Education

Lower Tuition Under Murphy? Not So Fast, Rutgers Pres. Says

4be5ac48264d57899118_IMG_1246.JPG
Credits: Daniel J. Munoz
4be5ac48264d57899118_IMG_1246.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Gov. Phil Murphy, following his inauguration last week, ​ticked off a list of lofty goals and​ progressive​ proposals for the state. 

Yet allies and opponents have shown skepticism, or at least questioned, his vision for New Jersey

Rutgers President Robert Barchi made himself no exception, during ​a start-of-the-semester kick-off address at the Rutgers University Senate on Friday afternoon.

Sign Up for E-News

The question had been brought before Barchi​,​ under the Murphy administration​:​ ​Will Rutgers be able to reverse the trend of tuition increases and lower the cost for students?

Not likely, Barchi suggested.

“A rock and a hard place doesn’t begin to describe the budget situation in the state,” Barchi told senators. “If our new governor were to follow through with 25 percent of the things he says he’s going to do, we will be bankrupt.”

Leading up to his election, Murphy campaigned on increasing state aid to universities, meaning more money coming from New Jersey to ​support Rutger​s University.​

For students, that could mean reducing tuition and student fees.

“I don’t know where this money is coming from, but we don’t have it in the state,” Barchi said.

Certainly, Rutgers officials will continue to “lobby hard” in Trenton for the biggest chunk of state aid they can get, Barchi said.

“I’ve really worked hard with the entire administration for the past, going on six years now, to try to maintain the affordability and accessibility of a Rutgers education,” Barchi told the senate.

Barchi has credited that tactic with helping him keep tuition increases under two percent. In July 2017, the Board of Governors voted to raise tuition 1.7 percent, as part of a $4.4 billion budget for the upcoming academic year.

But with the minimum wage increase to $11 an hour, the university has been put in a tighter spot financially, according to Barchi, given the university’s ​1 percent operating margin.

“It’s a fairly expensive thing to approach,” Barchi told the senate, adding that as a result, Rutgers took on a $4 million budget item to support the increases.

The $11 minimum wage applies to all on-campus and work study jobs for Rutgers students. It was announced mid-December and went into effect on Jan. 1, affecting up to 14,000 students.

“We are in a position where we have limited known revenue sources, and they’re all at risk, one way or the other,” Barchi said. “The biggest one we could expand would be tuition, which I committed not to do.”

Barchi said his goal would be to make sure the ​annual ​tuition increases don’t exceed the two percent self-imposed cap.

Students are still pushing for a $15 minimum wage on campus.

“While $11 is a great increase it is still a poverty level raise,” said Mariah Wood, a member of the Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops​ (RUSAS)​. “Workers deserve to pay their rent and feed themselves, instead of having their labor exploited by the university.”

In December, RUSAS protesters disrupted the board of trustees meeting; part of their “Fight4Fifteen” campaign to push for a campus-wide $15 minimum wage.

Murphy has campaigned on the $15 minimum wage and made it one of his main priorities.

But Barchi, at the senate meeting, suggested it might a year before the wage increase makes it past Murphy’s desk, and even then, the minimum wage would increase in installments over several years.

The campaign recently became one of the bargaining demand​s​ in the broader contract negotiations underway by several Rutgers faculty unions.

Representing 20,000 university employees, the unions are bargaining for the terms of the new contract, with the current ones set to expire in the summer 2018.

 

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 Department Investigating Pair of Residential Burglaries

April 3, 2018

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Goldfarb responded to the Union Police Department on a warrant arrest. Robert Kopik, age 41 of Springfield, was placed under arrest on an outstanding criminal warrant and remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility.

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Hunt responded to a Quaker Road residence on a residential burglary. The resident reports ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11a7f47d27aa64b07388_mark-kelly-about

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly

Other

Carousel_image_df9894831d33a18d5f90_63acbe0d6361db09daf9_joel-ingersoll-jgphoto-003-1_orig

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

New Providence High School, New Providence

Parent Wellness Series: College Admission Does ...

Carousel_image_de8fa64ac3f48813f5b8_f4a28bb354e48b53f79d_images

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Lenore Raphael Presents Ellington and More at ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_343f4e7d32430a1ca3f1_renoir4

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...

Cardinal Tobin to Speak at B’nai Jeshurun

April 23, 2018

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, will welcome Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Wednesday, May 2nd at 7:00 pm.  Cardinal Tobin currently serves at the head of the Archdiocese of Newark. Members of the community are invited to hear Cardinal Tobin speak about how Pope Francis is forging a culture of encounter by renewing the dialogue between Christians and Jews.  In the pope’s ...

Middle School Presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

Middle School presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

The Millburn Middle School Spring Musical, Shrek the Musical, will be held on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at 7 p.m.  A Sunday matinee will be presented at 1 p.m. on April 29th.

Shrek the Musical opened on Broadway in December 2008. It is based on the DreamWorks Animation’s film Shrek and William Steig’s ...

Millburn Road Closures for April 20

MILLBURN, NJ - Parsonage Hill Road closed between Long Hill Drive and White Oak Ridge Road until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Troy Drive closed to all traffic between Lawrence Drive and Troy Lane until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Old Short Hills Road has a changed traffic pattern between Silver Spring Road and Dorison Drive no closures expect possible delays until approx 4:00pm ...