Take action to stop the passage of NJ Senate Bill 1860 that aims to expand the number of political appointees who are members of the Rutgers Board of Governors.
Some state legislators in Trenton are pushing a bill (S-1860) that would be detrimental to the mission of Rutgers University—a bill that has nothing to do with quality higher education. This bill is a threat to the independent governance of Rutgers.
What is S-1860?
It is a bill that would expand the number of members on the Rutgers Board of Governors (BOG) by 4 new appointees. The BOG would expand from 15 members to 19 members. The Governor would be able to appoint two additional members, the Senate President one, and the Assembly Speaker one. Currently, 8 of the 15 members are appointed through Trenton and 7 are appointed through the Board of Trustees. This new bill would change the balance to 12 appointed by Trenton and only 7 by the Board of Trustees.
What does the Rutgers One coalition think about Senate Bill 1860?
1. We think Senate Bill 1860 is a threat to independent governance of Rutgers University.
2. We think Senate Bill 1860 is backed by political interests who are trying to gain more control over Rutgers than they already have; they are not advancing the educational mission of Rutgers University but their own interests.
3. These two facts stand out for us:
- The legislature expanded the Board of Governors (BOG) last July as part of the UMDNJ merger from 11 members to 15 members.
Rutgers One asks: Why expand more? Why shift the balance? Why now? What’s the rush?
- Last year they threatened to abolish the Rutgers Board of Trustees, which is made up of alumni.
Rutgers One helped lead the groundswell that defeated that effort and preserved the integrity of the Board of Trustees.
Together we can stop this bad legislation!
Rev. Greg Bezilla of the Episcopal Campus Ministry wrote this letter on May 29, 2014 in opposition to S-1860 to the Chair and Members of the NJ Senate Higher Education Committee: Rev Greg Bezilla Letter
Statements in opposition to S-1860 to the May 30, 2014 Meeting of the Rutgers Board of Trustees
Dr. Robert F. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law (Camden): Williams Statement
Dr. Lisa Klein, President AAUP-AFT & Distinguished Professor of Engineering (New Brunswick): Klein Statement
What can be done about S-1860?
First opportunity: We can show our opposition in Trenton on Monday, June 2 at 11 AM.
There’s a Senate Higher Education Committee hearing on this bill (S-1860) on Monday, June 2, at 11 am in the State House Annex, Committee Room 7, 2nd Floor, 125 West State Street, in Trenton.
Note the 5 Senators on the Senate Higher Ed Committee and call them. Ask them to oppose S-1860.
Chair, Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D): (201) 451-5100
Vice-Chair, Sen. Nellie Pou (D): (973) 247-1555
Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R): (908) 232-3673
Sen. Paul Sarlo (D): (201) 804-8118
Sen. Robert W. Singer (R): (732) 987-5669
Or send each one an email:
Chair, Senate Higher Education Committee, Sandra Cunningham: SenCunningham@njleg.org
Vice Chair, Nellie Pou: SenPou@njleg.org
Paul Sarlo: SenSarlo@njleg.org
Thomas Kean, Jr.: SenKean@njleg.org
Robert W. Singer: SenSinger@njleg.org
This hearing is just the beginning!
Let’s go to Trenton together and/or make plans to meet-up in Trenton on Monday. We will carpool from New Brunswick. Our meet-up location is the office of one of the Rutgers One groups, the faculty union, AAUP-AFT, at 11 Stone Street, New Brunswick. Contact the AAUP-AFT by calling the office at 732-964-1000.
Read a news article: Star-Ledger article, May 26, 2014 and updated May 27, 2014
Read a Star-Ledger editorial in opposition: Editorial
Read a Bergen Record editorial in opposition: Editorial