November 13, 2017
“Our task is simple: get to work setting the blueprint to strengthen our economy and make it fair again,” Transition 2018 Executive Director Jose Lozano said. “The depth and breadth of experience in this group is stunning. Let there be no doubt: New Jersey faces massive obstacles ahead. But together, with Governor-elect Murphy and the entire Transition 2018 team, we’ll tackle those problems head-on and ensure the Murphy administration hits the ground running in January.”
ETS* Scores in Assessment and Student Success
November 2, 2017
In higher education, two “A” words are bandied about all the time – accessibility and affordability with the ultimate institutional goal of developing successful, well-educated, engaged individuals, who become valuable contributors to their local and global communities. But there is a third “A” word – assessment – that is crucial in achieving student learning and success. ETS headquartered in Princeton, NJ, gets an A plus in providing higher education institutions with the world’s best assessment strategies and tools facilitating the overarching higher education mission.
ETS has a team of education experts, researchers and assessment developers who believe that, through learning, people can improve their situations in life and make incredible contributions to the world. At its core is the belief that by designing assessments with industry-leading insight, rigorous research and an uncompromising commitment to quality, ETS is advancing equity and helping education and workplace communities make informed decisions about people and programs.
Renowned throughout the world for its assessment tools, ETS recently developed a new one – TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio that provides a holistic, rather than piece-meal, assessment strategy. The TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio includes assessments that span the entire student lifecycle, and includes support for measuring student learning and the overall assessment process. Therefore, institutions gain a comprehensive understanding of student learning and success. By analyzing student progress and capturing and utilizing meaningful data, the institution creates a bigger picture and develops a better outlook for institutional effectiveness and student success.
AJ Sabath, NJASCU Board Chair, is the new NJPRO Executive Director
November 1, 2017
The New Jersey Policy Research Organization (NJPRO) has hired a new executive director, AJ Sabath of the Advocacy & Management Group. Mr. Sabath, a Ramapo College alumnus and current chair of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) Board, assumed the NJPRO position on October 31, 2017. Mr. Sabath will continue to serve in his capacity at AMG while also serving as executive director of NJPRO.
NJPRO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization conducting innovative, timely and practical research on issues of importance to New Jersey employers. Working with diverse interest, NJPRO sponsors and supports research in New Jersey through both public and private policy research institutes, universities, colleges and individuals.
“We are very pleased to have AJ Sabath on board with us,” said Charlene Brown, a senior executive at AT&T who serves as the president of the Board of Trustees. “After a thorough interview process, we are certain that AJ is the ideal candidate who will successfully lead NJPRO in a direction aligned with our strategic priorities.”
Governor’s Race 2017: Murphy, Guadagno Short on Specifics for Higher Ed
October 27, 2017
While not a principal focus, New Jersey’s high-cost public colleges – the fourth most expensive in the nation – and higher than average loan burden on students have been on the radar of both major party gubernatorial candidates.
Republican Kim Guadagno, the current lieutenant governor, and Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Wall Street executive and ambassador to Germany, agree on such issues as the importance of emphasizing STEM education and vocational training. But they have fundamental disagreements on others, including how to bring down or slow the growth in college costs and ease student borrowing.
The state’s higher education system has been treated like a stepchild for decades. According to a recent report from New Jersey Policy Perspective, a progressive think tank, New Jersey cut the amount it provides to state colleges by an inflation-adjusted 21 percent between the start of the Great Recession in 2008 and 2016 alone, while enrollment increased by 15 percent. Student debt has also risen, in many cases doubling or more, during that time. Last year, Rowan University students who graduated after living on campus for six years left with more than $40,100 in loans.
How Murphy, Guadagno Would Make College More Affordable
POLITICO New Jersey
October 23, 2017
Searching for the latest battleground in the national debate over tuition-free college? Look no further than New Jersey, where Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy has joined the national conversation with his proposal for tuition-free community colleges for all New Jersey residents – at a projected cost of $200 million per year to the state.
