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

Association Staff

Barbara Berreski, JD, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Director, Government & Legal Affairs

bberreski@njascu.org


Directors


Patricia S. Berry

Chief Operating Officer

pastearman@njascu.org


Pamela J. Hersh

Communications & Public Affairs

pjhersh@njascu.org 


Support Staff


Charlene R. Pipher

Executive Assistant/Web Design

crpipher@njascu.org


Terry Toth

Part-Time Secretarial Assistant

tmtoth@njascu.org 



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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:


New Jersey Has a Democratic State Government Trifecta in 2019 Elections

November 6, 2019

 

The New Jersey General Assembly, the lower chamber of the New Jersey State Legislature, had all of its 80 seats up for election in 2019.  All 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly were up for election in 2017.  Democrats increased their majority from 52-28 to 54-26.  New Jersey has a Democratic state government trifecta, when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office          and majorities in both state legislative chambers.  The trifecta will still exist in January 2020 when the assembly members are sworn in, but …

 

Democrats appear to have lost at least three and as many as five seats in the New Jersey Legislature, including the only Senate race on the ballot.  And they did not flip any of the three districts they were targeting on this year’s election, which took place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

 

With 100 percent of the districts reporting, Republicans captured the Senate seat in the southernmost 1st District, as well as both Assembly seats there.  They also held a smaller lead in the neighboring 2nd, a split district with a Republican senator that includes Atlantic City.  That race, however, had not been called with fewer than 800 votes separating the second and third place finishers and mail-in and provisional ballots apparently uncounted as of midnight.  Final results there may not be available for several days.

 

Democrats were also unable to flip seats in three districts they had been targeting, although they did keep control of the Assembly seats in two others considered competitive.

 

Doug Steinhardt, chairman of the state Republican Party, took a victory lap at Assembly Republican leader Jon Bramnick’s election night party.  “We’ve done a great job as a state party, laying a foundation for the future,” he said.  “I am proud of our message (and) our candidates statewide.”

 

It was a relatively quiet election season in much of the state and Democratic control of the Assembly was never in doubt.  The party went into Election Day holding 54 of 80 seats and will likely start the new session in January with a reduced but still significant majority of 50 to 30.  Paradoxically, the loss of seats in South Jersey could improve Gov. Phil Murphy’s standing, as the South Jersey Democrats who lost seats have sided with fellow South Jerseyan Sen. President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) against Murphy in an ongoing intraparty feud.

 

Turnout in off-year elections like this one tends to be low, but this time around it appears to have been higher than in 2015 – the last time the Assembly topped balloting - particularly in areas with hot contests.  With about 97% of districts reporting, it appeared about a quarter of voters cast ballots, but as the rest of the votes – including mail-in and provisional votes – are counted that turnout percentage is bound to rise.  Four years ago, just 22% of those registered voted.  But expanded use of mail-in ballots seems to have contributed to an increase this time and more of those ballots remain to be counted, as all ballots postmarked by Election Day are still processed if received by end of business tomorrow.  Democrats hold a wide lead in voter registration in the state, with nearly 1 million more choosing blue than red, and the party has done a better job at getting its voters to use mail-in ballots.

 

The sole statewide ballot question, to provide an annual $250 property-tax break for some veterans living in continuing care retirement communities, won easily with the support of more than three-quarters of the electorate, despite having posed some confusion among voters.  Backed by a small group of veterans living in CCRCs, it was supported by neither widespread campaigning nor spending, even while NJ 101.5 morning talk show host Bill Spadea made last-minute arguments against the question.

 

“It’s something that had to be done,” said Gary Baldwin, a retired Air Force officer who spent 26 years in the military, who has been fighting for this change for 18 years.  “It’s the right thing to do.  Many of my veterans were denied this opportunity.  It really righted the wrong, it corrected a discriminatory thing in the law.  Very happy for these veterans.  So many veterans passed away from WW2, but those who are still alive deserve this.” Read more.


