Montclair Team Leads Advocacy for Fair Funding for University – Newsroom

Montclair Team Leads Advocacy for Fair Funding for University – Newsroom

May 10, 2024

The president, students, faculty and staff at the Montclair and Bloomfield campuses are taking their requests directly to state leaders in Trenton.

Published in: Uncategorized, University

A state senator speaks with a group of students, faculty and staff.

Faculty, staff and students joined Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell and Bloomfield College of Montclair State University Chancellor Marcheta Evans to call for more funding for the University during Montclair and Bloomfield Day at the 2024 Capitol in Trenton on Thursday.

The group visited the State House Annex to speak with state senators and assembly members and advocate for fair and equitable funding for the university before Koppell testified before the Senate Budget Committee and credits, where he highlighted Montclair and Bloomfield’s success in improving social mobility and helping students achieve the American dream.

“The good news is the merger is going wonderfully,” Koppell said, explaining the details of the regulatory environment and the savings achieved by refinancing Bloomfield’s debt using Montclair’s superior rating. “…We show how you can create opportunities for students at lower cost and with greater efficiency through this integration. However, what we also see is what I would call the complexity with which New Jersey spends money on higher education, which gets in the way of realizing the full benefits.

As an example, Koppell noted the wide variation in the amount of state funding per student that higher education institutions receive. “The per-student investment range is $3,200 to $9,000 per student,” he said, adding, “I’m not excited about the bottom of that range being the University of Montclair State.”

Although Koppell acknowledged that universities shouldn’t receive the same funding per student, “there should be some transparency and some justification for that,” he said. Noting that investment per student at Bloomfield College fell when it merged with Montclair because of the way the state funds independent colleges and public institutions, Koppell said, “I don’t think anyone would say that it is a rational formula. »

Fully integrating Bloomfield with Montclair will result in “greater efficiencies, achieving better outcomes for New Jersey students” but will also provide the state “an opportunity, frankly, to address some of the structural issues” of the state funding, Koppell said.

Before discussing the merger of Montclair and Bloomfield, Koppell reminded committee members that “the most prosperous era in American history” — in the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was booming — “ occurred because of the vast expansion of access to higher education facilitated by the GI Bill and investment in public education. Thus, the return on investment for the people of this country in higher education has always been exceptional and continues to be so.

While some students went to advocate for the University, others, like film and television major Alex Greaney, were there as student journalists – covering the day for Montclair’s News Lab. It was Greaney’s first time back to see “government in action” since college. Although a little intimidating, “I found the process fascinating, especially since I just finished an article on the teacher shortage for News Lab a week ago,” he said. “Going into the heart of New Jersey to see how things are done is exciting, although some might find it boring and tedious. »

Originally scheduled for May 2, Montclair and Bloomfield Day at the Capitol 2024 has been postponed due to the cancellation of all state committee meetings for the funeral of Congressman Donald Payne Jr. For those who cannot make it return to Trenton, it is still possible to support equitable measures. higher education funding for Montclair and Bloomfield by visiting and customizing an email to send to your representatives.

Photo gallery

A group of people walk together.
A group of students and administrators are heading to the New Jersey State House to talk with lawmakers about fair and equitable funding on Thursday, May 9, 2024.
A student and a lawmaker talk in the hallway, surrounded by people and a camera with a microphone.
Rep. Benjie E. Wimberly (D-35) speaks with students and administrators at the university’s Montclair and Bloomfield campuses.
Three young men and a lawmaker pose for a photo.
Rep. Benjie E. Wimberly (D-35), second from left, with Tyrese Fletcher-Hewlett, Tommie Lucas and Rimari Rankin, students at Bloomfield College at Montclair State University.
Two men shake hands as a woman wearing a Red Hawk Day t-shirt looks on.
State Senator Joseph P. Cryan (D-20) welcomes Rimari Rankin to the State House.
Two men smile in a hallway.
Montclair State University President Jonathan Koppell shares a moment with State Senator Joseph P. Cryan (D-20).
A student speaks to a state senator.
Rimari Rankin, a creative writing major at Bloomfield College at Montclair State University, speaks with State Sen. Joseph P. Cryan (D-20).
A woman wearing a Red Haw Pride t-shirt listens to a state senator.
Montclair State University senior Eliza Andrus listens to State Senator Joseph P. Cryan.
A group listens to a budget hearing.
President Jonathan Koppell, front row, third from right, and others from Montclair State University listen during the budget hearing.
Students attend a budget hearing.
From left, Celeste Tam, music therapy graduate student, Jeanelle Wheeler, global programs associate in the Feliciano School of Business, and Tommie Lucas, game design major at Bloomfield College at Montclair State University, await a Senate Committee hearing on budget and appropriations in Trenton. .
A woman standing in the background takes notes.
Journalism major Dani Mazariegos covers the Montclair News Lab budget hearing.
Alex Greaney on camera.
Film and television major Alex Greaney was there to capture the day’s events for the Montclair News Lab.
A woman wearing a Red Haw Pride t-shirt stands in the back of the courtroom.
Eliza Andrus, center, Montclair State University, listens during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing.
Student journalists cover what a state senator has to say.
Dani Mazariegos, journalism and digital media student, with microphone, and Eric Remo, film and television student, center with camera, cover the panel discussion with State Sen. Joseph P. Cryan (D-20).
A crowded courtroom.
A crowded courtroom.
A man and woman hold up their Red Hawk Day t-shirts.
Sustainability Director Ben Kalscheur and Public Health Specialist Ishtar Bernal hold up their Red Hawk Day t-shirts.

Story by Sylvia Martinez. Photos by John J. LaRosa for Montclair State University.