Trenton – In a unanimous and bipartisan vote, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee released legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Joe Cryan that will require public institutions of higher learning to submit annual fiscal monitoring, and also authorize the Secretary of Higher Education to appoint a state monitor of these institutions where necessary.
“New Jersey’s public institutions of higher learning are among the best in the world, and among our state’s strongest assets. In order for universities to maintain that standing, they must be accountable to taxpayers with their fiscal management of resources,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “Requiring public colleges and universities to submit an annual fiscal monitoring report will go a long way toward ensuring transparency and efficiency, as the institutions go about the task of preparing students for a 21st Century world.”
Under the bill, S-3406, in addition to submitting the annual audit as required under current law, a public institution of higher education would also submit an annual fiscal monitoring report, which would be a comprehensive audit to examine the institution’s fiscal and governance operations.
“This bill is an important step forward in bringing more oversight and accountability to the finances of New Jersey’s colleges and universities,” said Senator Cryan (D-Union). “The taxpayers who help support higher education, and the students and families who pay the bills to attend these schools, need to know that their investments are used responsibly and effectively.”
In addition, the Secretary would have the authority to appoint a State monitor and additional staff as necessary, to provide direct oversight of a public institution of higher education’s fiscal and governance operations if the institution meets certain criteria.