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Jasey, Downey & Reynolds-Jackson Bill to Give Secretary of Higher Education Greater Oversight Over New Academic Programs, Fiscal Stability Passes Assembly

          (TRENTON) – Legislation (A-4409) to strengthen the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education’s oversight over post-secondary schools in the state, particularly concerning the approval of new academic programs, branch campuses and monitoring financial stability, was approved Monday by the full Assembly by a vote of 56-16-2.

          Currently, the New Jersey Presidents’ Council is responsible for overseeing the majority of expansions of colleges and universities. This bill would increase the role of the Secretary of Higher Education in these review processes.

          Sponsors of the bill, Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) released the following joint statement:

            “Student success can largely depend on the quality of their classes, accessibility of their campus and financial health of their school, which can impact the institution’s ability to provide a valuable education. Providing another layer of oversight in wide-ranging decisions that affect students statewide will support our mission of delivering quality higher education in New Jersey. The Secretary of Higher Education is well positioned to advocate on behalf of students and their families.”