In response, we could produce a long list of all the warnings, programs, policies and procedures we initiate and support to protect our students. But this would suggest that somehow there is a line, an end to what can be done. As long as sexual assault occurs in our society, there is no “enough.” 

We can feel no pride in having done all the right things if a victimized student sits with a counselor and says she is too distraught to attend class. We are extremely proud and supportive of the work our staff does every day, educating, counseling and supporting victims, often at a moment’s notice, at any time of the day or night. They exemplify our motto of “Students First.”

We are also proud of the students who have actively stood up and spoken out about sexual assault including our fraternities and sororities who have taken a leadership role in supporting sexual assault awareness initiatives such as the Teal Ribbon Program. 

As a university we will continue, from orientation to graduation, to build a culture where we respect and care for each other. We will continue to work with law enforcement to hold predators accountable. 

For any student who has been victimized, or knows of someone who has, please do not remain silent. No student should fear coming forward. We will stand with you. 

As I look at the new buildings we have built, the new campus we are opening, I am excited at the opportunities they offer New Jersey students. But it is our students, not the buildings, who create the Stockton community. It is a welcoming, generous and caring community, one that cherishes each member and stands up to those who would do them harm. 

Stockton University represents many things to different people: Education. Opportunity. Friendships. But to me and many others, Stockton means family.

As we prepare to open in September, I ask our South Jersey community to stand with us and support us as we welcome a new campus and a new class of Ospreys. We will take care of each other. Our students deserve nothing less.

_ Harvey Kesselman, president, Stockton University

Ramapo College Student is Sworn in as a Board Member of NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) 
August 7, 2018

Ramapo College Student Government President Stephan Lally was sworn in as a board member of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) in a ceremony at the organization’s office in Hamilton Township, NJ on Thursday, July 25, 2018. Stephan qualified for a one-year term with voting privileges on the HESAA board, when he became chair of the HESAA Student Advisory Committee.

“It is an honor and privilege to be able to continue my service to the students of Ramapo College thanks to my seat on the HESAA Board. I am looking forward to working with the HESAA Student Advisory Committee and the Student Advisory Committee Vice Chair Michael Scardina, as well as HESAA Executive Director David Socolow in making higher education in New Jersey more affordable and accessible for students across the state,” said Stephan, Ramapo class of 2020, and resident of Woodbridge, NJ.

HESAA is the only New Jersey state agency with the sole mission of providing students and families with financial and informational resources for students to pursue their education beyond high school. Stephan said he was “particularly excited” to be a HESAA board member during the Murphy Administration, because the governor has put affordable higher education at the forefront of its agenda. Read more.

William Paterson University Radio Station is One of Five Stations in Nation Nominated for Prestigious National Award 
July 27, 2018

William Paterson University’s student-run radio station, WPSC-FM (88.7) in Wayne, NJ, is one of five finalists in the nation and the only station in the Northeast nominated for the 2018 Marconi Award for “Noncommercial Station of the Year.”

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2018 Marconi Radio Awards on July 16, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. The winners will be announced September 27, 2018, at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show in Orlando, Florida. In addition to WPSC-FM, other nominees in the category include KHJK-FM in Rocklin, CA; WEEM-FM in Pendleton, IN; WUFT-FM in Gainesville, FL; and WWOZ-FM in New Orleans, LA.  Read more.

Rowan University Launches BA Degree in Sports Communication and Media - Unique in the Region 
July 29, 2018

Rowan University’s College of Communication & Creative Arts (CCCA) announced the launch of a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Communication & Media (Sports CAM) degree, a unique-in-the-region program that focuses on the role communication and media play within the sports industry.

The program offers four sports communication-related concentrations: communication studies; journalism; public relations/advertising; and radio, television and film.

CCCA Dean Stanford Tweedie said the college, which for generations has prepared students for a variety of communication and media careers, created the 39-credit baccalaureate program and a shorter-sequenced minor to position graduates for an important market segment.  Read more.

TCNJ Nursing Students Trained to Assist in Local Public Health Emergencies 
July 30, 2018

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) students continue to make a difference in the public health sector of our communities across the state and beyond.

Over the last two years, 70 TCNJ nursing students have been trained on the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) curriculum through collaboration with the Mercer County Division of Public Health.

These student MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources in preparing for and responding to emergencies at the local level. By having its own MRC team, TCNJ is able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster or emergency.

“This past year we have certainly seen major disasters from wildfires in California to floods in the Midwest,” said Carole Kenner, Dean of TCNJ’s School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science. 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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