HESAA Executive Director Updates HESAA’s Progress on Serving the Financial Needs of Students Attending New Jersey’s Colleges and Universities
November 3, 2019

Helping Students Meet Basic Needs and Pay for Non-Tuition Costs of Attending College

HESAA is committed to empowering financial aid officers at colleges and universities to think holistically about their students’ overall financial needs and the potential for public benefits to fill in the gaps and help with living expenses. HESAA recently launched a project to inform financial aid professionals about how to connect their low-income students with public programs that offer food, health care, cash assistance, child care, housing, and other services and benefits.

HESAA leads the state’s significant investment in financial aid that helps tens of thousands of students pay their college tuition – but student aid alone is not always enough to help low-income students achieve their postsecondary dreams. Students who struggle to meet their basic human needs can have a greater opportunity for success if they receive support in covering the indirect costs of attending college as well as the direct costs of tuition and fees.

The professionals who work directly with students to help them pay for tuition are in a unique position to offer counsel about available supports.

To raise awareness in the financial aid community, HESAA hosted a webinar last month with subject matter experts from the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), who covered such topics as the state’s new policies to increase needy college students’ access to food assistance through the SNAP program, initiatives to help more low-income parents pay for child care, improvements to monthly cash assistance payments, and federal and state housing vouchers and rental assistance.

The recording of the webinar is now available for those who were unable to watch it live, and HESAA also presented a summary of this information to more than 100 professionals at last week’s Fall Forum of the New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In the coming months, HESAA will amplify these important messages to continue promoting opportunities to go beyond financial aid in helping students address unmet needs.

Grants and Scholarships

HESAA’s 2019-2020 grant and scholarship programs are well underway. Last week colleges began using HESAA’s NJFAMS system to certify the state financial aid that is credited to students’ accounts.

HESAA’s staff has worked effectively and expeditiously to prepare our systems, procedures, and records; verify tens of thousands of students’ eligibility; respond to the annual flood of inquiries from students, parents, and financial aid administrators; and many other vital tasks to get the new school year off to a great start.

Even as this school year has begun, we are already starting the next academic year, as the financial aid cycle kicked off with the opening of the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on October 1 and HESAA’s Alternative Financial Aid application for New Jersey Dreamers on the same day.

Just in the past three weeks, more than 60,000 New Jersey students have applied for financial aid for academic year 2020-2021, including nearly 600 New Jersey Dreamers.

Notably, starting with academic year 2020-2021, HESAA will no longer require applicants for state aid to complete extra questions in addition to the FAFSA. This will remove an administrative burden from both students and schools.

This fall HESAA is also expanding their efforts to provide updated information about financial aid to high school counselors, whose guidance is often young people’s primary source in planning for college. HESAA’s 12 workshops this year – two more than in prior years – are slated to be attended by almost 1,000 secondary school counselors at sites across the state from October through December. Read more.

All New Jerseyans, and the Stockton University Community in Particular Mourn the Passing of William J. Hughes A Message from Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman:

October 31, 2019

 

Ambassador William J. Hughes, who died Wednesday, October 30, 2019, was the epitome of what a public servant ought to be.  He exuded a sense of civility with respect to everything he did in life, and he was unwaveringly committed to exhibiting that noble conduct to those with whom he came in contact.

 

We are extremely grateful for his having chosen Stockton to house his memorabilia, and we are a far, far better place as a result of Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy being an integral part of what we hold dear as a university.  He will be sorely missed.

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.  Information concerning his arrangements will be available in the near future.

 

His biography which details an extraordinary career of significant accomplishments appears below and on the website of Stockton University’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy.

 

Biography:

 

A native of southern New Jersey, Ambassador William J. Hughes lived in Ocean City, NJ, where he and his late wife Nancy were married for 61 years and raised their four children.  A public servant for over 50 years, Ambassador Hughes had been dedicated to the prosperity and freedom of the American people.

