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Cryan Bill Would Bolster Fiscal Responsibility at NJ’s Public Colleges & Universities

Trenton – The Senate Higher Education Committee approved a bill authored by Senator Joe Cryan that would ensure that board members of New Jersey’s public colleges and universities are trained to manage the finances of their schools.

Under the bill, S-2149, newly-appointed governing board members of public institutions of higher education would be required to complete ongoing training programs on the responsible oversight of the finances of their institutions. The Secretary of Higher Education would determine the specific subject matter of the training and would be responsible for overseeing the requirement, according to the bill. Currently, that is the responsibility of the schools.

“The expense of a higher education puts enormous pressure on the schools and their students,” said Senator Cryan, the committee’s chair. “It is critically important that the schools’ finances are managed responsibly. The board members should be equipped with the skills needed to ensure the financial resources are used effectively.”

New board members would have six months from the date of their appointment to complete the training. The training would be updated and repeated every term. Failure to complete the training requirement would require the board member’s resignation.

The bill was part of a legislative package aimed at ensuring fiscal accountability at New Jersey’s public institutions. It included a bill enacted into law giving the Secretary of Higher Education more fiscal oversight over institutions of higher education and the ability to appoint a fiscal monitor and a measure that would require a public institution of higher education to post certain information on the institution’s website.

The committee vote was 5-0.