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(VOORHEES)–Assembly Higher Education Chairwoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) today issued a statement in light of Governor Christie’s ongoing failure to fully implement a January 2010 law to ensure accountability and transparency at New Jersey’s state colleges and universities. The law implements many recommendations contained in an October 2007 report by the State Commission of Investigation (SCI) which recounted many occasions of waste, abuse and violation of the public trust and suggested improvements to oversight of New Jersey’s system of higher education:

“Recently, the Governor announced he has appointed higher education advisers, yet he continues to ignore state law requiring him to appoint a Secretary of higher Education in New Jersey. His ongoing failure to enforce a law he swore to uphold is troubling and calls into question his level of commitment to higher education in our state.

“It may not be effective fodder for YouTube videos or Fox News appearances, but the truth is there is a startling absence of leadership in higher education in New Jersey. To create jobs and jump-start our economy, our colleges and universities need a strong advocate.

“That’s why the Governor’s own Higher Education Task Force agreed with our reform law and recommended appointing a Secretary of Higher Education.

“Our state colleges and universities are vital to job-creation and economic opportunity. In missing the July 17, 2010 statutory deadline for this appointment, the Governor has left our higher education boat afloat without a rudder–guaranteeing that we will continue to drift along without a sure direction.

“With nearly 9 percent unemployment, we just can’t afford more of the same. I urge the Governor to take immediate action and fill this statutorily required position.”