His opponent, Republican nominee and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, has cast doubt on the proposition, saying there is no such thing as a “free” college education and predicting residents would be taxed more to pay for the program.
Is College Worth the Money? NJ Wants to Boost Degrees
October 19, 2017
NJASCU 2017 Symposium on Higher Education presents data on the value – economically – of a four-year college degree. Data unequivocally indicate, said Assistant Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development Jeff Stoller, that college graduates earn substantially more money and have a much lower unemployment rate than non-college graduates.
Over a lifetime, bachelor’s degree holders are expected to earn about $1 million more than those with no education past high school.
New Jersey Policy Perspective Advocates for Making Public Higher Education a Top Priority
October 16, 2017
Over the last quarter century, New Jersey’s support for public higher education has declined noticeably, resulting in higher costs and rising debt for students and their families. Reversing this pattern of neglect and disinvestment by strengthening New Jersey’s system of public colleges and universities is essential to New Jersey’s economic success.
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of New Jersey’s drive to increase opportunities and invest in new and expanded colleges and universities. But it also marks 25 years of decline.
The new governor and legislature taking the reins in 2018 must begin to reset state investments and support for higher education. New Jersey’s future depends on it.
October 12, 2017
Illinois legislators recently introduced their Higher Education Strategic Centers of Excellence Plan, which aims to keep Illinois high-school graduates in Illinois universities by making the application system easier. A similar bill has just been introduced in New Jersey.
Creating a streamlined, uniform online admission process for all public Illinois universities is one of the plan’s goals.
How to Pay for Free Community College
October 5, 2017
Philanthropy, income-sharing agreements, lottery revenues and children’s savings accounts are just a few methods researchers across the country believe can create sustainable tuition-free programs, according to a set of new reports.
October 5, 2017
A new study on the importance of internships and an article about the study in the October 5 edition of the Wall Street Journal illustrate the importance of a higher education degree in the workforce.
The List: Where Do Foreign Students Studying in New Jersey Call Home?
October 2, 2017
Many have complained about the possible effects of the Trump administration’s latest travel ban and announced end of protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children by their parents, but so far there has been no efforts to curb the issuance of student visas.
Still, there are some who say the new policies and attitudes toward immigrants in effect since the beginning of this year are deterring some students from considering a study abroad option in the United States. It is unclear whether those from the “banned” countries – mostly Muslim majority countries like Iran, Syria, and Yemen – will be allowed in; students from those places were exempt from the last ban. But school officials fear those from other places might choose not to come here because of the less-than-welcoming attitude of the new administration toward foreigners or if they cannot stay to spend at least some time working here after their studies are finished.
$55.8 Million Communications Building with 4K Technology Opens at Montclair State University
October 2, 2017
Montclair State University officially opened its $55.8 million School of Communication and Media building at the beginning of October, at which time it was hailed as the most advanced in the country.
“We believe this building is the most technologically advanced broadcast facility of any university in North America,” Montclair State University President Susan Cole said. “It is in fact more advanced than the majority of professional production facilities.”
The building was completed after two years of construction assisted by a strategic partnership with Sony.
The facility’s technological advantage was intended to allow students to attain an education on higher-end equipment before the technology becomes mainstream in the media world. For example, 4K technology, which refers to a higher definition resolution for television screens (in layman’s terms: it looks better), is the centerpiece for all of the facility’s technology.
Budget Basics: Employee Retirement Benefits – the Problem is Large
October 2, 2017
This is another article in the Richard F. Keevey series outlining New Jersey’s fiscal fundamentals. The goal is to demystify some of the state’s financial challenges, and put them in context of the broader issues New Jersey faces. This series is also intended as a way to underscore the importance of state government in a year that will see a new governor and a new Legislature chosen by voters. Follow this link to see the other stories in this series. In this article, Mr. Keevey explains the enormity of the fiscal commitment to Employee Retirement Benefits.
