Dear Members of the NJCU Community:
First, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday this week. Thanksgiving is a time of year where we can slow down for a few days with our loved ones and reflect on all we have to be grateful for. While the last five months have been trying for all of us on campus, the NJCU community is strong and resilient, and from my family to yours, I wish you a wonderful holiday!
Additionally, please allow me to extend my sincere appreciation for all those who attended the November campus conversation in-person and virtually. For those of you who could not join us, you will find the full archived, recorded session, including the financial presentations, available on NJCU.edu by logging in here with your NJCU credentials, like we have done with our previous conversations.
These regularly scheduled gatherings are a step forward for a campus deserving of real transparency and true dialogue. Commitment to platforms for interaction, like these conversations, should be, in my estimation, resolute.
It is in the spirit of such transparency that I write to you today to tell you there will be another leadership transition in NJCU’s future.
Recently, I announced a consolidation of the senior administrative divisions and three vice presidential positions as part of the overarching strategy to eliminate a $20M+ budget deficit. This restructuring will produce an annualized savings of $750k, which supports the $10M in already identified and enacted cost containment measures. There’s still much to do to close the gap but thanks to our shared sacrifices, we will painfully realize more necessary cost savings as NJCU prepares for a new, leaner future — one that prioritizes the student experience (retention, graduation, and placement) and places a premium on a return to our nearly century old mission of serving the communities of Jersey City and Greater Hudson County.
Since my message to the community about the senior staff restructuring, there have been some questions about my future at NJCU. When I accepted the role of Acting President, I did so with the caveat that I would not be considered a permanent or long-term interim solution. My focus would be on putting in place a plan to get us to budget neutrality by the end of FY23. In parallel, the Board of Trustees would seek a permanent or long-term interim solution, so I could move onto a role outside of NJCU — one, which I placed on pause in June of this year.
Campus leaders, far and wide, contributed to the development of a plan that will not only see NJCU achieve budget neutrality but one that puts the institution on a course to a strong and bright future. Make no mistake, difficult and important decisions still await, as future leadership grapples with macro socio-economic and political challenges — challenges confronting the higher education industry, in general, and of which NJCU is not immune.
With the framework in place and with many of the necessary actions already complete, I am satisfied that I have fulfilled my promise to the Trustees. As soon as a new leader is in place, I have agreed to provide onboarding and advisement up to, but no longer than, March 15, 2023. It is then I will complete my tenure at NJCU and return to the plans I paused earlier this summer to join a consulting firm.
I am grateful for the honor and privilege to work alongside so many extremely talented professionals, whom I greatly admire for their enduring commitment to create a better pathway in life through education for the students of NJCU. I’ll always be rooting for you NJCU. Thank you for the opportunity. I entered and learned, and soon I will exit and serve.
New Jersey City University