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Barbara Berreski, JD, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Director, Government & Legal Affairs



Patricia S. Berry

Chief Operating Officer


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Public Affairs


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Part-Time Secretarial Assistant


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New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities

150 West State Street

Trenton, New Jersey 08608

609-989-1100 office

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Quick Takes are current brief updates on legislative and policy issues being followed by NJASCU.

Current and Previously Featured "Quick Takes" are below:

Ramapo College Breaks Ground on New Learning Commons that Marks a New Era in Educational Excellence and a Celebration of its 50th Anniversary  

September 6, 2019


Ramapo College of New Jersey on September 4th launched the college’s 50th Anniversary year-long celebration, as well as started construction on the Learning Commons project that will transform the George T. Potter Library into a 21st century collaborative space for research, learning and exploration.  In 2016, Ramapo received $15 million from the State of New Jersey Higher Education Capital Facilities program to completely renovate the Porter Library and create a new Learning Commons.  The ambitious three-year $40 million project will result in a modern educational facility designed to support the intellectual growth of Ramapo’s students and the entire college community.


“A campus library is the nerve center of every college.  We are creating a space that will serve the needs of our students today and well into the future,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer.  “This has been a collaborative effort of the Learning Commons Task Force and our very generous donors who will help make this project come to fruition,” he added, acknowledging among others lead donor Susan A. Vallario, vice chair, Ramapo College Board of Trustees.


William F. Dator, chair of the Ramapo College Board of Trustees, added, “We must have the facilities that match our reputation.  The Learning Commons will dramatically change the students’ and faculty’s scholarly pursuits on campus.”


The project, led by architectural firm of Bohlin Cywinski, will address the infrastructure issues and increase the building’s interior space from 60,000 to 80,000 square feet.  The project will include increasing seating capacity by 65 percent, adding 19 new study rooms and flexible-use classroom space, and repurposing and modernizing computer and technology labs.  The facility also will house archives, several special collections, the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and the Krame Center for Mindful Living.

William Paterson University Center for Chinese Art to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Exhibition of Chinese Printmaking
September 4, 2019

William Paterson University’s Center for Chinese Art on September 9th is celebrating its 10th anniversary as the first nonprofit center for Chinese art in the United States that aims to academically promote cultural and artistic exchanges between the two countries. The 10th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition is Lines Crossing: Contemporary Chinese Printmaking, on view in the University Galleries in the Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts on campus from September 9 through October 18, 2019. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on select Saturdays (September 28 and October 12) and Sundays (October 20) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A special reception celebrating the 10th anniversary will be held on Monday, September 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the University Galleries. Admission is free and open to the public.

Lines Crossing: Contemporary Chinese Printmaking features artworks created by 20 Chinese printmakers and masters, who have won national and regional printmaking exhibition awards in China. Ranging from wood engravings to lithographs and intaglios, these artworks were created by a new generation of printmakers who are exploring innovative directions in a medium with an age-old legacy in China.

Arts in the exhibition include: Jingbo An, Ling Ban, En Hao, Xianwu Hu, Xun Li, Yanpeng Li, Lianfang Liang, Bo Liu, Gen Liu, Linge Liu, Yanfei Liu, Haonan Tan, Ruiqing Wang, Shuai Wang, Wufeng Yu, Minjie Zhang, Bin Zhou, Yunzhi Zhou, Hua Zhu, and Jianxiang Zhu.

The beginning of China’s contemporary printmaking movement can be traced back to woodcuts introduced by Lu Xun in the 1930s, which sought subjective expression by subverting objective reproduction, says Zhiyuan Cong, William Paterson University professor of art and director of the Center for Chinese Art, who organized the exhibition in collaboration with Kristen Evangelista, director of the University Galleries.

Chinese printmaking has evolved over several generations, Cong explains. “These artists are not restricted by the means of expression but focus on the aesthetic tastes; they are not limited by the established types of prints, but seek to put more emphasis on personal expression,” he says. “Their works set the path for, and lead the direction of, the continuing development of Chinese contemporary prints.”

The history of printmaking is also interconnected with the development of art, science, and technology, Cong adds. “From the Chinese invention of papermaking in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220), to the development of movable type printing in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127), engraving and color printing in the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644), and the invention and development of European intaglio (15th century) and lithography (18th century), all these innovations demonstrate the influence and imprint of each era and impact of scientific development on the art of printmaking,” he says. “The United States succeeded in becoming the world center of printmaking after the industrial revolution of the late 19th century, and later developments such as the photographic revolution of the 1930s, and now the rise of digital technology have had a significant impact on this art form. The exhibition explores the current status of printmaking in China, it’s birthplace.”

William Paterson University’s Center for Chinese Arts was established on September 9, 2009. Over the past decade, the center has offered courses, symposiums and exhibitions of Chinese art, presented numerous demonstrations and talks by renowned Chinese artists, and provided study abroad programs in China focused on Chinese art and culture, and has gained international recognition in art circles in both the United States and China.

The exhibition is one of three on view concurrently in the University Galleries. In the South Gallery, The World Through My Eyes: Celebrating the Legacy of Ben Shahn, a selection of works on paper by the social-realist artist Ben Shahn, commemorates the 50th anniversary of Ben Shahn’s passing and also the 40th anniversary of the University Galleries. In the East Gallery, Visiones Latinx: Selections from the Permanent Collection, showcases works on paper and artists’ books by artists of Argentinian, Brazilian, Chilean, Cuban, and Mexican heritage.

The University Galleries’ programs are also made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print educational materials are available. For additional information, please call the William Paterson University Galleries at 973-720-2654.

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.

“We estimate that the average New Jersey community college student can now earn a baccalaureate degree for less than $24,000 through this program,” explained Dr. Hancock.

The 90-credit transfer allowance through this 3+1 program represents a 10-credit increase over TESU’s traditional policy of accepting up to 80 community college credits from regionally accredited institutions.

Students will be able to choose among three TESU degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts with an area of study in Liberal Studies; the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an area of study in General Management; and the Bachelor of Science with an area of study in Technical Studies.

While TESU prides itself on recognizing college-level learning however and wherever it occurs in all of our programs, these three specific programs were chosen for the TESU/NJ 3+1 Pathways Program because they offer the most flexibility in transfer and breadth of academic focus.

“Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is very pleased to receive this welcoming news. We have been a longstanding partner with TESU. We already have a Three-plus-One arrangement with TESU in nursing. We are delighted about the three additional areas of study now qualify for Three-plus-One for those students who wish to complete a BA degree after graduating from Mercer,” said MCCC President Jianping Wang.

“We are proud to partner with Thomas Edison on this new initiative creating a pathway for more students to earn their undergraduate degrees,” said Brookdale President Dr. David Stout. “Our mission at Brookdale is to provide access to high-quality and affordable educational pathways,” said President Stout. “These three degree options at Thomas Edison fit that model and enable students to gain the necessary credentials to start or change careers without incurring significant debt.”

To learn more, go to http://www.tesu.edu/3plus1

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.”

Study Shows Naloxone, Quick Response, Saved Lives of Opioid Overdose Victims
August 14, 2019

A large majority of opioid overdose victims in Atlantic County who received naloxone from an emergency responder survived the overdose, according to a study by Stockton University.

The study also showed that a majority of overdose victims during the study timeframe were male (71%) and white (73%).

In early 2018, Stockton collaborated with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office to analyze information on 311 overdose victims to garner a better understanding of the county’s opioid overdose statistics.