October 12, 2017
The NJ State Treasurer, Ford Scudder, tackled what he says are the misconceptions about the source of funding for the Christie administration opioid initiatives. “While much has been reported on Gov. Chris Christie’s $200 million initiative to fight New jersey’s opioid epidemic, some of the media’s analysis has been both incorrect and incomplete in regard to funding his much-needed initiative. As New Jersey’s state treasurer, I would like to set the record straight …. Some contend that the governor is swiping funds appropriated for tuition and aid. The fact is that all students who have applied for a tuition aid grant will receive every dollar to which they are entitled under the program. The Christie administration – which has increased state funding of tuition aid grants by more than 65 percent since 2010 – has granted every dollar it can to every family that has applied and will continue to do so.”
William Paterson University Opens $31 Million Facility in Wayne
September 29, 2017
William Paterson University opened the doors Friday, September 29, to a $31 million multi-disciplinary academic facility equipped with state-of-the-art science labs, smart classrooms and a 90-seat auditorium. University leaders joined Assembly members Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) and Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) at Preakness Hall, a 58,000-square-foot building originally known as Hunziker Wing when it was erected more than 60 years ago.
Stockton and Atlantic Cape Introduce Program to Streamline Transfer Process
September 29, 2017
Students who enroll at Atlantic Cape Community College will have a clear pathway to a four-year degree from Stockton University with a new partnership between the two post-secondary institutions. Stockton always has accepted transfer students from Atlantic Capek, but the partnership will make the transition easier to transfer credits, waive fees and offer scholarship opportunities.
Budget Basics: How New Jersey Spends Your Money
September 15, 2017
This is the second in a 10-part series outlining New Jersey’s fiscal fundamentals. The goal is to demystify some of the state’s financial challenges, and put them in context of the broader issues New Jersey faces. This series is also intended as a way to underscore the importance of state government in a year that will see a new governor and a new Legislature chosen by voters.
The $34.7 billion state budget for fiscal year 2018 (the part supported by state revenue and taxes) is divided into four major parts: state aid, grants-in-aid, capital construction and debt service, and direct state services. Within these broad categories appropriations are made by major program category (for example, Medicaid, K-12 education, transit subsidies, higher education, state police, and hundreds of other programs and line items). But from a macro viewpoint, the budget can easily be understood by focusing on these four general categories.
Budget Basics: How New Jersey Spends Your Money
September 13, 2017
This is the first in a multipart series outlining New Jersey’s fiscal fundamentals, written by Richard F. Keevey, the former budget director and comptroller for New Jersey and currently a senior policy fellow at the School of Planning and Policy and Rutgers University. The idea behind this series is to demystify some of the state’s financial challenges, and put them in context of the broader issues New Jersey faces. It’s also intended as a way to underscore the importance of state government in a year that will see a new governor and a new Legislature chosen by voters.
Americans Losing Faith in College Degrees, Poll Finds
Wall Street Journal
September 7, 2017
Americans are losing faith in the value of a college degree, with majorities of young adults, men and rural residents saying college isn't worth the cost, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey shows.
The findings reflect an increase in public skepticsm of higher education from just four years ago and highlight a growing divide in opinion falling along gender, educational, regional and partisan lines. They also carry political implications for universities, already under public pressure to rein in their costs and adjust curricula after decades of sharp tuition increases. Read more here.
August 31, 2017
Montclair State University's recent recognition as a public research university by the state was heralded by many as a positive development, not only for the school but for the overall higher education landscape in New Jersey.
But the upgrade in status had perhaps one unintended consequence: Because it no longer falls under the category of a "state university," Montclair was removed from the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, as prescribed by the legislation, NJ A4969 (16R), establishing it as a public research institution. Read full article here.
