Don?t forget South Jersey schools

Don?t forget South Jersey schools

Rutgers President Francis Lawrence has proposed a $1 billion state bond, an undetermined portion of which would go to Rutgers so it could expand primarily in Piscataway and Newark. I applaud him for drawing attention to the need to accommodate the 15,000 to 20,000 additional students who will flood New Jersey colleges and universities by decade?s end. However, the need for additional capacity is far more acute in South Jersey.

The eight southern counties hold 27 percent of the state?s population. Rowan, Rutgers-Camden and Richard Stockton State College serve the region but provide only 11 percent of baccalaureate seats available in the state. There aren?t enough seats for everyone who qualifies, so students must leave the area to attend college, at least doubling their costs.

Rowan?s building program will dramatically improve the quality of our educational facilities. However, this program only addresses the needs of our 10,000 current students. With additional funding, Rowan could easily educate an extra 3,000 students upon completing construction. We could educate another 10,000 if allocated the funds to build a third campus.

If the state wants to add capacity, South Jersey must receive its fair share.

Donald J. Farish,
President, Rowan University

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Date Published: Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 01:00
Source URL: Star Ledger