 

Prior to his election to Congress in 1974, he was president of the law firm of Loveland, Hughes and Garrett in Ocean City.  He then served for 10 years as First Assistant Prosecutor in Cape May County and established a record of never being reversed on appeal.

 

Throughout his career Bill Hughes sponsored numerous projects and initiatives to create jobs, protect the environment and improve the quality of life in southern New Jersey.  Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for two decades and under five presidents, he was a prominent leader as Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, House Aging Subcommittee on Retirement Income and Employment, and later the Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and Judicial Administration.

 

As Congressman, Bill sponsored legislation to prohibit ocean dumping, protect our beaches, and enhance the region’s tourism industry.  He wrote laws that forced every industrial dumper out of our oceans, banned ocean dumping of sewage sludge, and led the fight against ocean incineration of toxic wastes.  Bill coauthored the historic legislation that established NJ’s Pinelands National Reserve and spearheaded the efforts that led to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers designation of the Manumuskin and Menantico Rivers.

 

He co-founded the South Jersey Economic Development District and won approval of a program that established the nation’s premiere aviation test and evaluation facility in South Jersey.  This facility was renamed the William J. Hughes Federal Aviation and Aeronautics Technical Center.  Bill helped develop a new port in Salem that was designated a U.S. port of entry and helped establish the first Foreign Trade Zone in South Jersey.  He secured funds to build five new industrial parks, a federal prison, a marine research laboratory and a new Flight Service Station at the Millville Airport.

 

Bill was instrumental in restoring rail passenger service and creating international airport service to Atlantic City – critical building blocks that allowed Atlantic City to re-establish itself as the tourism mecca it is today.

 

During his tenure as Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Congress passed more than 40 major anticrime laws dealing with drug trafficking, child pornography, money laundering, product tampering, arson, terrorism, and juvenile offenders.  During this chairmanship Congress also passed laws governing government procurement fraud, computer crime, firearms offenders and the banning of cop-killer bullets.

 

Bill was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Panama by former President Bill Clinton in 1995.  During this period, one of his greatest contributions to insure democracy was his direct involvement in the return of the Panama Canal to Panamanian control.

 

UN Ambassador Samantha Power in Kean University Distinguished Lecture Urges ‘Shrinking the Change’

October 31, 2019

 

Former Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power urged an audience at Kean University to “shrink the change” by taking action in small ways to make a difference on a global scale.

 

As the first speaker in Kean’s Distinguished Lecture Series this academic year, Ms. Power spoke at the STEM Building auditorium on the theme, The State of the World: Challenges and Opportunities.  She also discussed technology and human rights, and “democracy in danger.”

 

Ambassador Power, who served during President Obama’s administration, warned that social media can polarize society, serving as an echo chamber to reinforce our established beliefs as well as a powerful tool to spread falsehoods.

 

She stressed the idea of public service as a way to remedy polarization and bring positive change to the world.  “Serve and vote, rather than tweet and rage,” she said.

 

Ambassador Power recalled the Tiananmen Square massacre as the event that jolted her into global awareness and changed the course of her life.  A college student at the time, she said her sole focus had been sports until she saw events in China unfold on television and she vowed to broaden her world view.

 

She called on the audience to take action, noting that statistics from the watchdog group Freedom House show freedom has been in decline for 13 straight years around the world.

 

“It is the right time to ask, ‘What are each of us usually not, that these times require us to be?’” Ms. Power said.  “We’re going to get the country we collectively fashion.”

 

Kean students had the opportunity to interact with Ambassador Power during a classroom session before the lecture.  Patrick McEachern, a senior from Bergenfield majoring in sociology, said he felt that the ambassador’s talk was insightful.

 

“What I took away from what she spoke about was to ‘shrink the change,’ meaning it is important to focus your time and energy on a single issue so you are knowledgeable on that issue and can create change,” he said.

