Bond Issue Would Invest in NJ Colleges, CCM President Says

'Building Our Future' Bond Act will be on the Nov. 6 election ballot as Question 1.

To the Editor:

On Nov. 6, New Jersey voters will be asked to approve the first major investment in New Jersey college facilities in 24 years. The Building Our Future Bond Act, which will be on the ballot as "Question 1," would provide $750 million in capital improvements for academic and research facilities at the state’s 49 colleges and universities. The funds would be targeted for academic buildings and could not be used to construct sports facilities or dormitories. Also, each college is required to match the funds they receive by 25 percent.

This investment will help prepare New Jersey students for the global marketplace; attract businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs; and power the state’s economy by creating construction jobs. New Jersey has not had a bond issue targeted to higher education construction since 1988.

The Building Our Future bond act has received bipartisan support. Gov. Christie supports the initiative and the bill placing the question on the ballot passed 76-1 in the State Assembly and 38-1 in the State Senate. As State Senator Anthony R. Bucco (R-25) has stated, “Investing in New Jersey’s colleges will benefit not only our students but the state’s economy at a time when we need it most.” It is estimated that the building projects generated by the bond funds will create 10,000 new construction jobs in New Jersey.

New Jersey is one of only five states in the nation that has spent no money on capital improvements for higher education in the last five years. Meanwhile, neighboring states such as New York and Connecticut are investing hundreds of millions of dollars each year in their institutions of higher learning. The long-term impact of the funds would allow New Jersey colleges to attract and retain the best students and faculty, stimulate economic growth, attract investment and train a highly-skilled workforce that would allow New Jersey to remain competitive.

I urge you to vote “yes” on Question 1 on Nov. 6.

Edward J. Yaw
President, County College of Morris 

Walter O. October 22, 2012 at 03:59 PM
On the surface this sounds like a good idea. However, I would like to see the state put restrictions and reverse the rising cost of higher education! This seems to rise constantly and the schools know that nobody is watching them or fighting them on this! We can rebuild the universities across NJ, but can't afford to send our kids! Doesn't make sense!!!
Drowning October 23, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Maybe NJ can attract more students by making tuition more affordable instead. I agree with you both Anti-tax and Walter O. I have a high school senior and the sticker shock we have experienced during our college search is mind boggling. I have been trying to make sense of the outrageous price tag considering the millions of dollars these "non-profit" institutions have in reserve. Does anyone audit their "non-profit" status? From what I understand from a client who runs a non-profit all they have to do is declare that it is not their intention to make a profit and that they have educational motivations. I have also been marveling at how much university campuses have changed since I graduated 28 years ago. At a recent trip to Montclair State College we saw brand new dorm facilities, brand new art facilities, and an actual Diner on campus! Do the campuses really have to look like country clubs? This campus did not look run down AT ALL as they would have you believe in the voting booth. Unless they stipulate that the colleges that take this funding have to decrease their tuition collected by an equal amount I cannot vote yes for this. When there is this much money sitting around I KNOW there is corruption somewhere. How can they not be subject to auditing or limits to how much profit they can make?
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