The data was extracted from information collected during 2015-2017 using the N.J. Attorney General’s Heroin & Opiates Task Force Naloxone Administration Reporting Form for Atlantic County.

Of the 311 victims, 266 were administered naloxone. The data showed that 265 of the victims survived, while 17 did not, a 94% survival rate. Missing data was noted on 29 reports. In most cases, the victims who received naloxone were revived in five minutes or less.

“The data showed that quick response to opioid overdoses and prompt administration of the drug naloxone can save lives,” the authors said in the report.

The data also showed:

• More than half (52%) of victims were under 35 years old, though overdoses were spread across all age groups.

• While the victims’ residential addresses were widespread, the majority of overdose incidents were reported from Atlantic City (169 or 54%) followed by Somers Point (9%), Pleasantville (8%), Galloway (6%), Ventnor (6%), and Hammonton (5%).

• About 40% of the overdoses happened between October and December.

The study also suggested a need for statewide resources to conduct more rigorous research in this area as “it will be critical to examine this problem with the intersection of race, age, and gender so appropriate policies can be drawn that suit specific population groups.”

The report was produced in collaboration with Captain Bruce DeShields, an investigator in the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and authored by Executive Director of the Stockton Center for Community Engagement Merydawilda Colon, Professor of Public Health Tara Crowell, Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy Mary Lou Galantino, Associate Provost Carra Lea Hood, and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Manish Madan.

Ms. Galantino said the study is just one of Stockton’s initiatives to compile data and research strategies that address opioid abuse, addiction and recovery in South Jersey. Faculty are also completing a study on integrating yoga for women in recovery.

A recent report by the Center for Disease Control suggested that an increase in naloxone prescriptions could be one reason overdose deaths have stopped rising for the first time in nearly three decades.

Thomas Edison State University Receives $100K Signature Grant from The Provident Bank Foundation

 August 14, 2019


The Provident Bank Foundation (PBF) has announced Thomas Edison State University (TESU) in Trenton, NJ, as the recipient of the Foundation’s $100,000 Signature Grant for 2019 in the Education funding priority area.


TESU was selected to receive this Signature Grant for its distance-learning curriculum built on community engaged service learning and best practices.  A first of its kind, the program promotes experiential learning as TESU’s non-traditional, and distance-learning adult students support New Jersey non-profit organizations in the form of 12-week Capstone Projects.


“It is very important to assist educational initiatives that empower adults to attain their career goals and build a strong and competitive local workforce,” said Jane Kurek, Executive Director, The Provident Bank Foundation.  “TESU has structured a program to prepare students to lead and create positive change in community-based organizations and develop effective public service partnerships with non-profits.”


Beginning this fall, 100 participating TESU students will engage and work with 15 New Jersey non-profit organizations including The Arc/Morris Chapter, Hope Loves Company, LeaderKid Academy, The Midland School, and VolunteerConnect.


“TESU strives to support our adult learners while meeting the critical needs of many non-profit organizations,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president, Thomas Edison State University.  “We look forward to helping students apply what they have learned in meaningful, real-time ways.  This Signature Grant allows for our students to do this while experiencing the power of active citizenship.  This grant plants the seed for community impact that keeps growing.”


The Foundation will present the check during a presentation on Tuesday, August 27, at 11 a.m. at TESU.  Attending from The Provident Bank Foundation are Dr. Carlos Hernandez, Chair of Foundation Board & President Emeritus of New Jersey City University and Executive Director Jane Kurek.  Accepting the grant on behalf of Thomas Edison State University are Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, President, and John Thurber, Vice President for Public Affairs, Thomas Edison State University.


About The Provident Bank Foundation


The Provident Bank Foundation was established in 2003 by Provident Bank to enhance the quality of life in the region through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools, and other 501(c)(3) organizations that provide services in communities served by the Bank.  Since inception, the Foundation has granted more than $25 million to not-for-profit organizations and institutions working toward stronger communities.  For more information, visit www.theprovidentbankfoundation.org or call (862) 260-3990.

Executive Director Report from Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA)

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.”

Read full article.

Ramapo Student Leader Becomes New Jersey Leader on Higher Education Policy Issues


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.


Below is an op-ed, reprinted in full from NJ Spotlight, in which Stephan and his co-author Beverly Brown Ruggia make an impassioned argument for the passage of the student loan ombudsman bill.



Op-Ed:  New Jersey Can Help Students with their Loan Debt

Beverly Brown Ruggia and Stephan Lally

June 5, 2019


Lawmakers Should Pass Bill Establishing Strong Lending Standards and a Licensing Agreement for Loan Servicers


Last month, 400 extremely fortunate Morehouse College graduates flipped their tassels to the amazing revelation that they would be starting their post-college careers without student debt.  Richard Smith, an incredibly generous billionaire from Texas, has pledged to pay off all of their student loans.


Smith’s gesture is noble, but unfortunately most other college graduates can’t count on the generosity of billionaires to pay off their loans.  His gesture won’t cover the $1.5 trillion that 44 million Americans owe in student debt or the even $43 billion that 1.1 million New Jersey student-loan borrowers owe.


This debt crisis puts too many New Jersey graduates on a destructive cycle of damaged credit, limited career paths and missed economic opportunities.  Students are unknowingly signing away their lives by taking out loans to pay for college.  Lenders won’t approve 18-year-olds for a mortgage or small business loan but will approve a student loan totaling tens of thousands of dollars.  Many of these students have amassed debt from predatory for-profit college loans that left them without a valuable degree or the ability to get a better job.


Fortunately, the New Jersey State Legislature has the power to address key causes of the crisis.  This month, they have the opportunity to do so by passing the long-awaited student loan protection bill (S-1149/A-455) which is expected to move out of the New Jersey Assembly Higher Education Committee this week.


Many Students Face Mountain of Debt


There are two primary factors that contribute to the student debt crisis.  First, the cost of tuition continues to climb to increasingly unaffordable levels.  Gov. Phil Murphy is working to provide much-needed cost relief with free community college in our state.  But students are still left with few options to pay for other higher-educational choices.  Many take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans or give up entirely on their dream of going to college.


Second, those who do choose to borrow to pay for tuition experience serious difficulties in repaying their loans, which can deepen their debt significantly.


One of the worst problems student borrowers have with repayment has been the reported history of abusive practices by their loan servicers, the companies that manage and collect the loan debt.  In a 2018 policy brief on student debt in New Jersey, the Center for Responsible Lending reported that servicers consistently fail to put borrowers into income-based repayment plans for which they qualify, misapply payments, report incorrect information to credit bureaus, and place borrowers in forbearance, or plans that cause their debt to balloon, which can lead to delinquencies and defaults.


Between 2011 and 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received nearly 1,900 complaints from New Jersey borrowers regarding their student loans, a 77 percent increase in complaints to the bureau in 2017 compared to the year before.  According to the current CFPB complaint database, the student comments regarding loan servicers continue to highlight the same problems.


Bill Offers Relief to Grads in Debt


S-1149/A-455, sponsored by Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson) and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic) passed in late 2017.  It called on the state Department of Banking and Insurance to establish strong lending standards and a licensing requirement for any student-loan servicer operating in the state.  It gave DOB I the power to enforce the standards, fine violators and to designate a student-loan ombudsman.


Unfortunately, former Gov. Chris Christie pocket vetoed the bill.  In the year after Christie vetoed the legislation, student debt grew in our state by more than $3.2 billion.  The average debt owed by a New Jersey student borrower is now $38,876.


