New Jersey state higher ed faces decreased funding

 Rutgers president Robert Barchi tells Assembly Budget Committee universities are improving operating efficiency and increasing fundraising efforts to make up for a proposed drop in direct state support. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Rutgers president Robert Barchi tells Assembly Budget Committee universities are improving operating efficiency and increasing fundraising efforts to make up for a proposed drop in direct state support. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Leaders of New Jersey’s state colleges and universities are concerned about the drop in the amount of money they will receive in the new state budget plan. 

Governor Christie’s budget proposal shifts some direct state support for public colleges and universities in order to fund increases in college employee’s fringe benefit costs. The Christie administration maintains that the budget allocation for higher education is stable.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi says it’s not likely the public universities will get much relief from the state in the next two to four years but that he will take steps to keep tution down.

“We are struggling to make sure that every decease in support that we have is offset by an increase in efficiency in our operation so that we don’t see those kinds of increases in tuition that many of our sister institutions are doing.”

Barchi told the Assembly Budget Committee the colleges and universities are also increasing their fundraising efforts and public-private partnerships to increase revenue.

New Jersey Higher Education Secretary Rochelle Hendricks says the state has not fully recovered from the recession.

“We have limited resources so the cuts that you see, the differential you see in this budget, are in response to our fiscal reality.”

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