July 24, 2017
Your editorial on July 23, 2017 “College Sex Assaults: Right Cause But Wrong Leader,” suggests that New Jersey’s colleges and universities should be “required to report every sexual assault allegation to the local prosecutor’s sex crimes unit.” This suggestion overlooks an important right belonging to victims of sexual crimes assaults. The New Jersey Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:61E-1 et seq.) “which has been on the books since 1994” gives victims of sexual assaults the right to be free from pressure from campus personnel “to report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so.” This right extends to victims of sexual assaults that occur on the campus of any public or independent college or university in New Jersey and where the victim or alleged perpetrator is a student, or when the victim is a student involved in an off-campus sexual assault.
The New Jersey Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault recently released its report, which included several excellent recommendations. The state colleges and universities join the Task Force in its aim to “enhance the safety of students on campus, assist students affected by sexual violence, and create healthier campus communities built on respect.”
Thank you for considering my letter,
Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD
New Jersey Association of State Colleges & Universities
July 24, 2017
NJASCU Executive Director Michael Klein responded to a recent Wall Street Journal article in the following manner:
In “Colleges Pull Back Tuition’s Long Rise” (July 24), state legislative mandates to reduce tuition are given the credit for the drop in the average cost of attending the University of Washington in Seattle. That is only half the story. Washington State’s legislature paired the mandate with $200 million in state funds over two years to help public institutions make up the lost tuition revenue.
This kind of partnership between policymakers and state college and university leaders is a valuable lesson for other states to learn. Between fiscal years 2008 and 2016, state support per student at public institutions nationally decreased $1,426, while net tuition revenue per student increased $1,661, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) association. The connection between state funding for public colleges and universities, and the tuition paid by students at those institutions, is inescapable. The more support that states can provide, the less that students will need to pay.
11 Significant Bills Christie Signed Into Law or Vetoed that Impact You
July 24, 2017
NOT on the list of NJ.com’s “significant bills” but among those bills signed into law (the article has the FULL list) is Senate Bill No. 3281/Assembly Bill No. 4969 that establishes Montclair State University as a Public Research University. See NJASCU’s press statement on this legislation.
Key provisions in the Montclair State legislation remove the institution from restrictions under the State College Contracts Law for procurement and construction. The State College Contracts Law is 31 years old and constrains the operation of the remaining state colleges and universities. The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, in its December 2010 report, stated that the State College Contracts Law restricts the ability of these institutions to enter long-range contracts, slows the pace of construction, and increases procurement and construction costs.
The New Jersey Higher Education Task Force, chaired by former Governor Tom Kean, endorsed a recommendation from the New Jersey Presidents’ Council to revise many provisions of the State College Contracts Law. The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities looks forward to working with the legislature to cut red tape in the New Jersey’s laws to enable all the state colleges and universities to serve New Jersey’s residents more effectively and efficiently.
Helping Area Youth to “Think Like an Entrepreneur”
July 21, 2017
Some local high school students got the chance to put their entrepreneurial skills to the test and come up with products that we may see hit store shelves someday.
Rowan University’s Rohrer College of Business, with the help of a $7,500 grant from TD Bank, partnered with the Camden Academy Charter High School to give kids a crash course in business while earning college-level credits.
Students Get a Head Start on College with State EOF Grants
July 20, 2017
Eighty-five incoming freshmen for five weeks over the summer are at Stockton University getting a head start on campus life. The first-year students, who are all receiving aid through the state-sponsored Education Opportunity Fund (EOF), are participating in the university’s Summer Academy, where they take classes, study and socialize with other EOF students. The program offers financial and academic assistance for low-income students who are residents of New Jersey.
“It’s a program designed to provide access to institution to individuals who, due to financial or academic unpreparedness, may not get to seek higher education,” said Maralyn Mason, director of EOF at Stockton.
Each year, about 13,000 New Jersey students participate in the EOF program, according to the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.
July 20, 2017
The budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year doesn’t suggest nearly as many cuts as were proposed by the White House, but the Pell grant program, in particular, may take a cut.
