Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Sheila Oliver, Tom Giblin, Mila Jasey, Angela McKnight, Gary Schaer and Benjie Wimberly to establish Montclair State University as a public research university is now law.
The new law (A-4969) establishes Montclair State as a public research university. It now joins the ranks of the state’s other public research universities: Rutgers, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rowan University.
“In the past 15 years, Montclair State University has worked strategically and aggressively to grow its enrollment, faculty and facilities, and that growth has enabled it to expand its educational programs and research initiatives,” said Speaker Emeritus Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “Receiving numerous acknowledgements nationally as a research doctoral institution, it has clearly earned the designation of public research university by the state.”
In March 2016, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education officially changed the programmatic mission of the institution to a doctoral degree-granting institution. In February 2016, the national Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, which is the widely recognized classification of United States institutions of higher education, recognized Montclair State University as a research doctoral university, based on the substantial growth at the university in doctoral-level education and research activity.
“Montclair State University, Rutgers, the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rowan University were all designated as research doctoral universities, but only Montclair State had not been recognized by the state of New Jersey as a public research university” said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). “That has now changed.”
“In light of the Montclair University’s actual and successful transformation to a research doctoral university, it is only appropriate for the state to recognize and designate the university as a public research university.” said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
“Montclair State is a world-class institution that has much to offer not only to its students but also to the whole world,” said McKnight (D-Hudson). “With this new designation, the state’s second-largest university will be a better candidate for grants and other funding that can enable it to discover and produce at a new level.”
“This was only a matter of time for Montclair State University, an institution that consistently has made strides toward providing more and more opportunities for its students,” said Schaer (D-Bergen/Passaic). “As New Jersey looks for ways to reduce the student loan debt burden on young people, making this change and thus expanding the eligibility of Montclair State students for Tuition Aid Grants is a means of advancing a critical mission in higher education.”
“Montclair State already was an excellent institution, but now, as a public research university, it will be better positioned to compete with other universities here in New Jersey and across the country,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “This will provide an advantage for students and faculty alike.”
The measure received unanimous approval from both houses of the legislature before being signed into law by the governor on Friday.