Until the nation solves the broader education affordability crisis, we must put common-sense policies and protections in place that ensure a fair lending and repayment environment for student borrowers.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Trump administration unsurprisingly no longer advocates for student loan borrowers.  Six states have decided to step in to address the abuses in the student-lending sector by implementing student loan bill of rights.  New Jersey has not.


Richard Smith’s remarkable gesture will help a few hundred hopeful and deserving students start their lives without debt.  The New Jersey Legislature has the power to ensure that past graduates trying to manage debt, the class of 2019, and all future students who flip their tassels to begin their professional lives, can do so without fear of unfair, deceptive and abusive practices on the road to paying for their hard-earned education.


Easing the pathway to an affordable postsecondary education for our students not only benefits them, but our state as a whole.  Students would be able to make major purchases like a house or a car, and perhaps start families, sooner in life.


It’s time for the entire New Jersey Legislature and the governor to finish the job they started and make S-1149/A-455 the law of the land.  This is the graduation gift our students deserve.


Beverly Brown Ruggia is the financial justice organizer for New Jersey Citizen Action and leads the organization’s Students Before Profits Campaign to regulate for-profit post-secondary schools, and its effort to protect student-loan borrowers from lender abuses and to end the student-debt crisis.


Stephan Lally is a senior political-science major with a minor in public policy at Ramapo College of New Jersey, class of 2020, where he is Student Government Association president.  He just completed his one-year term on the board of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority.  Stephan was honored on July 24 at the HESAA Board Meeting with a resolution recognizing his “devoted” advocacy for students of New Jersey by providing valuable input on policy matters affecting students and their access to affordable and excellent higher education.


NJCU President is Panelist at NJ Spotlight Roundtable – “Preparing High Schoolers for College and Career”

July 1, 2019


NJCU President Sue HendersonIn the second NJ Spotlight’s 2019 “Defining the Diploma” series of roundtables, the June 18 discussion looked at private and public sector job paths for New Jersey graduates.  New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson was among the policy, college and business leaders addressing the issue of what skills graduates need to succeed beyond high school.


Since the movement for education standards and testing took off in the 1980s and 1990s, the issue has centered on what exactly students should know and be able to do to succeed beyond high school.  But that has been a moving target.  Especially in recent years, the skills and knowledge expected of high school graduates have shifted.


How are schools and the state dealing with these changing expectations?  What are the consequences for students who go to college?  And could there be a better connection between K-12 education and New Jersey’s wide array of businesses and employers – from small family shops to major corporations?


These questions were addressed in the June 18 discussion, that began with a Keynote Address by Mike Cohen, president of Achieve Inc., Washington, DC, discussed the past quarter century for the standards movement in the country and how states are addressing the resulting policy and political challenges.  One of his main takeaways was that before a state can impose standards and testing to evaluate those standards, the state must have a clear idea of the purpose of the testing – i.e., to measure student achievement or to evaluate teacher performance.


Dr. Henderson focused on what NJCU was doing to create a pathway for the students to meaningful employment and/or continued academic studies post-bachelor’s degree.  Dr. Henderson noted, “New Jersey City University believes that money should not be an obstacle to higher education, and our student financial aid programs are designed to help students manage tuition costs.”  She continued, “Our comprehensive needs-based student aid program makes higher education a reality for many students – in fact, 75% of our undergraduate students receive financial aid.  To make higher education a reality for students who would otherwise be unable to attend, New Jersey City University provides more than $20 million in financial aid annually.”


In 2016, NJCU launched the Debt-Free Promise Program, designed to make college education accessible and affordable for New Jersey residents who are pursuing their first undergraduate degree as incoming full-time freshman students.


The goal of the program is to eliminate the need for students to take out loans to cover the cost of tuition and fees.  All New Jersey residents who are admitted to NJCU from high school and attend full-time, with a family household income of $60,000 or less, will be offered a scholarship in lieu of having to take out a loan (after federal and state financial aid is awarded).


“NJCU students already graduate with the lowest rate of indebtedness (tuition and fees) of any other public college in New Jersey.  The NJCU Debt-Free Promise Program seeks to ensure that every student graduate with a clean financial slate by eliminating the need to take on unnecessary debt so that they can begin their professional careers unencumbered by financial burdens,” said Dr. Henderson.


She noted that from an academic perspective, NJCU offers several support programs designed to help students succeed at the university by developing their information literacy, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and study skills, as well as mentoring students with learning disabilities.


Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can also gain valuable experience for their future careers through NJCU’s Cooperative Education Program, which combines classroom learning with practical experience in the work place.  Students may choose from a wide range of employment opportunities to enhance both their academic classroom experience and their professional career skills.


NJ Spotlight’s John Mooney moderated the panel that included in addition to Dr. Henderson:


Linda Eno, Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Education

Dr. Aaron Fichtner, President, New Jersey Council of County Colleges, and former New Jersey Labor Commissioner

Gene C. Waddy, Chief Executive Officer, Diversant


Event sponsors – Pearson, ETS, and Public Consulting Group – helped make this event a reality at no cost to the attendees.  More “Defining the Diploma” events will take place this fall.


Below is NJTV’s video of the forum


Stockton Celebrates Its Moody’s Investor Service Report Issued May 23, 2019

May 28, 2019


Stockton University’s (Baa1/positive outlook) improving credit profile incorporates the university’s growing prominence within the state as a mid-sized regional public institution with diversifying programmatic offerings and broadening demographic reach.


Stabilizing financial operations, limited near-term capital financing needs, active fiscal oversight and increasing donor support highlight the improving strategic position consistent with its well-defined long-term strategic approach.  These credit strengths are offset by the university’s high overall leverage driven by both the substantial facility investment recent undertaken as well as rising retiree benefit liabilities.


With this elevated debt burden, the ability to successfully balance growth strategies with fiscal stewardship will be an important determinant of Stockton’s credit trajectory.  Operating margins have been managed at or near breakeven levels which, when combined with general stagnant available reserves and liquidity, provide modest financial flexibility to counter any future adverse financial conditions.


On May 23,2019, Moody’s revised the university’s outlook to positive from negative reflecting successful completion of the Atlantic City (AC) expansion and attainment of revenue and enrollment projections during this period of substantial investment and growth.


Governance and management: successful delivery on key strategic priorities enhances operating position.


Stockton’s strong leadership team has a cohesive and well-coordinated forward agenda that, along with a demonstrated record of managing large and complex initiatives with the state, provides a solid foundation for continued growth.  The successful completion of the Atlantic City campus and sizable investment at the Galloway campus underscores leadership’s actively managed long-term planning approach.  Development of strong budgetary policies and centralized financial monitoring has allowed the university to maintain stable fiscal operations throughout the recent expansionary project.  Leadership has well-defined strategic priorities that include expanding enrollment and access, strengthening intergovernmental collaboration and resources, improving academic outcomes, and enhancing reporting and board engagement for greater fiscal and operating oversight.

 Dr. Kathryn A. Foster is Inaugurated as The College of New Jersey’s 16th President

 May 6, 2019


The College of New Jersey formally installed its 16th president, Kathryn A. Foster, in a tradition-filled ceremony on May 3, 2019 in the Student Recreation Center.


“You now have the privilege and responsibility of leading the college to the fulfillment of its great promise for years to come,” said Susanne Svizeny, chair of TCNJ’s Board of Trustees.  “May you preserve the wonderful sense of community that is The College of New Jersey, and continue to foster the realization that there is strength in diversity.”


