State budget woes hit close to home

The Board of Trustees discussed how the current economic situation in New Jersey will affect the College at its meeting last Tuesday.

“The state of New Jersey is in a fiscal mess,” College President R. Barbara Gitenstein said.

The College has been and will continue to look for resources other than tuition to support it.

Though state budget cuts provide a challenge, the College has experienced increases in monetary gain, such as the recent $1 million anonymous donation.

Alumni donations are up 10 percent over the last year, according to Gitenstein.

The goal of this year is 7,000 gifts from alumni and so far, the College has acquired over 3,000. This places the College further ahead of its goal than last year, according to board member Robert Kaye.

The College is also experiencing a surge in applicants for the 2008-2009 academic year.

With over 9,500 applicants and more than 1,000 from out of state, it is “unbelievable how well we’re doing,” Gitenstein said.

Students from beyond the tri-state area, such as Massachusetts and Maryland, are also applying.

The quality and diversity of the applicants is improving, with an 8 percent increase in black students over last year.

Board member Anne McHugh had an update on the New Jersey Code of Ethics, which required “certain amendments for scholarly activity” at the College. Such amendments regard scholars’ published works and art and student loan processing.

It was announced that Thomas Mahoney, general counsel, has been appointed as an ethics liaison, an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action officer, and a compliance officer.

Each title requires Mahoney to work with the president and other officers in the ethics, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action, and compliance policies and “advise and report to the Audit, Risk Management and Compliance Committee of the Board of Trustees,” according to the meeting agenda.

Vice Chair Susanne Svizeny explained the current situation with the upcoming decision on a new dining services contract for the College.

It was recommended by the Request for Proposal committee that the Board narrow the five final candidates to two. They are being looked at for quality of food, the environment and monetary satisfaction.

Two resolutions, classification and contractual, were passed at the meeting. These resolutions concerned non-union employees at the College and the many contracts used for each one.

The resolutions, which included changing the contracts to rolling contracts, would help the College, as the previous statutes were not providing flexibility in these uncertain budget times, according to Chair Stacy Holland.