Government and Politics
March 27, 2023
Funding makes critical investments in higher ed programs in fields such as cyber security, STEM, business entrepreneurship, and advanced manufacturing
UNION, N.J. – Today, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) joined with Kean University officials and the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities to highlight $18.1 million in funding the senators secured for New Jersey colleges and universities in the Fiscal Year 2023 federal spending bill. This funding will make critical investments in higher education programs such as cybersecurity, STEM research, entrepreneurship, pre-apprenticeships in advanced manufacturing and mechatronics, and nursing and medical programs, amongst others.
Kean University received a total of $4.25 million for projects that include a higher education program for middle and high school students and their families; renovating and expanding the university’s research laboratories and incubator workspaces that are utilized by faculty and by the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE), a nonprofit research organization located on Kean’s Union campus; and a neighborhood revitalization project in Trenton.
“Kean University, as a shining example of what a pioneering urban research university can do, will be able to provide their students, officials, and administrators the support they need to invest in these critical initiatives and higher education programs that will break down barriers of access for students all while making our state of New Jersey more competitive,” said Sen. Menendez. “This funding will provide faculty with research opportunities and offer students access to hands-on STEM training, while also helping to attract non-traditional students who will benefit from Kean’s pipeline development programs.”
“New Jersey’s colleges and universities are incredible assets that expand opportunity and drive economic progress,” said Sen. Booker. “This funding provides them vital support as they provide our students the well-rounded education and resources needed to compete in the workforce and realize their potential, and help their communities thrive.”
“Kean University is grateful to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker and our other federal lawmakers for supporting projects that advance our mission as New Jersey’s urban research university,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “Through their advocacy, Kean received more than $4 million for three important projects that will strengthen the state’s innovation economy, build stronger communities, and expand access to higher education for more deserving students. With their support, Kean will continue to make strides in advancing equity, inclusion and academic excellence in higher education.”
“We sincerely thank Senators Booker and Menendez for securing crucial investments in support of New Jersey’s colleges and universities in the FY 2023 spending bill. These investments will allow our institutions to provide meaningful programs and supports to our students and communities,” said Gene Lepore, Executive Director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. “The programs funded will yield a broad array of benefits across the state, including equitable access to higher education, workforce pathways, upward socioeconomic mobility for students and families, access to healthcare, urban revitalization, scientific and technological innovation, and entrepreneurship. The depth and breadth of these benefits reinforce that our colleges and universities serve as economic, social, and cultural anchors in their communities.”
"ILSE thanks senators Booker and Menendez for their incredible support for this appropriation that will enable us to expand our innovation space and provide critical laboratories and facilities for more biotech startups in New Jersey," said Thomas P. Richardson, Ph.D., president of the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship. "With this funding and ongoing support from Kean University, ILSE will also work to promote job growth and diversity in the life sciences industry, increase career opportunities for students, and position the ecosystem for additional investments from federal grants and investors."
The following is a full list of FY2023 CDS grants to NJ institutions of higher education:
$1,000,000 to Kean University Department of Human Resources to establish a University-assisted, two-generation (2Gen) strategy for parents and caregivers of students in Kean University's pipeline development programs.
$750,000 to Kean University to develop a plan to revitalize the distressed Coalport neighborhood in the City of Trenton.
$640,000 to Monmouth University to develop, educate, and accelerate entrepreneurs within Monmouth and Middlesex counties with a particular focus on underserved communities.
$782,000 to New Jersey City University to provide equitable access to high-demand online nursing education.
$140,4800 to Rutgers University–Camden for programming and staffing support for community centers in the City of Camden.
$650,000 to New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop, implement and test a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship skill-training program in advanced manufacturing and mechatronics.
$650,000 to New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop and implement a Community College Pre-Engineering Network Initiative for four-year university bound community college students.
$960,000 to Stevens Institute of Technology to purchase equipment, computer cluster and a satellite receiving station.
$720,000 to County College of Morris to purchase equipment and create cybersecurity curriculum for the CCM Cybersecurity Center.
$1,000,000 to William Paterson University for scholarships for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$1,000,000 to Middlesex College to implement a holistic student support model to improve retention and graduation rates for adult learners, and address equity gaps.
$950,650 to Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences for nursing simulation Equipment.
$1,140,000 to Seton Hall University to expand and upgrade the Healthcare Simulation Center.
$632,000 to Seton Hall Law School for community-based reentry and support service.
$3,300,000 to Holy Name Hospital to establish a Graduate Medical Education Center.
In May 2022, Sen. Menendez introduced legislation to bolster funding for Kean University and other University Centers through the University Centers for Growth, Development, and Prosperity Grant (GPD) Act. The legislation would codify the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Center Economic Development Program, increase the number of University Centers, and increase funding between $500,000 to $1 million per University Center, up from roughly $125,000. It would also ensure that University Centers prioritize the participation of Minority-Serving Institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.