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.
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
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
August 1, 2019
FY 2020 State Budget
With the enactment of New Jersey’s Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 earlier this month, New Jersey’s historic investments in financial aid continue.
The nearly $440 million in state funding appropriated for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) program in FY20 will allow HESAA to maintain level award amounts, while supporting TAG awards for New Jersey Dreamers, expanding TAG eligibility to certain approved incarcerated students, and continuing the enhancement to the Income Protection Allowance for independent working adult students that the Board approved last year.
The Appropriations Act also supports the growth of Community College Opportunity Grants (CCOG). Building on what the state learned from last spring’s one-semester pilot, we look forward to expanding this program statewide in fall 2019 and spring 2020. CCOG will make college more affordable for thousands of qualified students, by enabling those with adjusted gross incomes of $65,000 or below to attend any county college in the state tuition- and fee-free. This is expanded from last year’s $45,000 income eligibility limit.
While all of HESAA’s other grant and scholarship programs were level funded in the Appropriations Act, the Primary Care Practitioners Loan Redemption program and the Nursing Faculty Loan Redemption program received reduced funding for FY20. As a result, these programs will not accept new applications this year, although participants who were previously accepted will continue to receive loan redemptions as long as they remain eligible and in compliance with their service obligations. Read full article.
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.”
July 25, 2019
The New Jersey legislature has passed a “student borrower bill of rights” that regulates companies that service student loans, part of a national trend as America deals with its $1.6 trillion student-debt crisis. It is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Murphy on July 30, 2019 at Seton Hall.
The bill forces companies like Naviet, FedLoan, and other student-loan servicers to register with the Department of Banking and Insurance and comply with borrower-friendly protections. Violations would attract a $10,000 fine the first time and $20,000 for subsequent ones. It also creates a student loan ombudsman in the state agency.
Stephan Lally, Ramapo Student Government Association president, student representative to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) from July 2018 to July 2019, and higher education advocacy activist in New Jersey, was a major voice in the movement to pass this bill. Read full article.
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.