 

The students asked Ms. Power questions about coali8tion building, immigration, LGBTQ rights and other topics.

 

“Their questions were really sophisticated, and it’s clear that the student body is very diverse, which is to me, the reflection of a very pluralistic and lively learning environment, which I am drawn to,” she said.

 

Valeria Dibrova from Hillside, a student in the master’s in communication studies program originally from Russia, said Power’s speech had a strong impact.  “Her argument about state military power that should be used to protect human rights in extreme circumstance es leads me to think about different libertarian approaches to resolve conflicts on this level,” Ms. Dibrova said.  “The grasp of the importance of believing in yourself, the ability to make the change, to be a pragmatic idealist, seems to make it all possible.”

 

After her speech and a brief question-and-answer session with Sara Compion, PhD, director of Kean’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Ambassador Power signed copies of her new book, New York Times bestseller The Education of an Idealist, during a reception at Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern.

 

Ms. Power, who emigrated to the United States from Ireland as a child, is currently a professor of practice at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School.

 

The Distinguished Lecture Series will continue on Thursday, November 21 with David Axelrod, a former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Obama.  He will discuss The Evolving Media and Political Landscape in the runup to the 2020 presidential primary season.

 

All lectures take place at Kean’s STEM Building, 1075 Morris Avenue in Union at 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance.  For more information or to reserve tickets, visit kean.edu/lectureseries.


Kean University Receives $1.5 Million Federal Grant for Student Academic Support

October 12, 2019

 

Kean University’s Supplemental Instruction (SI) program has received a $1.5 million federal grant to fund a major expansion of the program, which offers specialized, peer-to-peer academic support to students enrolled in traditionally difficult gateway courses such as chemistry and mathematics.

 

The grant from the Department of Education will also fund the renovation space and the addition of cutting-edge technology in the Learning Commons to accommodate Supplemental Instruction classrooms.  The funds will roll out over five years.

 

“This expansion will have a direct impact on our students’ success,” said Neva Lozada, EdD, director of the Kean Office of Student Success and Retention, who applied for the grant and will oversee the expansion.  “I am thrilled that a program that began as a pilot program about a year ago will expand more than eightfold by the Spring semester.  I am excited about what’s to come.”

 

Supplemental Instruction puts SI leaders – students who have already taken and excelled in the selected classes – into those classes again to attend lectures, take notes, act as model students and work with faculty.  They then hold informal review sessions for any students in the class seeking extra help.

 

The program began in Fall 2018 by supporting General Chemistry I, and in Spring 2019, General Chemistry II and Computer Organization and Programming were added.  By 2024, it will support eight challenging courses in chemistry, computer science, math and accounting.  The initial staff of six SI leaders is expected to grow to more than 50 by the Spring semester.

 

“For many students, these difficult gateway courses are roadblocks to completing their degrees,” said Felice Vazquez, Kean’s special counsel and vice president for planning.  “Our Supplemental Instruction program is removing those roadblocks and helping our students achieve their academic potential.”

 

Data from the first year of the SI program shows that students who attended the sessions saw a 38 percent average higher final grade compared to students who chose not to get the extra academic support, Dr. Lozada said.  She said the number of withdrawals in the courses also decreased.

 

SI attendance this year is far outpacing last year.  Since classes began in September, 297 students have attended 801 Supplemental Instruction sessions.  About 200 students participated in the program during the last academic year.

 

“The expansion of the SI program supports Kean’s ongoing effort to bolster student services and help students stay in school and graduate on time,” Dr. Lozada said.  “It also gives high-achieving students an opportunity to take on leadership roles on campus.  It is a win for all of our students.”

 

Hayya Ali, a junior from Sayreville majoring in cell and molecular biology, is an SI Leader supporting students in chemistry.

