March 11, 2013, volume 3, number 12
To the William Paterson University Community
The University is taking an important step forward in plans to pursue state bond funding for critical facilities projects on our campus. On Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, acting on behalf of the full Board of Trustees, authorized the University to seek $73 million in state bond funding for new construction and renovation of academic facilities. These projects will enable us to move forward with plans to modernize the academic core of the campus in line with the University’s strategic goals, and to remedy the University’s need for general instructional spaces that were identified in both the 2003 Facilities Master Plan and the 2012 Academic Zone Master Plan. These initiatives will benefit current and future generations of students, faculty, and staff and provide them with the teaching and research facilities they deserve.
In recent months we’ve talked extensively about the Building Our Future Bond Act, which was approved by New Jersey voters last November and provides $750 million in general obligation bonds for capital projects at 52 public and private colleges and universities statewide. As previously communicated during multiple campus forums, including fall and spring opening meetings, Faculty Senate meetings, and a town hall meeting last October, we are seeking $30 million in funding from this bond for a new academic building on the main campus that will include fifteen general-use classrooms and specialized classrooms and clinical spaces for the University’s well-established and expanding programs in nursing, communication disorders, and public health, programs that are designed to meet the burgeoning statewide need for health care professionals.
We are also pursuing funding from four other state bond sources. We seek $30 million in funding from the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund to completely renovate Hunziker and Hunziker Wing to provide modern, general-use classrooms, new office space for humanities faculty, and specialized classrooms and offices for kinesiology. We will also seek $4 million from the Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund and Equipment Leasing Fund to upgrade and expand the University’s voice, video, and data network at Valley Road and for the Communication Department broadcast studios, as well as nearly $9 million from the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund for new roofs and new generators throughout the campus.
As many of you know, there is no set amount to be allocated to any institution. Instead, the Secretary of Higher Education requested that each university provide competitive proposals for funding and utilize very detailed guidelines for proposal development. Applications for proposals to be considered this spring are due to the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education by March 25, 2013 and we expect another round of proposals will be accepted during fall 2013. It is important to note that the University is competing for funds with all colleges and universities in New Jersey and that the New Jersey State Legislature’s approval is required. The University is keeping our elected officials apprised of our priority requests.
We are excited about our proposals, which, if the University is approved for funding, would be phased in over several years. I will keep you updated on the progress of our proposals and want to thank everyone who helped draft the proposals under such short notice and with such required detail. I particularly wish to thank Steve Bolyai, Ed Weil, Richard Stomber, Bob Seal, Stuart Goldstein, and Ken Wolf for their hard and fast work to meet the state deadlines.