New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Brian K. Bridge, Ph.D has named “seasoned expert” Henry Amoroso as the state fiscal monitor for New Jersey City Unviersity in the midst of their budget woes.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We have a responsibility to protect the significant higher education investments made by students, their families, and the state. With the appointment of Mr. Amoroso, NJCU unquestionably gains a seasoned expert whose acumen and values will help realize positive transformation and future solvency for the university,” Bridges said in a statement.
“Equally, by taking this first step under the new statutory authority vested in my office, we become better fiscal stewards of the investment made in our institutions by thousands of students seeking access to an affordable, high-quality postsecondary education.”
Amoroso is a tenured associate professor at Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. He is also the inaugural Director of the Micah Institute for Business Ethics and Economic Justice.
He has also served as of counsel at the law firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, is the executive director of the HJA Strategies consulting firm, and was the chair of the budget and financial operations for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s transition team in 2013.
“I am deeply grateful to be entrusted with this role and to leverage my diverse organizational expertise to secure a stronger financial and operational footing for NJCU,” he noted.
“By repairing the financial harm caused by bad actors, we stand to restore confidence in the education offered and, more importantly, ensure the institution can fulfill its mission to provide high-quality education to its current students and remain a credit to the wider community.”
This the first time that the OSHE has appointed a fiscal monitor, made possible after a bill from the state legislature was signed into law last month.
Essentially, this was a caveat so that NJCU could receive $13 million from the state budget in June, which was needed as they stared down a roughly $8 million deficit.
The deficit was nearly $22 million at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 scholastic year, with then-President Dr. Sue Henderson abruptly resigning at the conclusion.
Comptroller Kevin Walsh indicated that the university “likely violated federal law” by improperly allocating $14 million in COVID-19 relief funds to cover the costs of a scholarship program during Henderson’s tenure.
“New Jersey is proud of the many options our state offers individuals seeking an affordable, high-quality postsecondary education and must work to ensure these institutions can continue to provide the first-rate education students deserve,” stated Murphy.
“The appointment of Henry Amoroso, a highly respected turnaround specialist, will help us safeguard our promise to New Jersey students and protect the public interest by promoting financial stability and accountability at New Jersey City University. Our students, their families, and the people of New Jersey deserve nothing less.”
State Senator (D-33)/Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Assemblymen William Sampson (D-31) and Raj Mukherji (D-33), Assemblywomen Angela McKnight (D-31) and Annette Chaparro (D-33) all came out in support of Amoroso’s appointment.
“We have to make sure we are meeting and surpassing the expectations we have set for higher education in New Jersey, especially when it comes to the education of our students of color — specifically the hundreds of Latinos at this institution,” Chaparro, who sought $25 million in state funding for NJCU, said.
“I trust that appointing Henry Amoroso as a State Monitor will help support the current work being done by Interim President Andrés Acebo at the University, and continue to steer us on the right path going forward.”
Acebo added that he looks forward to working with Amoroso continues to work toward moving “from crisis to recovery.”