1435 Morris Avenue - Suite 3A, Union, NJ 07083
Tim Haresign, President

Council Leadership on Panel at the NJ State Conference of the AAUP

On Tuesday November 25, 2014, Council President Tim Haresign and AFT Executive Vice President Susanna Tardi who also serves as the president of AFT Local 1796 at William Paterson University participated in a panel discussion at the annual NJ State Conference of the American Association of University Professors. Along with co-panelists Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin from the NJ Assembly Higher Education Committee and Dr. Joseph Doria, Dean of the School of Education at St. Peter’s University , Tim and Sue offered their perspectives and insights on the conference’s main theme of higher education legislative reforms.¬†

Haresign spoke about the Council’s positions on a number of higher ed. reform bills currently working their way through the NJ Legislature. He addressed Assembly Bill 2807, which would freeze tuition and fees at the year of enrollment for nine semesters for NJ’s resident undergraduate students enrolling in the 2015-16 academic year. Tim noted that while the bill addresses the Council’s concerns surrounding student debt, there may be some unintended consequences from barring any increased funding for higher ed. from the State. Therefor he concluded that the bill warrants further study. Sue discussed the Council’s concerns about the continued erosion of shared governance and the problem it poses for the future of higher education in New Jersey. All of the panelists expressed concerns about the continuing lack of accountability at NJ's public higher education institutions.

AFTNJ President Donna Chiera introduced conference keynote speaker NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney, praising his improved relationship with AFT NJ.

Sen. Sweeney spoke to the audience on a number of higher education issues including the ongoing challenges of the New Jersey Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act, Rutgers’ fiscally starving and neglecting its Camden and Newark campuses. He also spoke on the package of higher education bills introduced and passed the NJ Assembly by Assemblyman Joe Cryan. Senator Sweeney emphasized to the audience that these bills would not be moving through the Senate. Instead he stressed that his bill to create a task force on higher ed issues would take the place of the Assembly bills. ¬†Senator Sweeney will appoint Council President Tim Haresign to take part in the legislative task force alongside Rutgers Professor Patrice Mareschal.