The New Jersey City University Board of Trustees are coming to President Sue Henderson’s defense after the university senators, comprised of faculty leaders, approved a vote of “no confidence” last night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The NJCU Board of Trustees is aware the university senate passed a resolution [yesterday] afternoon. The resolution itself was riddled with inaccuracies despite countless attempts to clarify these issues,” NJCU Board Chair Joseph F. Scott said following an inquiry from HCV.
“The Board and I remain confident and supportive of the President and her administration, and the work we are doing in support of the institution’s mission.”
The university senate voted 30-23 last night to approve a “no confidence” vote, citing mounting financial debt and an opaque process related to the school’s real estate endeavors, as the New Jersey Monitor first reported.
If the vote is verified, it would head to the board of trustees – who don’t appear eager on ousting Henderson at this time.
The resolution, which was ultimately pulled at the university senate’s May meting – the last one of the previous scholastic year – calls for educational leadership Professor John Melendez to serve as the interim school president in the event Henderson is removed.
During the meeting, it was said that the university has gone into roughly $156 million in debt during Henderson’s tenure, which began in August 2012.
The West Campus Redevelopment Plan, which received two, 30-year tax abatements from the City of Jersey City back in July 2016, was also a point of contention since the $1,800 a month price tag is not affordable for students and therefore hurting university revenues.
In a three-page response, NJCU said that the university’s net asset position was $108.7 million when Henderson was hired and is at $83.8 million as of June 30th of this year, that University Place (west campus) project is consistent with their mission statement, and that they have not violated the principles of shared governance – among many other points.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with further comment from NJCU.
Did any of your reporters investigate the claims made against President Sue Henderson and the Board of Trustees? Be like Woodward and Bernstein. Follow the money trail and you will uncover a web of conflicts of interest and poor investment stategies. Look into no bid contracts awarded to real estate developers who also served as paid consultants and made kickback payments to the NJCU Foundation. Please do your job and do some real investigative journalism.
The 3-page response from NJCU is itself riddled with errors. The contract the University signed with the rpk Group is for $330,000, not $210,000. The local AFT sent copies of that contract to all its members. It clearly states $330,000. Furthermore, NJCU has indeed violated the principles of shared governance. That is why in 2019 President Henderson set up an ad hoc committee of shared governance—to meet and make recommendations, which they did. They were never carried out. There are other misstatements too numerous to state here. NJCU’s CFO said in the Senate meeting in September 27 that NJCU’s debt was $150 million. Then he had to backpedal. This is the sad reality of NJCU now.