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.

Treasury Releases Nearly Half of Spending Placed in Reserve Under Governor Murphy’s Executive Order

 October 17, 2019


The Department of Treasury on Thursday, October 17, released $114 million of the $235 million in spending that had been placed into reserve in July to help maintain a balanced budget and a responsible surplus pursuant to Executive Order No. 73 signed by Governor Murphy.


The Executive Order (EO) was deemed necessary after the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) budget sent to the Governor included up to $235 million in unassured savings items and additional spending initiatives outside the budget that were not adequately funded.


Consequently, the EO authorized the Director of Treasury’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to place items of appropriation into reserve in an amount sufficient to ensure that the state budget remains in balance while maintaining a responsible surplus balance and protecting the state’s Rainy-Day Fund deposit.


Additionally, the EO authorized the OMB Director to release items of appropriation from reserve upon notification from the Treasurer that amounts in excess of the targeted fund balance are anticipated to be available for expenditure.


After careful review of the first quarter of FY 2020, it has been determined that $114 million in spending is appropriate for release based on a number of factors, including an improved year end fund balance for FY 2019; and the expectation that approximately $50 million of the $235 million that the Legislature booked in the budget will be achieved through the Administration’s efforts, such as the recent announcement of $13 million in savings through the consolidation of Department of Correction youth facilities. 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

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

William Paterson University’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Learning Gathers STEAM

September 13, 2019


This fall, William Paterson University is launching a revamped version of its Master of Education in Curriculum and Learning program, now offering an innovative concentration in “STEAM,” which adds the arts to K-8 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction.  William Paterson University is the first and only institution in New Jersey, and one of only a few universities nationwide, to offer STEAM education at the graduate level.


“Research shows that arts integration in elementary and middle school STEM coursework can bolster student engagement and learning,” says Amy Ginsberg, dean of William Paterson University’s College of Education.  “Adding the arts makes STEM more accessible to more K-8 students – particularly those that sway heavier to such interests and skills or those who have previously faced inequities in STEM education due to socioeconomic, racial or linguistic factors, among others.”


The new concentration is geared toward previously certified K-8 teachers, aiming to enhance their competence and confidence to adequately teach and guide STEAM subjects for all learners, according to Professor Heejung An, director of the Master of Education in curriculum and learning.  The 33-credit program, which can be completed in 24 months, employs project-based learning, an inquiry-based research study, and leadership development courses so that candidates are prepared to meet the evolving needs of schools and districts in positions as STEAM teachers or coordinators, instructional leaders, or curriculum developers. Read full article.

William Paterson Environmental Science Professor Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant to Conduct Research on Tree Rings in Colombia

September 12, 2019


Nicole Davi, a professor of environmental science at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey has been awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to conduct research on tree rings from high-altitude sites in Colombia.  The research will contribute to an understanding of climate variability and dynamics in the region.


Dr. Davi will spend six months from January through June 2020 working collaboratively with Colombian scientists at EAFIT University’s Department of Earth Sciences and the Universidad EIA to identify research sites where annual tree rings are prevalent in local tree species.  Then she and her colleagues will develop tree-ring chronologies using novel low-cost methods that rely on high-resolution scans of tree-core samples.


“Because of conflict and political interest, tree-ring chronologies are particularly scarce in Colombia,” says Dr. Davi.  “In addition to contributing an extended understanding of climate variation in this region, tree-ring chronologies from Colombian Polylepis trees could also provide insights into how forests are responding to climate change.  This work can inform the evolution of the country’s forest management policies.” Read full article.

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.”

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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