“I cannot wait to plan with you, to explore where we have been, where we are, and where we are going,” said Dr. Foster to the more than 700 members of the TCNJ community, who joined her family, friends, and colleagues from across the academy for the occasion.  “Here’s to three tenses at once, in our time, in this place, for tradition, for tomorrow, for TCNJ.”


She challenged the TCNJ community to consider what it wants to preserve from its past and draw upon its present to create its ideal future, and said we are well-positioned to do this work.


“We bring personal connections and shared experiences, a tenacity to take on big projects that make a difference, an ethos that values engagement, ideas, and one another, and a character that is honest, motivated, considerate, and ambitious,” said President Foster, a native of Verona, New Jersey, who was named TCNJ’s president on March 27, 2018 and officially began her tenure on July 1, 2018.


The ceremony featured greetings from the campus, local, state, and academic communities.  Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet spoke on behalf of Governor Phil Murphy, Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith-Ellis, and the state of New Jersey.


“As a distinguished institution, TCNJ continues to break the mold and produce world renowned leaders,” said Dr. Repollet, a 1994 alumnus of the college.  “With the inauguration of Kathryn Foster, I’m excited to see the amazing opportunities and experiences that the college will continue to offer its students.”


TCNJ Student Government President Brooke Chlebowski ’19 offered thanks to President Foster on behalf of the student body for energizing the campus community with her spirited presence and her willingness to engage with students of all years, majors, and backgrounds.


“The College of New Jersey is extremely fortunate to have a leader with the energy, intellect, compassion, and dedication that is exhibited through every obstacle and opportunity you have experienced,” said Ms. Chlebowski.


“Welcome to our community of scholars, researchers, athletes, artists, performers, advocates, leaders, daydreamers, and lions.  Welcome to blue and gold.”


Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber, who presented greetings on behalf of the academy, described the occasion as both a new beginning and a homecoming.  He noted that Dr. Foster earned her doctorate at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and that her award-winning dissertation was later published by Georgetown University Press.


“In Kate, TCNJ has found something truly special: a leader who exemplifies this institution’s values as an accomplished scholar, a dedicated teacher, and a tireless advocate for public education,” President Eisgruber said.


The ceremony featured musical performances by the TCNJ Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Eric Laprade, the singing of the national anthem by Rachael Alyse Watson ’20, and the singing of the college’s alma mater by students Joseph Ahn ’19, Nicole Poccia ’19, Noah Possible ’20, and Marietta Racancoj ’19.


As a nod to Foster’s Jersey roots and passion for visiting the nation’s state capitol buildings, Board Chair Svizeny presented Foster with a painting of the New Jersey Statehouse as a gift from the Board of Trustees.  It was painted by Eleanor Voorhees, a Lambertville, New Jersey artist whose work has been featured in national publications as well as galleries and private collections throughout the region.


“It is our wish that this painting of the New Jersey Statehouse be a source of inspiration to you for many years to come,” she said.

John Froonjian Named Interim Director of Hughes Center at Stockton University

May 6, 2019


John Froonjian has been appointed interim executive director of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University effective April 27, 2019.


Dr. Froonjian has been a researcher at the Hughes Center since 2011.  He has managed the Stockton Polling Institute since the academic public opinion polling center was established in September 2012.  He also teaches journalism as an adjunct professor at Stockton.


“John’s polls have represented the views of New Jersey residents on topics of vital interest in the state,” said President Harvey Kesselman.  “His broad knowledge of South Jersey issues and politics will enhance the mission and reach of the Hughes Center in the region and the state.”


Before joining the Hughes Center, Dr. Froonjian worked for 32 years as a reporter and editor at The Press of Atlantic City, including as a New Jersey Statehouse political reporter, investigative reporter, long-term projects reporter, database journalist and city editor.


Dr. Froonjian said he plans to expand the Hughes Center’s civic engagement activities by sponsoring panel discussions, speakers of public interest, candidate debates, public opinion polling and visits by elected officials and policy makers to Stockton University campuses.  He will also work to raise the Hughes Center’s profile statewide and nationally and grow its fund-raising ability.


“We find inspiration in the record of former congressman and ambassador Bill Hughes,” Dr. Froonjian said.  “He was a national leader on the environment, coastal issues, criminal justice, law, economic development, transportation and so much more.  These issues remain vitally important to New Jersey.”


The Hughes Center will also build collaborative partnerships with Stockton University faculty, staff, policy centers and students to advance its mission of civic engagement and education.


“It’s a win-win situation when Stockton’s expertise helps inform public debate on major issues and when the Hughes Center can provide resources that benefit Stockton’s students and academic community,” Dr. Froonjian said.


He also hopes to take advantage of the experience and skills of the Hughes Center’s Steering Committee in guiding the center to a new level of success.  The advisory board of high-level business and community leaders is chaired by Edward Salmon, former president of the N.J. Board of Public Utilities and chairman of Salman Ventures, Ltd.


Dr. Froonjian received his Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers-Camden, and will receive his Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D) in Organizational Leadership from Stockton on May 7.

HESAA Executive Director David Socolow Reports on FY 2020 State Budget, State Plan for Higher Education, and Improvements in NJCLASS Loans (as reported at the April 17, 2019 HESAA Board Meeting)
April 18, 2019

FY 2020 State Budget

Last month, Governor Murphy introduced New Jersey’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget, and I am pleased to report that this budget includes significant investments in state-funded financial aid programs.

First, the Governor’s budget increases funding for the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) program by $5 million over the prior year’s level. This would maintain TAG’s crucial funding that helps pay for 70,000 students’ undergraduate education in a New Jersey two-year or four-year degree program, while also providing the funds needed for two expansions of access to TAG grants. This new funding will cover TAG awards to New Jersey Dreamers whose eligibility for state-funded financial aid was made possible by a law the Governor signed last year. In addition, the Governor’s budget proposal would expand TAG eligibility to students participating in the New Jersey Scholarships and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJSTEP) program, which coordinates faculty from several colleges across our state to offer Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree courses to individuals incarcerated in New Jersey state prisons.

Second, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget would expand the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program to help make college more affordable by enabling more low- and moderate-income students to attend county college tuition- and fee-free, by covering students at all 19 county colleges statewide for both semesters of Academic Year 2019-2020. As you know, we are currently pilot testing this program in the Spring 2019 semester, by funding “last-dollar” CCOG awards that cover any balance of tuition and approved educational fees that remains after accounting for all other grants and scholarships that an eligible student receives. Approximately 9,000 students at the 13 county colleges participating in the pilot are potentially eligible for CCOG, as they enrolled at least half time this semester, have an adjusted gross income between $0 and $45,000, and their tuition and covered fees exceed the Pell, TAG, and other grants that they were awarded. We expected CCOG to fill in the gap so these students would not have to pay the balance of tuition and fees that was not covered by other grant aid. However, we have found that, despite their calculated need, some students face additional hurdles that may keep them from receiving CCOG awards, in part due to the unusual circumstances of starting this program in the second semester of an academic year. In the coming weeks, we will analyze what we have learned from this pilot, so as to inform future implementation of this initiative.

We will present the budget to the legislature early next month, and we look forward to the opportunity to discuss with legislators and the general public these important priorities for the success of New Jersey’s students.  Read full story.

Kean University Students Help Make Theater Sensory Friendly for All

April 17, 2019


The sound level in Wilkins Theater on Kean University’s Union campus was lowered, the house lights were cut in half, and a team of Kean graduate students provided sensory friendly sand play, crafts, games and a crawl-through tunnel during a recent performance of the children’s show Pinkalicious: The Musical.


