NJIT Faculty, Staff and Students
Robert A. Altenkirch
Friday, October 26, 2007
SCI Report on NJ Public Higher Ed
The State Commission of Investigation, an arm of the New Jersey Legislature, issued its report yesterday on the governance, oversight, and accountability of several New Jersey senior public institutions of higher education, including the State’s three public research universities: New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. SCI Report on NJ Public Higher Ed (pdf).

While the report’s findings focused intensively on a wide range of financial and other practices at a number of New Jersey’s public colleges and universities, NJIT is pleased that the report contains no findings of past or current systemic issues at the University that were subject to SCI scrutiny. The only reference in the report to an NJIT issue was to a singular event involving a humanitarian action in which a loan was made to an individual who had been employed by the University. The SCI finding regarding this singular issue is contained on page 71 of the report; the NJIT response may be found in the report’s appendix and contains additional information with respect to the event cited in the report.

We are also pleased to report that NJIT cooperated fully and without reservation with the investigation undertaken by the SCI, a process that took place for a period commencing April 20, 2005 and covering NJIT practices from January 1, 2001 to the present.

The SCI makes several recommendations concerning organizational changes at the State level to “ensure a proper balance between strong institutional autonomy and effective oversight, transparency and accountability.” It is essential to strike such a proper balance while at the same time providing public higher education with a voice at the State level, a voice that it has lacked for some time. We look forward to participating in the dialogue on how best to achieve the goals for public higher education organization articulated by the SCI.