Education

Essex County College Reports Favorable Financial Audit as Major Milestone

2a27dc261731644c0046_ECC10.jpg
Essex County College is reporting a favorable annual financial audit and says the report is a step in the right direction to remove itself from probation instituted by the Middle States Commission. Credits: Wikipedia
2a27dc261731644c0046_ECC10.jpg

Newark, NJ – Essex County College is reporting a clean bill of health on its annual financial audit.

The audit, completed last month by certified public accounting and auditing firm PKF O’Connor Davies, found no material weaknesses in the college’s internal controls and found ECC to be in compliance with all federal and state sponsored programs. In addition, the college says that all material weaknesses found in the 2016 audit have been corrected.

Although the audit does not affect accreditation, the college hopes that the clean audit finding will contribute to demonstrating compliance with accreditation, according to a college spokesperson.

Sign Up for E-News

The "unqualified" rating received from the auditor is considered by the college to be a step in the right direction as it works to remove itself from the probation instituted in November by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the entity which grants accreditation to area colleges.

“This administration inherited these challenges when we assumed leadership of Essex County College last summer,” ECC President Anthony Munroe said.  “Since that time we have been working together as a team to face these challenges head on and restore the college to its place of prominence.”

The college was given notice a year ago by the Middle States Commission that it was in jeopardy of losing its accreditation for its failure to comply with standards, including governance, student retention policies and institutional resources.

Although the Commission has now deemed the college in compliance with Student Admissions and Retention, the college was initially placed on probation due to its noncompliance with Institutional Resources and Leadership and Governance, according to the Commission's report.

The college remains accredited while on probation, with federal regulations limiting the period of noncompliance to two years.

A monitoring report—due from the college on March 1, 2018—must include documented evidence that the school has achieved compliance, including the development and implementation of a financial planning and budgeting process, both institution-wide and among departments.

The Commission has also requested the college implement institutional controls to deal with financial, administrative and auxiliary operations, along with policies and procedures to determine allocation of assets and an annual independent audit confirming financial responsibility.

Governing documents that delineate governance structure and provide for collegial governance are also to be provided to the Commission.

Commission representatives will visit the college following submission of the monitoring report.

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. recently agreed to increase funding to the college.

At a meeting in mid-October, DiVincenzo agreed to give the college $1.5 million in operating expenses, a one-time payment of $1 million toward operational legal expenses, $1.25 million minor cap for annual funding and $1.25 million as a one-time bond project match.

The college had requested for fiscal year 2018 an additional $2 million for operating expenses, $800,000 for Operation of Public Safety Academy, $1,000,000 for operational legal expenses, $2,000,000 for fund balance, $1.2 million minor cap for annual funding and a one-time request of $2 million for a bonds project match.

DiVincenzo said the county is committed to working with Munroe and the college's Board of Trustees by providing the support and resources the college needs to right itself.

"We recently provided additional funds to help the college balance its budget and have committed to increasing the financial support that the County provides in the future to help the college through its financial crisis," DiVincenzo said in November. "Essex County College has provided generations of students with a strong educational foundation to help them succeed professionally, and we have confidence that Dr. Munroe and the Board will lead the college from Middle States probation.”

“The unqualified rating from our auditor is obviously a significant achievement as we work to shore up the weaknesses identified by Middle States,” ECC Board Chairman Thomas McDermott, Jr. said. “We are well on our way toward meeting our March 1 deadline to have all our issues remedied.”

McDermott succeeded former board chair Bibi Taylor while new board members include Carmen Morales, Isabel Cruz, Arnold Lewis, Johanna Wright, Rev. Lanel Guyton and Joseph Maceri.

The new board replaced former board members Calvin Souder, Safanya Searcy, Ralph Ciallella and Leila Sadeghi, all of whom joined the board within the last six months.

In response to governance issues cited by Middle States, the college has been working with the administration and new board members to ensure issues are addressed. 

Middle States’ action did not include any findings regarding the quality of the education offered by Essex County College, according to a college spokesperson.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Millburn Police Investigate Theft by Nordstrom Employee

February 14, 2018

Press Release February 13, 2018

 

On February 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Royce stopped a 2009 Jaguar XKR as it exited the mall for having no front plate. The investigation led to the arrest of 50 year old Christopher Garibian of Morristown on an outstanding traffic warrant out of Morris Township. Mr. Garibian was placed under arrest, issued summonses, and released after posting ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4f8324cc0a175d48b73e_bbc4a05ee6841cf55043_martamcdowell-photo-by-marco-ricca

Sun, February 25, 2:00 PM

Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills

All the Presidents’ Gardens Talk & Book Signing ...

Home & Garden

Carousel_image_61e402c79011d14d92ba_b01211242c63812560cd_networking

Tue, February 27, 8:15 AM

Congregation Bnai Israel, Millburn

JBN Presents: Women's Networking in Millburn

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_5718d79858b08ed16e52_stjameswhiskeydinner-1-1170x1170

Tue, February 27, 7:00 PM

St. James's Gate, Maplewood

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_2b65b530dfe85c389ae4_47bcc810ef0c96e97e3c_27867699_10155349497090098_7089996638504005701_n

Sat, March 3, 7:00 PM

Congregation Beth Hatikvah, Summit

It's a Muppet Purim!

Arts & Entertainment

Tullamore Dew Whiskey Dinner at St. James's Gate in Maplewood on Feb. 27

February 23, 2018

Join Tullamore Dew and St. James's Gate for a 5 course whiskey dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

5 courses with 5 whiskies.

The menu is as follows:

Sea Urchin 2 ways
Scallop crudo in shell
Whiskey injected oysters
Squid ink gnocchi, head on prawn and kobe beef
Whiskey creme Anglaise filled chocolate dipped ricotta doughnut

Call 973-378-2222 to reserve your ...

Millburn Township Announces NJLM Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition

Millburn Township Mayor Cheryl H. Burstein is proud to announce the NJLM Louis Bay 2nd Future Municipal Leaders Scholarship Competition for high school juniors and seniors planning to continue their education after high school. Three state winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship and their essays will be featured in the New Jersey League of Municipalities magazine. We are inviting all Millburn ...

Paper Mill Playhouse Announces the World Premiere of 'Unmasked'

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, announced today the world premiere of UNMASKED, which will feature some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most iconic work and the stories behind its creation, along with new music and memories from his extraordinary life and career, will open its ...