Dear Community Members,
You may recall that last fall Bloomfield College announced that it is facing financial challenges. It sought potential partners with which it could form a strategic relationship to ensure that its vital mission serving predominantly Black and Hispanic students in our community could continue.
I immediately opened up a dialogue with Bloomfield’s president, Dr. Marcheta Evans, to explore the opportunities for collaboration. After evaluating many institutions that responded to the call for a partner, Bloomfield determined that Montclair State University is the ideal match. Indeed, the missions of both institutions are closely aligned around providing access to high-quality educational experiences to underserved students.
Today, the Montclair State University Board of Trustees authorized the finalization of an agreement under which the University will provide a “line of credit” to ensure that Bloomfield College will remain open for academic year 2022-23. This support, along with assistance from the state included in the Governor’s budget, creates a window of opportunity to design an innovative collaboration that is fiscally sustainable and advances educational outcomes for both student populations. Over the next several months, we will work together toward this shared goal. The structure of our relationship has not yet been determined and we have many questions to work through before final consideration. Please read the details here.
This strategic initiative is entirely consistent with our institutional mission and our values. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, Montclair has been an innovator and leader with our eyes always focused on serving the public interest. We continually strive to find new ways to deliver on our purpose as a public-serving research university committed to advancing the common good. That means not letting an important neighboring institution founder, especially one that is focused on the success of marginalized students, but also, and more profoundly, it means taking the lead at a time when higher education requires critical self-examination and re-invention.
Across the nation, colleges and universities are facing novel challenges and heightened expectations in an increasingly complex operating environment. Our work with Bloomfield College is part of our effort to develop a new model for American higher education for the 21st century. Hopefully, we will chart a promising path that is relevant for other institutions that, like Bloomfield, are open-minded and opportunistic about embracing new approaches to delivering on their mission.
As we work to define a sustainable permanent relationship, our first priority will be to ensure that our commitments to Montclair students and the communities we serve are met without compromise. I am confident we can successfully take on this critical assignment because I am already deeply impressed by our faculty, staff, students and leadership. Your creativity, knowledge and commitment to generate solutions to our most vexing challenges enables us to be bold and capitalize on promising opportunities,
Together we will seize the day and do great things.