 

“Being an SI Leader is very rewarding,” Ali said.  “It helps me every day by interacting with different people who want to go into the same field as me.  I love helping my peers and appreciate that they are so confident in my ability.  I also get to refresh my skills in chemistry.”

New Jersey City University Launches the State’s First Master of Science Degree in Financial Technology 
October 12, 2019

The New Jersey City University (NJCU) School of Business recently launched the first Master of Science in Financial Technology program in the state. In addition to being the first of its kind in New Jersey, it is also one of only a handful in the U.S. to focus on this rapidly growing sector of the finance industry.

The new MS in Financial Technology aims to produce graduates who are adept at problem solving and providing real-world solutions to today’s – and tomorrow’s – business challenges. Students will learn about the latest financial tools and techniques and engage in hands-on practice with leading technologies in artificial intelligence, blockchain and more. They may apply these skills to work in a variety of financial technology specialties, such as improving tools for banking consumers, designing proprietary financial systems, using artificial intelligence to optimize investments or working with cryptocurrencies. No matter what they decide to pursue professionally, students also benefit from studying at the business school’s location in Jersey City’s Exchange Place district, the financial hub of New Jersey.

“Jersey City is emerging as an innovative, world-renowned epicenter for financial technology,” said Bernard McSherry, dean of the NJCU School of Business. “Our school is dedicated to providing graduates with the practical skills they need to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving global workplace. Our focus on degree programs that are important drivers of global trade and technology, such as Business Analytics and Data Science, Financial Technology, as well as Supply Chain, Logistics and Maritime Port Management, has marked us as one of the most innovative business schools in the state and region.”

Prospective students may apply now to begin the MS in Financial Technology degree program in the spring of 2020. For more information, visit the NJCU Financial Technology degree webpage.

New Center Will Preserve History of First Successful Jewish Farming Colony
September 26, 2019

Gifts from two generous donors have helped establish a new center at Stockton University that will preserve and share the history of the first successful Jewish farming colony in America. The Alliance Heritage Center was formally announced September 26 at a ceremony in the chapel at the Alliance Cemetery in rural Norma, Salem County.

Photos and documents from the early Alliance Colony, founded in 1882, are displayed in the chapel and will become part of a new virtual museum coordinated by Stockton. To date some 500 photos, deeds, memoirs, letters, farming tools and other memorabilia have been collected from descendants and will be digitized through Stockton’s Special Collections library.

“I am kvelling today,” said Jay Greenblatt, referring to the Jewish word for feeling happy and proud. “I am bursting with pride and joy.”

Mr. Greenblatt’s family members helped settle the first colony and he has been instrumental in collecting and preserving colony artifacts. Stockton is working with the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties to develop the center, which will also share the history of the neighboring communities of Norma and Brotmanville.

“This is not just a story of Jewish immigration,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “It is also a story of American immigration. It is an important slice of history to be preserved.”

Two major gifts helped establish the center. A $500,000 gift from an anonymous donor established a fund for the Elizabeth and Samuel Levin Director of the Alliance Heritage Center. Thomas Kinsella, a professor of Literature at Stockton, will serve as the director.

A $200,000 gift from Bernard and Shirlee Greenblatt Brown will establish a research endowment. Two recent Stockton graduates, Ray Dudo of Mays Landing and Sara Brown of Estell manor, are the first two research fellows.

Jay Einstein, president of the Federation, said they want to get testimonials and develop a curriculum to share with schools. “It is our dream to keep the legacy alive for future generations,” Mr. Einstein said. “This is a story of how tenacity, determination, focus, and hard work by a people who were down and out can overcome it all to become successful, no matter who they are.” The Federation is assisting in a fund-raising campaign to help support the center. Mr. Einstein said the $500,000 gift started as a much smaller gift. But, he said, the donor came down to Alliance Cemetery from New England, visited the grave of her family, saw the efforts to preserve their history and called back to increase her donation.

Mr. Einstein also thanked Stockton for its interest and enthusiasm in the center.

