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Academic & Administrative Review




Dear Members:

NJCU presents our university as transformative, providing “an affordable, diverse environment and an exceptionally supportive faculty who enable students to thrive as scholars and graduate as thoughtful, high-achieving” professionals. I believe this literally and aspirationally. I spoke recently to a woman from Bayonne who sent two of her children to NJCU, one of whom is an artist in Manhattan and the other an English major who became a teacher.  She is proud that they attended NJCU and of their continuing professional achievements. “Nearly 90% of our students say that their professors truly care about them. But beyond that, NJCU faculty are also game-changers in their respective fields.They break new ground in research, transform the business world, and perform on world-renowned stages."

It is the faculty’s responsibility to continue making the above claims true. A vigorous, principled, and informed faculty must support and protect their teaching, service, and research when they are threatened, as they are now.

On April 1, President Henderson announced two critical “new projects-- a review of our academic portfolio and efficiencies and a review of our administrative services.” The review is interested in a department’s profitability and issues like “throughput,” the number of students each faculty member teaches each semester.

The administration has hired the consulting firm, rpk GROUP, whose goal is to establish a sustainable budget for the University. A sustainable budget is a good thing, but there is more than one way to achieve it.  At the moment, there is one faculty member on the nine-person steering committee.  One would expect fuller participation by faculty who are exceptionally supportive of students and groundbreakers in research, business, and the arts. Decisions made by a balanced steering committee that includes elected faculty will be creatively and constructively better than those generated by a committee limited essentially to administrators


  1. The Union will continue to work tirelessly to protect the jobs of all faculty, librarians, and professional staff.
  2. The Union will be fully transparent with its members as the review goes forward.
  3. All issues related to the terms and conditions of employment must be negotiated with the Union.
  4. The Union has a contractual right to have an observer on the steering and data committees and will seek the appointments to the full extent available to it.
  5. The Union will vote to support the Senate resolution concerning the appointment of faculty to the steering and data committees.
  6. I chair the new financial/strategy group that meets for several hours twice a week. Members are Joseph Moskowitz, Bill Calathes, John Laski, John Melendez, and Alberto Pinkas.
  7. Union meetings are being scheduled once a month throughout the summer and additionally as needed.
  8. Seeking to understand the work rpk GROUP does for universities, the Union contacted seventeen colleges/universities that have been clients of the consulting firm. From one University, we received copies of the attached PowerPoints. They reveal some of the specific data rpk GROUP seeks and also recommendations it makes based on that data. They are very informative.
  9. We have submitted OPRA requests for NJCU financial and budgetary information.  The responses received to date have not been satisfactory, and we are pursuing the matter further.
  10. The Union collected and submitted probing questions for the Town Hall, Wednesday, April 14, at 2:00 p.m.  Please register for the Town Hall to hear the responses and submit your own questions to
  11. The Union is scheduling a debriefing session after the Town Hall at 3:15 p.m.
  12. The Union is meeting with department chairs on April 19 at 2:00 p.m.

Barbara Hildner
President AFT Local 1839