The Kean Stage performance was designed for all children, including those with autism and other special needs, to enjoy and provided valuable experience for the graduate students who volunteered to work the event.


“This is a non-judgment zone,” said Ellen Hedden, clinical development coordinator for Kean’s School of Communication Disorders and Deafness (CDD).  “If there is a child who is holding his ears and rocking, nobody is going to give that child a look.  No one is going to say to a parent, ‘What are you doing with your kid?’ This is an opportunity for families that have typically developing children, and children with special needs, to participate in something fun and stimulating together.”


Adrianna Sirigos and Karmen Caporaso, both second-year students, said they love working with children.  None of the graduate students knew which children had special needs, but it did not matter.


“It’s all about being inclusive,” Ms. Sirigos said.  “Sometimes if a sibling has a sensory need, the typical sibling has to miss out on an activity.  This is a way to provide for sensory needs and include typical siblings too.”


Before the performance, the students set up hands-on sensory activity stations in the lobby.  Children with and without disabilities played side by side, with many dressed like the character Pinkalicious – lots of pink shirts, pink leggings, frilly pink dresses, and sparkly pink shoes.


“We have a sensory-motor station, a fine motor skills station and more,” said Emily Jurcsek ’18, a first-year graduate student who staffed a station with student Victoria Giannone.  “If kids need a break from the show, we are here.  They can come out, and we give them a break.”


Maria Artiaga of Elizabeth brought her two sons, one of whom has special needs, to the show.  The family also saw another sensory-friendly performance at Kean a few months ago, Pete the Cat.


“This is wonderful,” Ms. Artiaga said.  “We live nearby and we’re really happy to have these activities.”


The success of Pete the Cat prompted Kean Stage to work with the CDD program to provide another sensory-friendly performance.


“We got such great feedback after Pete the Cat that I knew we had to try again,” said Kean Stage Manager Steve Cochran.  “For this sensory-friendly performance, the audience more than doubled, and we had twice as many people who showed up early to take advantage of pre-show activities with our student volunteers from the CDD program.”


Susan Indri of Woodbridge brought her two young daughters to the show.  Indri got into the pink spirit, too, wearing a pink tutu, pink headband and a T-shirt with a pink heart design.


“My children are not on the spectrum, but I know parents whose children are.  I think it’s great to make this available to all children,” she said.  “We love Kean and all the programs.”


Midway through the performance, James Mortimer of Cranford brought his two-year-old son to the play stations.  The sand play provided a good break for the toddler.


“Just sitting still for a while is hard,” he said.  “This is great.  If my wife wasn’t here to stay inside with my daughter, I’d be wrangling with him.  It lets her enjoy the show while he plays.”


Kean CDD students volunteer in other community settings as well, from a “sensory story hour” at the Elizabeth Public Library, to a voice therapy program working with transgender adults in Newark.  The experiences give Kean students something extra to offer when they apply for jobs.


Photo/Caption:  Graduate student volunteers from Kean University’s College of Communication Disorders and Deafness provided sensory play stations during a recent Kean Stage family services performance of Pinkalicious: The Musical.  Children with and without special needs enjoyed the activities.  An American Sign Language interpreter, lower sound volumes and other changes helped make the theater performance inclusive for all children.

Kean University Students Start Their Own Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journal

April 16, 2019


Kean students now have a homegrown peer-reviewed journal, KeanQuest, in which to share and publish their scholarly research and articles.  The online journal has published its first issue, which features articles authored by four groups of Kean students and their faculty mentors.


“Research and scholarly works require a student to dig deeper, to think bigger, and to extract more from themselves in their pursuit of knowledge, application, creation and creativity,” said Paul J. Croft, PhD, associate vice president for academic affairs and editor-in-chief of KeanQuest.  “These publications give students a direct window into career pathways by demonstrating the level of effort and hard work needed to be among the most competitive people in their field.”


The inaugural issue explores a variety of topics: methods to promote social skills in children with autism; the effects of the color red on juries in criminal cases; the process of turning sheet metal into colorful artworks; and traditional versus alternative approaches to accent management for non-native English speakers.


Emily Jurcsek ’18 of Edison, who is pursuing a master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Kean, had two articles accepted, one that she authored alone, and the other as part of a research team.


“This process has taught me that there are many ways to contribute to your field besides becoming a good clinician.  I plan on including research as a part of my future career,” she said.


Kean students were invited to submit their research and articles to KeanQuest.  The articles were then reviewed by Kean faculty.  The authors of articles chosen for publication were also given the opportunity to work with their faculty mentors to improve and refine their submissions before publication.


“Knowing that the journal is Kean’s own helps to create a nurturing environment where nobody has to feat the feedback they’ll get.  Corrections are not personal, and sharing our knowledge with each other only helps make us all wiser, as well as grow thicker skins,” said Nicole Andexler ’18 from Toms River, who submitted the article, The Red Effect in Jury Decision-Making.


Susan Gannon, Kean’s acting director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, said KeanQuest develops students’ skills through collaboration with faculty.


“Students who submit their work to the journal get individualized feedback, which will help them improve their writing and communicate effectively,” she said.


Wesley Williams of Ewing, a speech-language pathology student, said the publishing process was “long, but rewarding,” and expects the experience to pay dividends in the future.


“I’m still a student, and this is a wonderful accomplishment that will help me to stand out among my peers,” he said.



Photo:  Kean University graduate student Emily Jurcsek ’18 had two articles published in the first issue of Kean’s new peer-reviewed scholarly journal, KeanQuest.

Ramapo College Senior Selected for Fulbright U.S. Student Teaching Award to South Korea

April 4, 2019


Senior Christina Dwyer ’19, a literature major from Denville, NJ, received an English Teaching Assistant grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the second-ever Fulbright scholarship to be awarded to a Ramapo college student.  Christina will spend 13 months in South Korea teaching English and serving as a “cultural ambassador for the United States” beginning in July 2019.


“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this honor,” said Christina.  “It’s going to be very intense, but I am so excited for such an opportunity.  I’m ready for this journey.”


Established in 1946 and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright Program is the largest U.S. international exchange program that offers opportunities to students, scholars, and professionals for graduate study, advanced research, and elementary, secondary, and university teaching across the globe.


“The immensely competitive nature of a Fulbright Award cannot be overstated,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer.  “With guidance from a dedicated Ramapo College faculty mentor, Christina has already achieved, as an undergraduate, something that many learned people only hope to accomplish at some point in their lifetime.”


Professor Naseem Choudhury, director of the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships and Faculty Program Advisor for the Fulbright Program for U.S. Students at Ramapo College, said Christina is deserving of the Fulbright, considered one of the most prestigious awards given to an undergraduate student.


“Christina is one of the most driven individuals I have met,” said Professor Choudhury.  “She is clear in her desire to develop such bridges between the USA and South Korea.  She is candid and honest, qualities that people gravitate toward and yet she is clearly aware that she is the image of America that people will take away when they leave her classroom.  Her self-reflective and inclusive nature makes her an ideal representative of American culture and values in their totality.  As a Fulbright recipient I have no doubt that she will be the ideal ambassador to the world …. (She) was absolutely determined to go back to the country that had captured her imagination and do what she so loves to do.”


Christina participated in a study abroad program in South Korea in spring 2018 for what she called a life-changing experience.  “That was an incredible trip for me,” she said.  “In addition to my studies, I visited some rural areas of the country, hiked through the mountains and spent a weekend in a Buddhist temple.  It was amazing.”