“We give our humble thanks to all of you for marking sure the dream stays alive,” he said.

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman cited other projects at the university that have helped preserve history, including the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton’s main campus in Galloway, and the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage in Woodbine.

“This is a very special place,” he said of Alliance. “When you come here you can get a sense of the history. Institutions of higher education should be doing things like this, so thank you, for coming to us.”

Professor Kinsella said he was deeply moved the first time he visited Alliance Cemetery and saw graves of German Jews who had escaped the Nazis, others who survived the Holocaust, and Russian Jews who came for a better life. He said students will play an active role in developing the center so they can share it with the next generation.

Stockton’s South Jersey Culture & History Center has already published a reissue of Moses Klein’s 1889 book on Alliance, Rosenhayn and Carmel, titled “Migdal Zophim & Farming in the Jewish Colonies of South Jersey,” and William Stainsby’s 1901 study “The Jewish Colonies of South Jersey.”

Future plans call for an exhibit in 2021 at the Noyes Museum Gallery at Stockton’s Kramer Hall in Hammonton.

For information about donating to support the Alliance Heritage Colony contact the Executive Director of the Stockton Foundation Daniel Nugent at 609-626-3546 or Daniel.Nugent@stockton.edu.
Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer Will Step Down in 2021
September 23, 2019

Dr. Peter P. Mercer will step down as president of Ramapo College of New Jersey at the end of his current contract in June 2021 – thus marking the culmination of Dr. Mercer’s 16 years of leadership and service to the college.

“Dr. Mercer is a tremendous asset to public higher education in New Jersey. Ramapo College students and alumni have benefited from his steadfast vision and his unwavering dedication to the mission of the college. The Board of Trustees is confident that the college will continue to thrive under his leadership for the next two years,” said William F. Dator, chair of the Ramapo College’s Board of Trustees.

Under President Mercer’s leadership, the college has thrived on several fronts:

State-of-the-Art Living and Learning Environment: President Mercer has led Ramapo College through a transformative campus-wide building and renovation program that included the opening of the following: Anisfield School of Business and its fifth floor trading lab; Laurel Residence Hall; Sharp Sustainability Education Center; Topken World Languages Lab; Salameno Spiritual Center; Padovano Commons; Les Paul Recording Studio; Dugan Engineering Physics Lab; Veteran and Transfer Students Lounge; Adler Center for Nursing Excellence. In addition, he directed the extensive renovations to the College’s G- and B-Wing academic complexes and enhancements to the athletics and recreational facilities.

Curricular Growth and Academic Reputation: The college’s curriculum and academic reputation have grown under President Mercer’s leadership. He advanced Ramapo’s focus on faculty-student research and experiential learning; dramatically expanded the Ramapo College Honor Program; provided students with awards to present their research at outside conferences or submit their work for publication; secured accreditation for the Anisfield School of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and received excellent accreditation reports for the Ramapo College Social Work, Nursing and Teacher Education programs. At the graduate level, the college has launched programs in Social Work, Education, Nursing, and Accounting.

Campus Safety: Describing sexual assault as “an affront to the well-being and inherent dignity of our college,” President Mercer led the development and implementation of Ramapo Advance, a comprehensive and substantive campus safety plan. Ramapo Advance is a solutions-oriented plan focused on educating students and preventing sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse at the college, as well as ensuring cases are swiftly and fairly adjudicated.

Affordability: Ramapo’s capacity to attract external funds, both public and private, has been wedded to President Mercer’s commitment to affordability, his penchant for friend- and fundraising, and his dogged persistence in Trenton.

The college has been able to boast to families, students, employers, and legislators that Ramapo has had the lowest cumulative tuition increase of any New Jersey State college in recent years.

President Mercer’s commitment to affordability has also been evident in his fundraising ability, tied to his alacrity for sharing with people why Ramapo College is worthy of their generosity. Just last year, with the support of the Ramapo College Foundation and countless inspired donors, the college awarded more than $700,000 in student scholarships, this is up from $583,000 just two years earlier.