July 17, 2017
The National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts has repeatedly failed to prove the current ownership of loans that, in an echo of the subprime mortgage crisis, it initially made through banks and then sold to investors. The troubled loans total at least $5 billion. Tens of thousands of people who took out private loans to pay for college but have not been able to keep up payments may get their debts wiped away because critical paperwork is missing.
July 15, 2017
Three part series on Title IX – “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance” – features The College of New Jersey alumna Jill Cosse, formerly the first women’s lacrosse coach at Kean University.
NJASCU CEO Michael Klein Responds in NJSpotlight.com to a Fund for New Jersey Report
July 13, 2017
Despite recent job gains and an improving unemployment rate, a new report on New Jersey’s economy suggests there’s still room for additional growth if state leaders are willing to do more in several key areas to help more people find good-paying jobs.
The report released yesterday by the Fund for New Jersey, a philanthropic organization that encourages informed policymaking (and a funder of NJ Spotlight), makes a number of recommendations that leaders could follow to help the state economy reach its full potential. They include reorienting state tax incentive programs to benefit small businesses and increasing New Jersey’s minimum wage to bring it more in line with what it takes to survive in a high-cost state like New Jersey. In addition, the report makes a couple of higher education related recommendation, including improving college graduation rates and implementing more remedial education programs.
NJASCU CEO Mike Klein, who communicated with the report’s author extensively, clarified a couple of the report’s representations/omissions in the “Comments” section for the article on the NJ Spotlight site.
The report recommends increasing college completion rates without acknowledging that New Jersey is already one of the top states in college graduation rates (which measure first-time, full-time students only) and completion rates (which include transfer students and part-time students. New Jersey’s 11 senior public colleges and universities have the 6th-highest graduation rate in the country (http://collegecompletion.chronicle.com/state/#state=nj§or=public_four), and the 4th-highest completion rate ( https://nscresearchcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/Signature12aTables.xls).
The recommendation to make “remedial education more available” also fails to acknowledge that every senior public institution already provides remedial education to the students, as reported here: http://www.state.nj.us/highereducation/IP/IP2014/index.shtml#PRU (under “Characteristics of Undergraduate Students” in each report).
Posted by Mike Klein on July 13 at 9:42 p.m.
June 23, 2017
The Wall Street Journal
1211 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Dear Mr. Lemmer:
Richard Vedder and Justin Strehle ("The Diminishing Returns of a College Degree," June 5) ask: "[How] does knowing a lot about, say, anthropology, make one a more productive worker?" The answer is skills like communication, organization, teamwork, critical thinking, social skills, creativity, and adaptability. These so-called "soft skills" are prized by employers ("The Soft Skills Employers Are Looking For," August 30, 2016) and increasingly recognized and rewarded in liberal arts and humanities majors ("Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop Up English Majors," October 25, 2016).
Op-Ed: Switching Lottery Profits to Pensions, Another Reckless Budget Gimmick
June 23, 2017
An op-ed column from New Jersey Policy Perspective President Gordon MacInnes raises the question that NJASCU has been asking for the past several weeks: Gov. Chris Christie is pushing hard on the Legislature to approve his bait-and-switch proposal to use the state Lottery's profits for paying off pensions. There's a problem with this idea that has received little attention from the administration or Legislature: Where will New Jersey find the shifted $1 billion to help finance education and institutions?
NJASCU CEO Michael Klein responded to a New York Times article: “Student Debt’s Grip on the Economy,” that appeared in the Sunday Review section on May 21, 2017.
