College proposes elimination of honors program

The Task Force on Positioning proposed eliminating the honors program among other ways to move the College forward.

The Task Force met with Lipman Hearne Integrated Marketing, whose recommendations were weighed when the Task Force wrote its positioning platform and rationale.

“The honors program is a valuable institution, but it is not assisting in the marketing of the institution,” Task Force Chair John McCarty of the school of business said.

“Lipman Hearne was dealing with the Honors Program on a marketing sense and not an academic sense. It was established for a vehicle to get terrific students in and give them a challenging education,” he added.

McCarty mentioned that with the high degree of intelligence of the incoming students, the current state of the honors program should be altered.

“The honors program, I don’t feel in its current configuration, does not do much to market the college to perspective students,” McCarty said.

English professor and Honors Coordinator Lee Harrod defended the honors program, saying “The honors program is a place for students who want to go beyond.”

Harrod said that the Princeton Review calls the program “one of the glories of this school.”

“All the colleges TCNJ is compared to in the Lipman Hearne Report have an honors program,” Harrod added.

David Blake, Department of English, said that President Barbara Gitenstein will most likely issue an academic Task Force to deal with the honors program next semester.

The Task Force made sure to explain that evaluating the academic aspect of the honor’s program is outside the Task Force’s jurisdiction.

They are meant only to make recommendations to the President in its final report, in the hope that the issues mentioned in the interim report will be implemented next semester.

The Task Force also suggested ceasing to sell Trenton State College merchandise, based on the new direction the College is going in.

“The school remains the same institution for graduates. For new students, the institution, its mission, its direction, what it encompasses, the type of education it offers, should have a name that is consistent with it new mission,” said Jesse Rosenblum, vice president of College Relations and Convener of the Task Force, said.

“The old name just reinforces the past and the way the institution used to be, rather than what it is today, and wishes to be tomorrow,” he added.

“In terms of TSC merchandise, the sales aren’t anything substantial. It is possible that alumni do not know that this merchandise is still available,” Beth Modica, of Development and Alumni Affairs, said.

However, McCarty, was concerned the move would alienate alumni.

“It is important to embrace our past and embrace our history,” McCarty said.

The Task Force also recommended that The College of New Jersey Magazine be redesigned.

Members suggested the magazine contain information found in the alumni newsletter, as well as have a readers’ survey to see what feature articles and other columns would the readers, especially alumni, would want to read.

The Task Force’s report says, “In general, the Task Force endorses the marketing approach that is recommended by the Lipman Hearne report.” The Task Force suggests a positioning platform that is generally consistent with the Lipman Hearne report, with some significant modifications.