As a result of Dr. Mercer’s consistent engagement with the Bergen County legislative delegation and other NJ State leaders, the college secured $15M from the State of New Jersey that enabled the college to embark on an 80,000 square-foot renovation to its library to construct a new comprehensive learning commons (due to open in 2021).

Increased Student Success and Demand for a Ramapo Education: Ramapo has also been increasingly regarded as a great value and a superior institution, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the “Best Regional Universities in the North,” and by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine as one of the “100 Best Values in Public Colleges.”

Strategic Planning and Initiative Funding: President Mercer led the campus through three strategic planning exercises that have resulted in three institutional plans, driving our overall effectiveness. Foundational to all three plans have been an emphasis on the uniqueness of the college model and its persistent appeal to young men and women intent on making the successful transition to adulthood. To this end, President Mercer has successfully infused goals into the college’s strategic plans that advance the broader public purposes of a liberal education: to connect students with real-world challenges and engage them in creative and collaborative problem-solving.

In 2009, President Mercer established the Strategic Priority Initiative Fund (SPIF) that reallocates a percent of the operating budget annually to support initiatives designed to advance the strategic plan. SPIF has been successfully leveraged to increase the retention of Educational Opportunity Fund students, to market and launch new graduate programs, to purchase a Customer Relationship Management system that has dramatically enhanced the admissions operations, and to advance the college’s commitments to sustainability, diversity, and inclusiveness.

The demand for a Ramapo College education continues to grow. In fall of 2006 the college received 4,430 applications for 815 seats and 13 years later, the college received 7,329 applications for 1,030 seats.

The next two years at Ramapo College will include its 50th Anniversary Celebration, the opening of a new Learning Commons, and continued progress under its Strategic Plan: Fulfilling Our Promise 2018-2021.

Planning for a national presidential search is underway. Susan A. Vallario, vice chair of the Ramapo College Board, has been appointed chair of the presidential search committee that will include student, faculty, staff, alumni, administration, and Ramapo College Foundation representatives.



2019 Quick Takes


New Center Will Preserve History of First Successful Jewish Farming Colony - September 26, 2019

William Paterson University’s Master of Education in Curriculum and Learning Gathers STEAM - September 13, 2019

William Paterson Environmental Science Professor Awarded Fulbright Scholar Grant to Conduct Research on Tree Rings in Colombia - September 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas Edison State University Receives $100K Signature Grant from The Provident Bank Foundation -  August 14, 2019

Executive Director Report from Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) - August 1, 2019

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

Ramapo Student Leader Becomes New Jersey Leader on Higher Education Policy Issues - July 25, 2019

NJCU President is Panelist at NJ Spotlight Roundtable – “Preparing High Schoolers for College and Career”July 1, 2019

Stockton Celebrates Its Moody’s Investor Service Report Issued May 23, 2019 -May 28, 2019

Dr. Kathryn A. Foster is Inaugurated as The College of New Jersey’s 16th President  May 6, 2019

John Froonjian Named Interim Director of Hughes Center at Stockton University May 6, 2019

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

Kean University Students Help Make Theater Sensory Friendly for All - April 17, 2019

Kean University Students Start Their Own Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journal - April 16, 2019

Ramapo College Senior Selected for Fulbright U.S. Student Teaching Award to South Korea - April 4, 2019

Stockton Poll:  New Jersey Motorists Say Much-Needed Infrastructure Repair Should be Fueled with Federal Money - April 14, 2019

Thomas Edison State University Celebrates Accelerated Nursing Program Graduates - April 2, 2019

Stockton Partners with Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind – a “Sustainable” Public/Private Partnership - April 2, 2019

William Paterson University Dean Kara Rabbit is Honored to be Named American Council on Education Fellow - March 28, 2019

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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