TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senators Donald Norcross and Joseph F. Vitale today introduced historic legislation that will make New Jersey a premiere location of institutions of higher education and research.
“Higher education is a critical element in moving New Jersey’s economy to a new level while also maintaining and drawing the best and brightest minds to our state. We can develop premiere, world-class institutions of higher education and research right here. We simply need the will and the ability to work with one another to get it done,” said Sweeney (D – Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland).
The legislation, developed after a vigorous process of research, public input and compromise with various stakeholders, is the most comprehensive piece of higher education legislation in decades and will help provide economic growth and greater educational opportunities for the people of New Jersey.
“When we began this process, we set out with three goals: Keep Rutgers in Camden, ensure Rutgers’ autonomy, and create collaboration with Rowan University. This legislation accomplishes all three. We have worked very hard over the last several weeks to listen to all sides of the debate and incorporate their ideas into this plan. Real change will be achieved only through respectful collaboration. This legislation incorporates much of that process and I want to thank everyone for their input,” said Norcross (D – Camden).
“This is a truly historic moment. Rutgers University and the medical schools both have outstanding reputations, but what we will create through this legislation will elevate these institutions to a level that was always thought about but not truly realized until this moment. In turn, the positive impact this will have on South Jersey from an educational and economic standpoint simply can’t be measured. This is important and much needed legislation,” said Vitale (D- Middlesex).
“Many people provided not only their input, but their willingness to meet half way on many of these elements. No one will get everything they want. But everyone will get something they want. In the end, however, what is most important is that we move forward together for the greater good of education in our state. We owe that to the current generation of students, and those whose futures will only be that much brighter through this initiative,” added Sweeney.
Click here to view a copy of the draft higher education reorganization bill.
Click here to view an outline of the draft higher education reorganization bill.