Upon arrival in South Korea in July, Christina will participate in a six-week orientation that will include taking an intense Korean language course and other courses about Korean culture and history.  After completion, she will meet her host family.  While teaching English to Korean students, she also plans to introduce them to American folklore that represent various cultural groups within the United States.


“This topic has always interested me and I’m very excited to have the chance to focus on this particular type of literature,” Christina said.  “I am even more excited to create a conversation with my students as to how these works contrast with Korea’s traditional literature.”


The Fulbright experience also will not be the first foray into teaching for Christina, who hopes to pursue a career as an ESL teacher for middle or high school students when she returns.  Following her high school graduation, she spent several weeks during the summer in Austria teaching English to young students.  “I’m far from fluent in German [Austria’s official language] but I managed pretty well,” she said.  “I knew then that teaching is what I wanted to do.”



Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

Stockton Poll:  New Jersey Motorists Say Much-Needed Infrastructure Repair Should be Fueled with Federal Money

April 14, 2019


Motorists say New Jersey roads and bridges are in bad shape and should be fixed.  But only a minority are willing to personally pay more for road work, preferring federal funding to repair infrastructure, according to a Stockton University Poll released recently.


In the poll of 632 New Jersey adults, 80 percent rated the condition of the state’s roads and highways as fair (45 perce4nt) or poor (35 percent).  Respondents rated the condition of New Jersey’s bridges and tunnels only a little better, with 63 percent rating them as fair (43 percent) or poor (20 percent).  Thirty-eight percent said they have felt concern for their safety when traveling over a bridge or through a tunnel.


Nearly half say poor road conditions have cost them money in repairs, with 46 percent saying their car sustained a flat tire or other damage because of a pothole in the last three years.  Thirty-one percent called potholes the greatest hazard on the state’s roads.


The Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University interviewed 632 adult residents of New Jersey in this poll.  Live interviewers called landline and cell telephones March 21-28, 2019.  The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.


Strong majorities believe leaders in Washington should do more about the problem.  Sixty-two percent said President Donald Trump is not paying enough attention to the conditions of roads, bridges and tunnels, while 22 percent said he is, and 15 percent were unsure.


But the president fared better than Congress; 76 percent said leaders in Congress were not paying enough attention to infrastructure concerns, while 13 percent said they are, and 10 percent were unsure.  Researcher John Froonjian of the Hughes Center said the results are consistent with abysmally low ratings of Congress in previous Stockton polls.


New Jersey adults would overwhelmingly support a federal infrastructure bill discussed in Washington that would spent up to $200 billion, according to the poll.  Eighty percent said they would support it, with 10 percent opposed and 9 percent unsure.  However, when asked whether they personally were willing to pay more to help finance construction projects for roads and bridges, 48 percent said no, while 45 percent said they would be willing, and 7 percent were unsure.


“New Jersey is a very high-state tax, and taxpayers already feel that they are tapped out,” said Michael W. Klein, interim executive director of the Hughes Center.  “The state’s gas tax increased more than 27 cents per gallon between 2016 and 2018, and the congestion pricing plan for driving into New York City, recently approved under New York State’s new budget, will make commuting for many New Jerseyans more expensive than ever when it is implemented.”


The percentage in support of a federal infrastructure bill dropped to 55 percent if the bill would increase the federal debt.


So how to fund infrastructure repairs?  Among those willing to pay more to improve road and bridge conditions, one-third would support higher tolls, including increased tolls on existing toll roads (21 percent) or charging new tolls on New Jersey roads that do not have them (13 percent).  Eighteen percent supported a higher gasoline tax, while 20 percent would increase other taxes such as the state’s sales or income taxes.  Only 5 percent wanted more government debt.


Distracted Drivers Also a Major Hazard


While poor road conditions were seen as dangerous by many, the most respondents (49 percent) said distracted drivers posed the greatest hazard on the road.  A majority of 55 percent said New Jersey drivers generally drive too fast.  Six percent said they drive too slowly, while 35 percent said most drive at appropriate speeds.  However, there was little appetite for greater enforcement of anti-speeding laws: 53 percent wanted no change in enforcement levels, and 6 percent wanted less enforcement.  Forty percent would like stricter enforcement of speed limits.


Eighty-four percent of respondents said they drive more than 10 mph over the speed limit at least occasionally, with 39 percent responding they speed very or somewhat often.  Otherwise, motorists rate themselves as careful drivers.  Only 9 percent said they are distracted when they drive very or somewhat often, and the same percentage admitted to driving too aggressively very or somewhat often.  Eleven percent said they have frequently made rude gestures at other drivers, and 7 percent said they have felt road rage.  Hardly anyone – 1 percent – said they ran stop signs or traffic lights very or somewhat often, while 17 percent said they do so occasionally.


Finally, many see traffic as the bane of New Jersey driving.  Ten percent identified it as the greatest road hazard, and 56 percent (60 percent in North Jersey) said it poses a major inconvenience (23 percent) or a serious problem (33 percent).  Thirty-seven percent called it a minor inconvenience.


For full poll results, go to Poll Results.


About the Hughes Center


The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter) at Stockton University serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey, and promotes the civic life of New Jersey through engagement, education and research.  The center is named for William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career includes service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton.  The Hughes Center can be found on YouTube, and can be followed on Facebook @StocktonHughesCenter, Twitter @hughescenter and Instagram @_stockton_hughes_center.




The poll of New Jersey adults was conducted by the Stockton Polling Institute of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy March 21-28, 2019.  Live interviewers who are mostly Stockton University students called cell phones and landlines from the Stockton University campus.  Overall, 59 percent of interviews were conducted on cell phones and 41 percent on landline phones.  A total of 632 respondents screened as adults and residents of New Jersey were interviewed.  Both cell and landline phone numbers came from a random digital dialing (RDD) sample provided by MSG.  Data are weighted based on U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 5-year data for New Jersey on variables of age, ethnicity, race, education level, sex and region.  The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.9 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. MOE is higher for subsets.  The Stockton Polling Institute is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Thomas Edison State University Celebrates Accelerated Nursing Program Graduates

April 2, 2019

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State University honored graduates of its April 2018-19 Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program with a pinning ceremony on March 26, 2019 at George A. Pruitt Hall.

The pinning signifies a ceremonial entrance into the profession for graduates who are now eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).  The April cohort, one of

two Accelerated BSN cohorts administered yearly by the school, represented 14 students who entered the program with non-nursing undergraduate degrees and successfully completed 60 credits within the program’s concentrated 12-month timeframe.


During the ceremony, program graduate Colleen Geib of Jersey City, NJ, received the Dr. Christine M. Rosner Clinical Excellence Award presented by the school’s Interim Dean Dr. Ana Maria Catanzaro.  Members of the graduating class who demonstrated superior academic achievement, integrity and professional leadership potential were inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.


“Remember to advocate relentlessly, care wholeheartedly and remember to always smile at the people we care for,” counselled Student Speaker Anthonyette A. Karyczak of Highland Park, NJ, during her address to fellow graduates.


Launched in 2011, the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program features online and campus-based courses as well as simulation lab experiences provided by Thomas Edison State University.  Clinical experiences are held at Capital Health facilities in Hopewell Township and Trenton, NJ, as well as various community-based agencies in the Mercer County area.


To learn more about this and other academic programs available through the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, visit http://www.tesu.edu/nursing.

