Sweeney ‘impressed’ with Rutgers use of state’s higher ed bond

By Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University officials said they wanted State Senate President Steve Sweeney to leave campus Thursday afternoon with a sense that the university is “on the move.”

After touring the first building the university constructed with the help of the state’s $750 million higher education bond issue, Sweeney had that feeling and more, he said.…

Read more

William Paterson builds for future, Gov. Christie says he’s ‘proud’ of school investment

By Seth Augenstein/The Star-Ledger

WAYNE — About 18 months ago, New Jersey voters agreed to use bonds to build at the state’s colleges and universities.

Today, with state support on hand, William Paterson University broke ground on a new academic building in the heart of its campus in Wayne. Officials said the university was building its future – with the state’s assistance.…

Read more

Christie says Stockton’s new science building shows importance of state’s educational investment

By MaryAnn Spoto/The Star-Ledger

GALLOWAY — Richard Stockton College was once a sleepy 2,000-acre campus in the New Jersey Pinelands that rarely received any state funding for major projects.

But now, nearly two years after voters approved a $750 million bond issue for higher education, the school boasts a $39.5 million science center and plans to build a matching facility, courtesy of state funding.…

Read more

Christie touts education spending in Ramapo visit

By Melissa Hayes, State House Bureau, The Record.

Governor Christie, center, speaking Tuesday during a visit to Ramapo College in Mahwah.
State-of-the art science, technology, engineering and mathematics laboratories, technology classrooms and an upgraded wireless network are among the improvements Ramapo College is making with the help of nearly $20 million in state funds.

Governor Christie visited the school in Mahwah on Tuesday to highlight the upgrades.…

Read more

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems

By Kevin Kiley

After a 25-year drought of state bond money for higher education capital projects, the $750 million general obligation bond recently approved by New Jersey voters was a welcome influx of funds.
“This will not only help our institutions of higher learning attract and retain students, and in turn, industries looking for a capable work force, but it will create jobs as improvement projects get under way.…

Read more

Oliver and Christie exchange war of words on college grants

By Jarrett Renshaw/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON —Gov. Chris Christie says Assembly Speaker’s Sheila Oliver’s concerns about an influential yeshiva and a Princeton seminary getting a share of $1.3 billion in taxpayer funds is more about politics than policy.
Christie and Oliver (D-Essex) have engaged in a war of words over the governor’s decision to award Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood and the Princeton Theological Seminary more than $11 million in construction grants associated with a bond referendum approved by voters in November.…

Read more

N.J. Assembly speaker seeks to block college projects

By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer

The leader of the New Jersey Assembly is trying to block the entire list of 176 construction projects at colleges and universities across the state while she seeks answers to how decisions were made on the $1.3 billion in grants.

“… Many issues concerning the validity of the administration’s specific awards in the approved project lists have come to my attention,” Speaker Sheila Y.…

Read more

State refuses release of grant applications filed by Jewish yeshiva and Christian seminary

By Jarrett Renshaw and Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — With controversy continuing to swirl around its list of proposed college construction grants, Christie administration officials are refusing to release copies of applications filed by two religious institutions set to receive public dollars for campus building projects.

The state Secretary of Higher Education’s Office denied a Star-Ledger request, filed under the state’s Open Public Records Act, to view the applications filed by Beth Medrash Govoha and Princeton Theological Seminary for a piece of $1.3 billion in available state grants.…

Read more

Speaker Oliver says Christie has been less than transparent on college grant list

By Jarrett Renshaw/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — State Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) called on Gov. Chris Christie today to provide lawmakers with documents showing how the administration determined what projects should share $1.3 billion in public funds for upgrading the state’s colleges and universities.

Oliver and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-Middlesex) introduced legislation today blocking the awards in case the administration does not comply with the request for more information, according to a letter Oliver sent today to Christie.…

Read more

Ramapo president claims school didn’t get its fair share of college bond cash

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

MAHWAH — Ramapo College President Peter Mercer expects to meet with the state’s secretary of higher education this week to discuss whether his school was shortchanged in the recent awarding of taxpayer-funded college construction bond money.

The list of $1.3 billion in proposed grants released last month by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration included $18.6 million for building projects on Ramapo’s Mahwah campus.…

Read more

ACLU calls for N.J. lawmakers to reject college construction bond list

By Kelly Heyboer and Jarrett Renshaw/ The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on the Legislature to reject a list of 176 college building projects scheduled to receive state grants until the Christie administration explains how two religious training institutions were slated to get money.

Princeton Theological Seminary and Beth Medrash Govoha are among 46 New Jersey colleges and universities scheduled to split $1.3 billion in voter-approved bond money to build and renovate campus facilities.…

Read more

Building the future: N.J. colleges get $1.3B for construction projects

By Kelly Heyboer and Mike Frassinelli/The Star-Ledger

The grants range from $101,060 for technology upgrades to classrooms at Rowan University, to $86.3 million to transform a New Jersey Institute of Technology building into a hub for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In all, 176 higher education capital construction projects worth $1.3 billion have been approved, in what Gov.…

Read more

Rowan extends its president’s contract to 2017

Story Highlights

  • Rowan University’s trustees extended President Ali Houshmand’s contract into 2017 on Wednesday.
  • The board also approved four major construction projects, for which the school will seek funding from last fall’s higher-education bond referendum.
  • The trustees approved his new contract in a unanimous vote, the first of several.
Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer

In a vote of confidence in the leadership of Rowan University’s president, Ali Houshmand, the school’s trustees on Wednesday extended his contract into 2017.

Read more

N.J. colleges, unions spent $2M pushing higher education bond question

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — A coalition of New Jersey colleges, state labor unions and corporations spent more than $2 million to help persuade voters to pass the historic $750 million higher education bond question on last month’s ballot, according to state election reports.

The money — the equivalent of about $1 for every vote cast on the bond question — went toward ads, mailings, consultants and other behind-the-scenes work to convince voters to approve millions in state borrowing to build new classrooms and labs on college campuses.…

Read more