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

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 seven senior public institutions of higher education:  The College of New Jersey, Kean 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.

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet 

Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Offer Guidelines on Complying with the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet Law

New Jersey Public Law 2019, c.201 was signed into law on July 30, 2019.  This law requires all public and independent institutions of higher education and all proprietary institutions licensed by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to offer academic degrees to provide a financial aid “shopping sheet” to each prospective student as part of the institution’s financial aid offer to that student.  This law takes effect for financial aid offers to students starting with the 2020-2021 academic year.

This guidance is designed to assist institutions in complying with this new law.  All postsecondary education institutions covered by this law are required to provide this information to students using only one of the following two options:


Option A:  the model Shopping Sheet prescribed by the N.J. Secretary of Higher Education; or

Option B:  the most current financial aid shopping sheet developed by the U.S. Department of Education or the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Read full alert.

Testimony before Assembly Budget Committee Hearing

On behalf of The New Jersey Presidents' Council, which represents our state's fifty-seven public and private, two and four-year colleges and universities, Dr. Harvey Kesselman, chair of the NJ Presidents' Council, testified before the Assembly Budget Committee Hearing on Wednesday, May 1st.

Dr. Kesselman first applauded Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Zakiya Smith-Ellis and her staff, on the creation of an urgently needed strategic plan for higher education.

He also commended the Governor and legislature for re-establishing the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology, and for the focus on furthering an innovation economy.

These are two extremely important initiatives given that our national economy has experienced significant job growth and is increasingly dependent upon highly credentialed individuals.

Read full alert.


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.

David Fried: Mayor of Robbinsville, NJ; Rowan University/Glassboro State College, Class of 1989

April 2019

Robbinsville, New Jersey Mayor David Fried and the internationally renowned NJ research institution Rowan University share some common experiences that define their respective successes over the past several years.  They both are associated with a name change and major economic growth that includes the creation of a vibrant town center.  Furthermore, they are linked to one another not by marriage – but by a bachelor’s degree.  Mayor Fried is a 1989 political science graduate of Rowan University.


When Dave Fried went to Rowan, it was known as Glassboro State College. And when Dave was at Glassboro, Robbinsville was Washington Township. Neither Robbinsville nor Glassboro at the time had a thriving town center. And neither entity had yet acquired the reputation of being an economic engine of growth. Over the past 25 years, Rowan has transitioned from a well-regarded local comprehensive college that once focused primarily on teacher education to a world-renowned research university. During this same timeframe, Mayor Fried has gone from being a recent college grad with a startup business to a renowned New Jersey local government leader, as well as a business leader in the area of human resource management.


“I loved my years at Glassboro State College.  It was a great college experience while giving me the basic skills – acquired through my classes as well as in extracurricular activities – to succeed in life,” said Mayor Fried, a native New Jerseyan who grew up in Hightstown, NJ.


Multiple press accounts about Dave Fried have used the word “successful” when describing both his political and professional achievements.  The “successful” mayor of Robbinsville, NJ, Dave Fried is in his fourth term as mayor after first being selected to fill an unexpired term in 2000 under the prior township committee form of government.


As a committeeman, Mr. Fried was successful in helping to achieve the change to be the nonpartisan, strong mayor form of government that voters approved overwhelmingly in 2004.  He became the first Robbinsville mayor directed elected by the voters, was sworn in on July 1, 2005, and then reelected and reelected and reelected (most recently, in 2017).  Read more.

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

Thomas Edison to Offer 3+1 Bachelor’s Degrees to New Jersey Community College Students
August 23, 2019

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) has just established the NJ 3+1 Pathways program that allows New Jersey community college students to transfer up to 90 community college credits and then complete the remaining 30 credits required for graduation at TESU.

TESU has created three degree pathways leading to baccalaureate degrees for recent, current and future graduates of New Jersey community colleges. The move aligns with goals of the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to create more 3+1 programs as well as more college-educated New Jersey residents.

“We are excited to partner with New Jersey’s community colleges in building affordable and timely degree completion options for students throughout New Jersey,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, Thomas Edison president.

Through this innovative program, students can remain at their community college for an additional 30 credits beyond the associate degree and pay for those credits at the community college rate. Thus, this new program promotes associate and baccalaureate degree completion while driving the New Jersey State Office of Higher Education goal of 65 percent degree attainment by 2025, with the added benefit of keeping students in New Jersey. We see this as a three-way win for our students, our institutions and the state. Read full article.

New Jersey City University and DaVinci Initiative Announce New Certificate Program 
August 19, 2019

The New Jersey City University Division of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning (PELL) is proud to announce a new partnership with the DaVinci Initiative to offer a non-credit certificate in art.

In making the announcement, Dr. Michael Edmondson, Dean of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning stated, “This new partnership allows two Jersey City organizations to better serve the local artists, art teachers, and anyone in the community interested in learning about the atelier approach to art.”

The DaVinci Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education foundation that supports skill-based learning in K-12 art classrooms. The DaVinci Initiative believes that the most creative artists are those with the most tools at their disposal for making artwork and provides atelier training and resources to students in order to help them incorporate skill-based methods into their practices. The DaVinci Initiative works with teachers nationally and internationally through online classes, art education conferences, keynote speaker services, weekend retreats, district-wide workshops, and more.

The DaVinci Initiative Atelier offers training in an “apprenticeship” system with a subscription enrollment policy. Students pay a monthly fee of $720 and are welcome to attend the studio hours of their choosing, with critiques available from an atelier-trained artist on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The studio is open Mondays through Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. One weekend workshop (runs 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) each month is included for all enrolled participants.

On the new partnership with NJCU, Mandy Theis, president and co-founder of the DaVinci Initiative, noted, “Our collaboration with NJCU is the first of its kind, and we are very excited to further our ability to connect with local artists, art teachers, and members of the community.”

New Laws Will Help Students Understand the True Cost of College and Protect Student Loan Borrowers 
August 1, 2019

Acting Governor Sheila Oliver, joined by Higher Education Student Assistance Authority Executive Director David Socolow, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, and Deputy Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez, on July 30, 2019, signed two bills into law to provide clear and comprehensible financial information to students and protect student borrowers.

The first law (S-2046) requires institutions of higher education to improve transparency of tuition and fees by providing a financial aid “shopping sheet” to prospective students. This college financing worksheet, or “shopping sheet,” will provide clear information on costs, loan options, and estimated debt levels, so students and their families can better understand the net price of attending college and can more easily compare financial aid package offers from institutions across New Jersey. The prime sponsors of this bill are Senator Shirley Turner, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Assemblyman Gary Schaer, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.

“The laws I signed today continue our Administration’s ongoing commitment to making college more affordable and accessible, said Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver. “We have seen the negative impact that predatory lenders and misinformation can have on our students and these vital new consumer protection laws will help to protect and support them as they pursue postsecondary education. Students will be able to better understand the true cost of college, so they can make wise choices and determine the appropriate amount to borrow, and with strong standards and a new state watchdog, we will ensure they are treated fairly by the companies that service their loans. Governor Murphy and I proudly support these laws, which will help put New Jersey students in control when it comes to their education.”

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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