Stockton Partners with Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind – a “Sustainable” Public/Private Partnership

April 2, 2019


Stockton University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind that will support research, academic programs and events at Stockton.


The agreement also could provide Stockton students and faculty with opportunities to assist with the development of Orsted proposed Ocean Wind project, should that project receive state approval.  Orsted has submitted an application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to develop an offshore wind farm 15 miles from the coast of Atlantic City.


“This partnership with Orsted is an excellent example of academia and corporations working together,” said Lori Vermeulen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Stockton University.  “Our new Academic Quad includes a Sustainability Lab and we look forward to contributing to the development of wind energy in New Jersey.”


Under the agreement Orsted will provide funding to assist in promoting educational programming related to alternative energy, climate change and resiliency.  Stockton offers degree programs in Environmental Science, Marine Science, and Sustainability.  The university also operates a Marine Field Station and a Coastal Research Center.


“Stockton University has strong academic programs and scientific expertise that align well with our mission to bring offshore wind to New Jersey,” said Thomas Brostrom, CEO of Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind and President of Orsted North America.  “We look forward to working with both faculty and students as we build a new industry in the state that will deliver clean, reliable energy while enhancing the economy.”


Stockton University


Stockton University is ranked among the top public universities in the Northeast.  Students can choose to live and learn on the main campus in the Pinelands National Reserve and at a new coastal residential campus just steps from the beach and Boardwalk in Atlantic City.  Learn about our more than 160 undergraduate and graduate programs at Stockton.edu.




The Orsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy.  Orsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, bioenergy plants and innovative waste-to-energy solutions and provides smart energy products to its customers.  Headquartered in Demark, Orsted employs 6,080 people. Orsted’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted).  In 2018, the group’s revenue was DKK 76.9 billion (EUR 10.7 billion).  For more information on Orsted, visit orsted.com or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

William Paterson University Dean Kara Rabbitt is Honored to be Named American Council on Education Fellow


March 28, 2019


Kara Rabbitt, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at William Paterson University, has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for academic year 2019-20.  She is one of 39 Fellows selected from across the country following nomination by the senior administration of their institution and a rigorous application process.


“Dr. Rabbitt will join a class of Fellows from various colleges and universities around the nation,” said Richard J. Helldobler, president of William Paterson University.  “She will learn with and from them, as well as from a number of higher education leaders, several of whom will serve as her mentors.  I wish Dr. Rabbitt great success in her Fellowship year.”


Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration through its distinctive and intensive nominator-driven, cohort-based mentorship model.  More than 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having gone on to serve as senior leaders of colleges and universities.


“The ACE Fellows Program epitomizes ACE’s goal of enriching the capacity of leaders to innovate and adapt, and it fuels the expansion of a talented and diverse higher education leadership pipeline,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell.  “Each year I am impressed by how many former Fellows are named to prominent leadership roles, which makes it even more exciting to meet each new cohort.  I’m left wondering, ‘Where will these Fellows end up?’”


Dr. Rabbitt has served as dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences since 2011.  She previously served as interim dean of the College from 2009 to 2011, and as associate dean from 2006 to 2009.  During her tenure as dean, Dr. Rabbitt has led the College through a strategic planning process resulting in the establishment of the University’s second doctoral program, the doctor of psychology degree, as well as the master of fine arts in creative and professional writing, along with several undergraduate degree programs.  She has also secured and supervised numerous contracts and grants, including a recent $190,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for “Expanding Vistas: Global Contexts, Local Lives,” which will enhance the University’s language instruction in Arabic and Korean and support the development of a new Korean studies minor.


A professor of languages and cultures, Dr. Rabbitt joined William Paterson in 1997.  She founded, directed, and taught all levels of the French and Francophone Studies program.  A specialist in Francophone Caribbean literature and 19th century French poetry, she has taught courses in the University’s graduate program in bilingual and ESL education, interdisciplinary humanities honors program, the English department, and Africana world studies program.  She is the author of numerous published articles, book chapters, and webpages, and has presented at national and international conferences.  A graduate of the  University of California, Santa Cruz, she holds a doctorate in Romance studies from Cornell University, and has taught at the Universite’ de Paris at Nanterre.


The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, visits to campuses, and other higher education-related organizations, and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year.


During the placement, Fellows observe and work with the president and other senior officers at their host institution, attend decision-making meetings, and focus on issues of interest.  Fellows also conduct projects of pressing concern for their home institution and seek to implement their findings upon completion of the fellowship placement.


At the conclusion of the fellowship year, Fellows return to their home institution with new knowledge and skills that contribute to capacity-building efforts, along with a network of peers across the country and abroad.


About ACE


ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice.  As the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, ACE represents more than 1,700 college and university presidents and related associations.  For more information, please visit www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEEducation.

2019 Quick Takes

Newark Museum Internship Puts Kean University Senior on Path Toward Arts Leadership - February 25, 2019

Cyber Threat Intelligence Experts to Gather at New Jersey City University for National Security Symposium - February 25, 2019

William Paterson University Galleries to Receive $20,000 Grant from National Endowment for the Arts - February 21, 2019

Montclair State Earns R2 Designation (High Research Activity) from Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education - February 21, 2019

Symposium at William Paterson University Launches the Propel Paterson Initiative - February 21, 2019

Commencement News: Congressman Jeff Van Drew Will be Keynote Speaker at Stockton'sCommencement May 10 - February 19, 2019

Stockton University Offers New Subject Area of Concentration in Migration Studies - January 31, 2019

William Paterson University and the City of Paterson Partner to 'Propel Paterson' Towards Revitalization - January 23, 2019

The Tuchman Foundation Partners with TESU Foundation to Help Coast Guard Students Affected by Partial Government Shutdown - January 22, 2019

Stockton Will Partner with Thomas Jefferson University and Other Institutions for its Cannabis Studies Program - January 22, 2019

Stockton Dual Credit Class Fills "Math Gap" for College-Bound High School Seniors - January 14, 2019

Thomas Edison State University Foundation to Offer Tuition Assistance for Coast Guard Members Affected by Government Shutdown - January 15, 2019

School of Applied Science and Technology at Thomas Edison State University Launches Journal of Women and Minorities in Technology - January 10, 2019

Renowned Sculptor Jim Dessicino Returns Home to Join Stockton Faculty - January 2, 2019

NJCU Will Institute Test-Optional Admissions Policy Beginning with Fall 2020 Class - January 2, 2019

2018 Quick Takes

Thomas Edison State University President Merodie Hancock Inducted in the 2018 International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame - December 4, 2018

The National Aviation Research and Technology Park of Stockton University Contracts with NJ Innovation Institute - December 4, 2018

Kean University’s Patricia Morreale Honored by Being Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) - November 29, 2018

NJCU Workforce Development Programs Can Jumpstart a New Career - November 27, 2018

William Paterson University Hosts its 12th Annual National Sales Challenge with a Record Number of Participants  - November 16, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Partners with Augusta Technical College, Georgia - November 8, 2018

‘Hidden Child’ of the Holocaust Speaks at Kean University Kristallnacht Commemoration - November 7, 2018

The College of New Jersey Launches “Trenton Roots” Exhibit in Trenton Hall - October 29, 2018

Stockton University to Host Acclaimed Annual Conference on Diversity in Higher Education - October 29, 2018

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo Donates His Congressional Memorabilia to Stockton University - October 19, 2018

NJCU Leads NJ Delegation to Budapest, Hungary for a Prestigious Global Conference on Innovation and Collaboration - October 11, 2018

