help (try to) stop the proposed 15% budget cut to NJ colleges

This just landed in my in-box from Rowan University president, Donald Farish. I encourage you to follow the link, complete the registration, and send the message to the current governor.

Dear friend of the state colleges and universities:

I hope that you share my deep concern about the proposed state budget for higher education.  The budget, which includes a 15% reduction in direct operating aid to the nine state colleges, threatens middle class college opportunity and our ability to keep talented students in New Jersey, to create jobs, and to stimulate the economy.  If enacted, it will be the seventh cut in college appropriations within this past decade, keeping New Jersey’s rank near the bottom among states in higher education funding.

I ask that you click here now [then take action; note that if the former link is broken, try going through this one] and send a message to the governor and to your local legislators urging them to make public higher education a funding priority and to reinstate some of the large cuts to state colleges and universities.

New Jersey needs to reform its spending practices, and I realize that colleges and universities must help.  But, deep cuts, as proposed, will require Rowan and our sister colleges and universities to consider admitting fewer students, paring down programs and services, and postponing new faculty hires and new facilities projects.  It will add to pressure to recommend increases in tuition.

The state spending plan also contains worrisome cuts to important student aid programs, for example, the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF), a program that serves disadvantaged students.

Moreover, the budget proposes, unwisely, merging Thomas Edison State College with Rutgers University — a step which I believe will put that college’s future, and education for the 18,000 independent, highly motivated, adult students it serves annually — at great risk.

While state colleges and universities must work more efficiently and effectively, we also have a responsibility to protect and enhance college opportunity for citizens of the Garden State.

Lending your voice to this effort, by sending this message to Trenton strongly supporting public college opportunity, is greatly appreciated.  I promise to keep you informed.

Donald Farish
President, Rowan University

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