Follow The STATE LAWS regarding selection of The Essex County College Board of Trustees!

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ECC IS IN DANGER OF LOSING ACCREDITATION! The Board of Trustees for Essex County College are being selected by people who may not have the best interests of the college at heart. This has threatened the degrees of all of those who have gone there and students who are trying their best to finish their degrees. The current appointment process of the Board of Trustees is ILLEGAL.

BY LAW, the Essex County College Board of Trustees is supposed to be an independent body.

BY LAW, the Essex County College Board of Trustees must protect “the best interests of the college”. [1]

BY LAW, specifically NJ State Statute NJSA 18A:64A-8, eight members of the Essex County College Board of Trustees must be nominated by “an independent and autonomous search conducted by a trustee search committee” [2]

BY LAW, the legislature designated the New Jersey Council of County Colleges to develop guidelines for selections and appointments to the Essex County Board of Trustees.  These guidelines make it clear that county employees, relatives, and others with ties to the county exec create the appearance of impropriety and should not serve on the search committee. [2]

BY LAW, the search committee must be appointed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. 

BY LAW, “members of the search committee cannot be elected public officials”. 

This last point means that:

BY LAW, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, and by extension his staff, cannot appoint or suggest the appointment of members of the Essex County College Board of Trustees.

DESPITE THE LAW, The County Executive has openly acknowledged his role in the Essex County College board selection process in at least two separate public statements.   He was quoted in an August 31st Star Ledger article as saying, “Although I nominate members to the board of trustees I have never interfered with college business.” Read More

And, in a September 13th NY Times article County Exec DiVincenzo is quoted as saying “All I have to do is appoint the board.  The Board members have to run the school.”

THE FAILURE OF THE COUNTY TO FOLLOW THE LAW PUTS THE COLLEGE’S ACCREDITATION AT RISK. THE ACCREDITATION AGENCY IS WATCHING AND HAS PLACED THE COLLEGE ON WARNING FOR LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE. THE FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE LAW CREATES AN INSURMOUNTABLE BARRIER TO THE COLLEGE’S FUTURE.

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, submit this petition in order to express our outrage in the current process of choosing the Essex County College Board of Trustees.  As a citizen of the county, I demand that the county FOLLOW the STATE LAW and use a search committee that is not connected to the county executive’s office, staff or any other elected official, as required by NJSA 18A:64A-8, to choose the college trustees.


                Signed,

                The Concerned Citizens of Essex County

 



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