Stockton’s New Master’s in Counseling will Go Live in September 2019 - October 10, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Inaugurates its Fourth President, Dr. Merodie Hancock, at 46th Commencement Ceremony - October 11, 2018

Investiture Speech of William Paterson University President Richard J. Helldobler - October 7, 2018

Governor Murphy Outlines Programs and Innovations Geared to Economic Growth - October 1, 2018

The U.S. Senate Race in NJ is a Statistical Dead Heat, According to Stockton University Poll - October 1, 2018

New Jersey City University Debt-Free Promise Program - September 27, 2018

Renowned Historian Jon Meacham and ‘Professional Fixer’ Judy Smith Open Kean’s 2018-19 Distinguished Lecture Series - September 27, 2018

Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver Featured Speaker at Annual Stockton Symposium on Civil Rights - September 27, 2018

TCNJ Launches Innovative ‘T-Style’ Master of Business Administration Program - September 24, 2018

Ramapo College Program on October 23 Features Renowned Holocaust Survivor, who is Stepsister of Anne Frank - September 19, 2018

STOCKTON POLLING INSTITUTE POLL: VanDre Leads Grossman in 2nd District Congressional Race; in U.S. Senate Race, Hugin Leading Menendez in South Jersey District - September 19, 2018

Stockton University in Partnership with Recovery Court Program Transforms Lives - September 12, 2018

Kean University Offers Five New Academic Programs, Responding to Demands of a Changing World - September 12, 2018

Ramapo College of New Jersey Welcomes a First Year Class that is Four Percent Larger than Last Year’s Class September 6, 2018

Free Concert on the Jersey City Waterfront Celebrates the NJCU Alumni Jazz Big Band and the Jersey City Community - September 5, 2018

NJ Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology Signed Into Law by Governor Murphy - August 23, 2018

TESU and Bossier Parish Community College Partner to Strengthen Cybersecurity Workforce -  August 21, 2018

NJCU Launches Public Safety Program Facilitated by National and State Partnerships -  August 21, 2018

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

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

Stockton Board Approves Purchase of Large Mixed-Use Property in Atlantic City, Near New Boardwalk Campus - August 8, 2018

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

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

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

NJCU Offers Innovative Doctoral Program in Community College Leadership - July 30, 2018

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

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

The College of New Jersey to Help Lead Civic Information Consortium - July 25, 2018

Ramapo College and Touro College of Pharmacy Create a Fast-Track, Pharmaceutical Program - July 23, 2018

New Jersey City University’s Center for the Arts Announces its Inaugural Director - July 16, 2018

Stockton Polling Institute Predicts Winners and is a Winner - July 12, 2018

Stockton Report Indicates New Jersey Beaches are in Better Shape than Before Hurricane Sandy - June 27, 2018

Kean University College of Education among First in New Jersey to Receive New National Accreditation - June 25, 2018

William Paterson University Galleries Awarded an NEA Grant to Celebrate NJ Artist Ben Shahn - June 25, 2018

New Jersey City University Appoints Former NJCU Student-Athlete Star as its Head Women’s Basketball Coach - June 21, 2018

NJCU Appoints Michael Edmondson Dean of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning - May 24, 2018

New Jersey City University (NJCU) Receives Grant to Address Tobacco Use on Campus - May 23, 2018

New York Times Editorial: Four-Year Degree Absolutely Needed - May 18, 2018

U.S. Senator Cory Booker Tells Kean University’s Class of 2018 to Find Power in Kindness - May 17, 2018

Commencement News: NJCU to Graduate 1,935 on May 22 at Prudential Center - May 14, 2018

NJ Governor Murphy Transmits Words of Wisdom to Stockton’s Graduates on the Boardwalk - May 14, 2018

Kean is Offering Eight New Programs for New Fall Semester 2018 - May 3, 2018

William Paterson is First Institution in New Jersey to Support Reverse Transfer Initiative Granting Associate Degrees to Community College Transfer Students - May 9, 2018

Ramapo Appoints New Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs - May 1, 2018

Kean University Graduate College Commencement: Broadway’s Leslie Odom Jr. to Deliver Address - May 1, 2018

Ramapo College Commencement: Congressman Gottheimer to Deliver Address - May 1, 2018

Mobile Business Cards App Wins Kean Business Plan Competition - April 27, 2018

Ramapo College Vocal Ensemble Performs at Lincoln Center - April 26, 2018

NJCU Celebrates Its Renovated and Expanded Science Building - April 23, 2018
NJCU Music Department Receives Prestigious Honor from Si-Yo Music Society Foundation - April 11, 2018
State Public Bank Would be good for New Jersey According to Hughes Center Report - April 10, 2018
Stockton University to Sell the Seaview Hotel & Golf Club - April 9, 2018

William Paterson Events in April Highlight Excellence of Research and Scholarship Initiatives - April 9, 2018

Thomas Edison State University Fills Position of Chief of Staff/Board Secretary - April 5, 2018

Lesniak Institute at Kean Hosts its Inaugural Event: “Youth Against Gun Violence: Keep the Movement Going” - April 4, 2018

Rutgers Associate Athletic Director Will Become NJCU’s Associate VP and Director of Athletics - March 29, 2018

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster Named TCNJ’s 16th President - March 27, 2018

Second Annual “No Hate” Town Hall at Kean University to Explore Injustice, Poverty and Racism in New Jersey - March 14, 2018

William Paterson University Names a New President:  Dr. Richard Helldobler - March 9, 2018

William Paterson University Graduation Will Feature Keynote Address from WCBS-TV Anchor Kristine Johnson - March 7, 2018

NJCU New Jersey 50 Index Issues an Economic Report Card - March 6, 2018

William Paterson’s Radio Station Named the Best College Radio Station - March 6, 2018

William Paterson Communications Professor Goes for a Gold in Researching the Role of Social Media at the 2018 Winter Olympics - March 1, 201

A Conversation with NJ Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, Chair of the Assembly Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee - February 23, 2018

NJCU and Jersey City – Perfect Together in Ethnic Diversity and Excellence  February 23, 2018

COMMENCEMENT NEWS:  Stockton’s 2018 Commencement at Boardwalk Hall will Feature Governor Phil Murphy February 21,2018

Kean University Scientist, Designers Suppoort Portable Operating Room Project - February 20, 2018

NJCU Celebrates Black History Month with Its Gil Noble Collection of Legendary Programs from WABC-TV’s Pioneering Public Affairs Series, ‘Like It Is’ - February 15, 2018

Journalist Bob Woodward to Kick Off New Distinguished Lecture Series at Kean University - February 14, 2018

Former NJASCU Executive Director Michael Klein is Honored by William Paterson University Board of Trustees - February 9, 2018

Montclair State University and The College of New Jersey Partner in the James P. Fox Memorial Fund Mentoring Initiative - The James P. Fox Memorial Fund Launches Two Initiatives to Cultivate Public Sector Careers - February 1, 2018

Ramapo College Board of Trustees Extends President Mercer’s Term to 2021 - February 1, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch Speaks at Stockton University about Upholding America’s Founding Principles - January 24, 2018

Ramapo Receives a Million Dollar Grant to Provide Recovery Housing and a Comprehensive Drug-Recovery Program - January 24, 2018

TCNJ Launches Speech Pathology and Audiology Major - January 22, 2018

William Paterson Launches the Nation’s First Graduate Degree in Professional Sales for Working Executives - January 21, 2018

Prior Years' Quick Takes

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