Commission Adopts Update 2005 of Higher Education Plan
“Regular updates of this long-range plan are vital to the state,” said Commission Chairman Frank Mertz. “As the rapidly changing knowledge-based environment transforms the economic landscape, the Blueprint assumes added importance. There is a compelling need to focus on the pivotal role of higher education in New Jersey’s competitiveness and well-being.”
The future of the state’s economy is tied to workforce quality, employment opportunities in knowledge-based industries, and complex research and technology. Higher education is challenged to prepare people of all backgrounds with increasingly sophisticated skills and to deliver enhanced research to fuel knowledge-based industries. The plan provides a blueprint for bringing together state, private sector, and higher education leaders to strategically address those needs and ensure New Jersey’s ongoing economic prosperity.
Fulfilling the promise of this plan for New Jersey involves a new compact between the state and higher education, which calls for both a significant state investment and a measurable return on that investment by institutions. This compact will require increased state support for faculty and facilities, efficient and strategic use of resources, enhanced coordination and collaboration, and targeted initiatives – central elements of the state’s Blueprint for higher education.
Although accomplishing the Blueprint’s desired results will require investment, collaboration, and time, progress has already been made in implementing the plan since it was adopted two years ago. Following are key examples of initial points of progress.
There are areas of the plan in which progress has not yet been made. For example:
“Update 2005 emphasizes that state policy and planning, adequate and predictable state funding, and institutional accountability are essential for an excellent and efficient system of higher education,” said Jeanne Oswald, executive director of the Commission. “In states that fortify the intellectual power of their colleges and universities, higher education serves as a catalyst for economic development and the cornerstone of a thriving society.”
Annual updates of the Blueprint will (1) monitor progress in achieving the plan’s seven principal objectives and key outcome measures, (2) inform future state investments linked to the objectives, and (3) develop new components to enhance progress toward achieving the overall vision.
Update 2005 is available on the Commission’s website at http://www.nj.gov/highereducation/LRPupdate05.htm
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Last Updated: November 1, 2005