TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nia H. Gill and Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham to establish Montclair State University as a public research university received final legislative approval in the Senate today, sending it to the governor’s desk.
The bill (S3281) would establish Montclair University as a public research university along with Rutgers, The State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rowan University. Currently, Montclair State University is one of eight state colleges in New Jersey.
“Montclair State University has done a tremendous amount of work over more than a decade to expand its educational programs and research initiatives. It is now designated as a research doctoral university along with other institutions in the state, but is not yet a state-designated public research university,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex and Passaic). “Montclair has earned that status and this legislation will properly designate it as a public research university.”
“There has been substantial growth at the university in doctoral-level education and research activity, and it currently fulfills the criteria for a public research university,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “Providing the official designation is appropriate and will help to attract researchers, as well as funding for research to the college.”
In the past 15 years Montclair State University has worked strategically and aggressively to grow its enrollment, faculty, and facilities, and that growth has enabled it to expand its educational programs and research initiatives. Effective March, 2016, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education officially changed the programmatic mission of the institution to a doctoral degree-granting institution.
Another significant development occurred, effective February, 2016, when the national Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which is the widely recognized classification of United States institutions of higher education, recognized Montclair State University as a Research Doctoral University, based on the substantial growth at the university in doctoral-level education and research activity.
Montclair State University, Rutgers, the State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rowan University are all now designated as Research Doctoral Universities; however of these institutions only Montclair State University has not been recognized by the State of New Jersey as a public research university. In light of the Montclair State University’s actual and successful transformation to a Research Doctoral University, it is appropriate for the State at this time to designate the university as a public research university.
The bill was approved by a vote of 35-0. The Assembly approved it last week by a vote of 75-0. It now goes to the governor’s desk.