To the Editor:
To your list of recommendations to help student borrowers, I suggest adding one more remedy: increasing state funding for public colleges and universities to decrease the cost of attendance for the vast majority of college students. State and local appropriations per student at public institutions - where over 77 percent of undergraduates are enrolled - is 19 percent lower than it was 25 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Moreover, over the past 25 years, students' share of the cost of their education at public institutions increased from 26 percent to more than 48 percent. If states would contribute more to support the operation of their public colleges and universities, students could pay less - and borrow less - to attend them.*
Michael W. Klein, JD, PhD
New Jersey Association of State Colleges & Universities
* In New Jersey, the appropriations decrease has been greater than the national average - appropriations per full-time equivalent student over the past 25 years has DECREASED by 40.1 percent, while enrollment INCREASED by 63.2 percent.
EARLIER NEWS & OPINION COVERAGE
Now It’s Official: Harrington (Finally) Sworn in as Education Commissioner - NJSpotlight.com (July 13, 2017)
How We Are Ruining America -The College Admissions Game - NYTimes.com (July 13, 2017)
President Trump’s Support for Apprenticeships Put Them Back into the Spotlight - EducationDive.com (July 12, 2017)
States Require More Disclosure on Student Loans and Doing So Slows the Rate of Borrowing - WSJ.com (July 12, 2017)
State Looks to Private Partners for Help Rebuilding Energy Infrastructure - NJSpotlight.com (July 7, 2017)
Governor Touts Lottery as Answer to NJ’s Pension Problems, but Critics Deride Plan - NJSpotlight.com (July 6, 2017)
Despite Budget Drama and Deadlock, School Funding Changes Survive - NJSpotlight.com (July 5, 2017)
With Budget Signing, State is Back in Business – Just in Time for the 4th - NJSpotlight.com (July 4, 2017)
Budget Deadlock Stretches into Day 3, Thousands of State Workers Idled - NJSpotlight.com (July 3, 2017)
State Government Goes Dark - NJSpotlight.com (July 1, 2017)
Legislators Consider Overhauling Higher Education Act - EducationDive.com (June 26, 2017)
Suicide Third Leading Cause of Death for New Jerseyans Ages 10 to 24 - NJSpotlight.com (June 26, 2017)
Recent College Grads Are Leaving New Jersey in Record Numbers. Here's Why. - NJ.com (June 25, 2017)
NJASCU Testifies in Opposition to Proposed Assembly Bill No. 2842 - May 11, 2017
Christie Signs ‘Snooki’ Bill Capping New Jersey College Speaking Fees - NJ.com (May 9, 2017)
New Jersey City University Graduation – May 24th - NJCU.edu (May 8, 2017)
Stockton Will Host Its First Boardwalk Commencement on May 12 - Stockton.edu (May 8, 2017)
The College of New Jersey Students Launching App to ‘Handl’ Your Tasks, Errands - NJ.com (May 7, 2017)
Interactive Multimedia Grads at TCNJ Question Advance Technology at Senior Showcase - TCNJ.edu (May 3, 2017)
Thomas Edison State University Vice President Named American Council on Education Fellow - TESU.edu (May 3, 2017)
Stockton President Harvey Kesselman to Receive American Association for Access, Equity & Diversity Award Stockton.edu (May 2, 2017)
William Paterson University Listed Among Top University Sales Programs in the Nation for 2017 - WPUNJ.edu (May 1, 2017)
In Trump’s First 100 Days, Higher Ed Sees More Shadow than Substance - Chronicle.com (April 28, 2017)
Stockton Students March Against ‘Rape Culture’ - SNJToday.com (April 27, 2017)
NJCU Students Win Big at Science Research Symposium - NJCU.edu (April 26, 2017)
37.5% - NJSpotlight.com (April 25, 2017)
Two New Jersey Colleges Among Top 15 Best in Nation for ROI - NJBIZ.com (April 24, 2017)
Five NJCU Students and Alumni Receive the Fulbright U.S. Student Awards - NJCU.edu (April 20, 2017)
Stockton Student Named Volunteer of the Year by Mental Health Association of Monmouth County - Stockton.edu (April 20, 2017)
Toys R Us Pledges $100,000 to William Paterson University for Scholarships - WPUNJ.edu (April 20, 2017)