Menendez, Booker, Kean University and higher education officials announce $18.1 million in federal funding for New Jersey colleges and universities

UNION, NJ — Today, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both DN.J.) teamed with officials from Kean University and the NJ Association of State Colleges and Universities to approve senators’ $18.1 funding Millions of dollars for New Jersey colleges and universities to highlight the federal spending bill for fiscal year 2023. This funding will make key investments in higher education programs such as cybersecurity, STEM research, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing and mechatronics undergraduate courses, and nursing and medical programs, among others.

Kean University received a total of $4.25 million in grants for projects that include a college program for middle and high school students and their families; Renovating and expanding the university’s research laboratories and incubator workspaces used by faculty and the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE), a non-profit research organization on Kean’s Union campus; and a neighborhood revitalization project in Trenton.

“As a shining example of what a pioneering urban research university can do, Kean University will be able to offer its students, officers and administrators the support they need to invest in these critical initiatives and higher education programs that will break down barriers to student access, while also making our state of New Jersey more competitive,” said Sen. Menendez. “This funding will provide research opportunities for faculty and students access to hands-on STEM education while 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 fuel economic advancement,” said Sen. Booker. “This funding provides them with important support as they provide our students with the comprehensive education and resources they need to compete and fulfill their potential in the workforce and help their communities thrive.”

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“Kean University is grateful to Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and our other federal legislators for supporting projects that further our mission as an urban research university in New Jersey,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “Through her 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 promoting equity, inclusion and academic excellence in higher education.”

“We sincerely thank Senators Booker and Menendez for securing important investments in support of New Jersey’s colleges and universities under the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill. These investments will enable our institutions to provide meaningful programs and support to our students and communities,” said Gene Lepore, executive director of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities. “The funded programs will deliver a wide range of benefits across the state, including equal access to higher education, career paths, upward socioeconomic mobility for students and families, access to health care, urban regeneration, scientific and technological innovation, and entrepreneurship. The depth and breadth of these benefits affirm 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 of these funds, which will allow us to expand our innovation space and provide critical labs 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 drive job growth and diversity in the life sciences industry, enhance career opportunities for students, and position the ecosystem for additional investment from federal grants and investors.”

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The following is a complete list of Fiscal Year 2023 CDS grants to colleges in New Jersey:

$1,000,000 to Kean University Human Resources to establish a university-supported 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 ailing Coalport neighborhood in the city of Trenton. $640,000 to Monmouth University to develop, educate and nurture entrepreneurs in Monmouth and Middlesex counties, with a particular focus on underserved communities. $782,000 to New Jersey City University to provide equal 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 the New Jersey Institute of Technology for the development, implementation and testing of a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship training program in advanced manufacturing skills and mechatronics. $650,000 to the New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop and implement a community college pre-engineering network initiative for four-year community college students at the university. $960,000 to Stevens Institute of Technology for the purchase of equipment, computer clusters and a satellite receiving station. $720,000 to County College of Morris to purchase equipment and create a cybersecurity curriculum for the CCM Cybersecurity Center. $1,000,000 to William Paterson University for scholarships for students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. $1,000,000 to Middlesex College to implement a holistic student support model to improve adult learner retention and graduation rates and close equity gaps. $950,650 to Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences for care simulation devices. $1,140,000 to Seton Hall University to expand and modernize 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.

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In May 2022, Senator Menendez introduced legislation to increase funding for Kean University and other university centers through the University Centers for Growth, Development, and Prosperity (GPD) Act. The legislation would codify the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) campus center economic development program, increasing the number of campus centers and increasing funding from about $125,000 to $500,000 to $1 million per campus center. It would also ensure that campus 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.