16 N.J. lawmakers express support for NJCU and Interim President Acebo


16 New Jersey lawmakers have put out a lengthy statement expressing for New Jersey City University (NJCU) and Interim President Andres Acebo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The undersigned members of the Hudson County Legislative Delegation, Latino Legislative Caucus, and Black Legislative Caucus gave a glowing evaluation of Acebo’s tenure, which began in January 2023.

“We applaud the servant leadership that the State and our communities have witnessed from NJCU Interim President Andrés Acebo, J.D. President Acebo is the only current Latino to lead any institution of higher education in New Jersey and the youngest known ever to lead a public university in our State,” the legislators wrote.

“Equally notable is that he also personifies the stories of the students he serves as a first-generation, public school-educated son of working-class immigrants, born and raised in Hudson County, who became the first person in his family to attend college. He exemplifies the promise of equal opportunity and higher education.”

At the end of the month, the NJCU Board of Trustees are likely to vote on Acebo’s contract and it appears the state legislators with a connection to the school want to see it happen.

“Public records affirm the University’s significant strides at an unprecedented pace under Acebo’s leadership. A global rating agency improved the University’s financial outlook to stability while achieving new milestones in access and affordability, responsive academic and curricular reform, shared governance, labor relations, and community engagement,” the statement continues.

Specifically, the lawmakers cited NJCU’s Recovery and Revitalization and Strategic Plans, developing a project labor agreement and memorandum of understanding to provide internships for students, and revamping the institutional aid structure, among other things, as successes under Acebo’s watch.

” … We have witnessed the University community’s tireless work to place itself on stable footing, reorganize and reallocate structures, processes, and resources, and ensure that students will have continued and enhanced access to a dedicated and engaged faculty and staff for the institution’s second century serving the State of New Jersey,” the statement concluded.

“We applaud the work of President Acebo and NJCU’s students, faculty, and staff. We unequivocally support their continued leadership and work to ensure stability, community engagement, strategic growth, and student-centered service.”

State Senator Angela McKnight, Assemblyman William Sampson, and Barbara McCann Stamato (all D-31), state Senator Raj Mukherji, Assemblyman John Allen, and Assemblywoman Jessica Ramirez (all D-32), along with state Senator Brian Stack and Assemblymen Julio Marenco and Gabriel Rodriguez (all D-33) signed the statement.

The legislators from the 29th Legislative District, which includes East Newark and Harrison, state Senator Teresa Ruiz as well as Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor-Marin and Shanique Speight signed on as well.

Finally, the representatives of the 35th Legislative District, state Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblywoman Shanda Sumter, and Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly rounded out the list of NJCU supporters, along with Assemblywomen Rosy Bagolie and Alixon Collazos-Gill (both D-27).

State Senator Nilsa Cruz Perez (D-5), along with Assemblywomen Yvonne Lopez (D-19), Annette Quijano (D-20), and Carmen Morales (D-34) also signed.


Editor’s note: Assemblywoman Rosy Bagolie’s name was added to the list of supporters shortly after this article was initially published. Five additional legislators added their names to the list on Wednesday.

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