To combat ongoing financial woes that came to light this summer, New Jersey City University has revealed a reorganization plan that cuts three senior management positions.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I could not be more grateful to our administrative team, namely Acting President Jason Kroll, who has led NJCU admirably through this challenging period, but also our entire community of faculty, staff, students and alumni for their support during this challenging time,” NJCU Board of Trustees Chair Joseph Scott said in a statement.
“The sacrifices that we must make in order to solve this budget crisis are not easy, but we are dedicated to preserving NJCU as a pillar of high quality, accessible higher education and as a key component of the community in Jersey City and Hudson County. We are committed to sharing these burdens throughout all levels of the university staff, and to continuing to put our students first.”
The reorg plan includes consolidating four divisions, reducing the total number of divisions at the executive level from six to four.
As a result, three senior management positions will be eliminated, which are chief operating officer, chief strategy officer and vice president for enrollment management.
Furthermore, the four new divisions will be academic affairs, advancement, finance and administration, and student affairs, and enrollment management.
NJCU also touted this as part of their “firm commitment to right-sizing” after already instituting $10 million on cost containment strategies after an over $20 million structural deficit was revealed following the retirement of University President Dr. Sue Henderson.
They also noted that the management-level workforce has been reduced by over 30 percent since the pandemic, as well as part of recent negotiations with their teachers union.
In a letter to the NJCU community, Kroll further explained what was happening, noting that nine percent less New Jersey students will be graduating high school between 2018 and 2028, part of why the college’s enrollment is down from just five years ago.
“These hard realities, combined with the disproportionate effect the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon the student population we uniquely serve, means NJCU must continue making difficult but necessary adjustments reflective of the changing landscape,” the acting president wrote.
He continued that their largest fixed cost is personnel, therefore the three aforementioned cuts are necessary.
Kroll thanked Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Aaron Aska and Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management Ben Rohdin for their service (Kroll is the former chief strategy officer and the role was not filled once he became acting president).
Aska will retired on December 2nd after a 19-year career at NJCU, while Rohdin will be involved with reconsolidating the divisions of student affairs and enrollment management.
“There is care, there is commitment, and there is fight here – we should all be so lucky as to have had an opportunity to be a part of something this special,” Kroll also wrote.
“While all the changes throughout our fiscal emergency have been challenging, I am certain that the sacrifices made throughout this year will result in a strong, prosperous future for NJCU. Enter to learn; exit to serve; our mantra will stand the test of time.”
Back in August, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop called for an independent investigation into NJCU’s finances and operations and Acting Comptroller Kevin Walsh has since said that his office will do just that.