State’s colleges educating 55,000 more students with $303 million less state money than in 2006

By Mark J. Magyar

New Jersey’s higher education institutions are serving many more students with far fewer state dollars, the presidents of New Jersey’s two largest universities told the state Senate Budget Committee yesterday. And unless the state increases its funding for operating expenses, there is no way New Jersey will be able to compete with better-funded university systems in other states when it comes to academic excellence, research and development, and recruiting top students.

But while Rutgers University President Robert Barchi and Montclair State University President Susan Cole, chair of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, were in agreement on funding, it was Barchi who came under heavy questioning about his plans to fund the university’s merger with UMDNJ in the next month, as well as for his handling of the recent basketball controversy.

Rochelle Hendricks, the secretary of higher education, was also at odds with the panel when she refused to explain why two religious colleges were awarded $10.6 million in capital building grants.


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