SENATE, No. 2149

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2024 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† JOSEPH P. CRYAN

District 20 (Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Revises training requirements for governing board members of public institutions of higher education.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

††


An Act concerning the members of governing boards of public institutions of higher education, amending P.L.2021, c.250, repealing section 17 of P.L.2009, c.308, and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.†

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.† Section 1 of P.L.2021, c.250 (C.18A:3B-6.3) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 1.† a.† As a condition of serving as a member of the governing board of a public institution of higher education, a person shall be required to complete a training program developed by [that institution in consultation with] the Secretary of Higher Education that is designed to clarify the roles and duties of a governing board member.

†††† b.††† The training shall be completed no later than [one year] six months after the date that the person is appointed as a member of the governing board of a public institution of higher education [except that a] and at least once every two years thereafter.† A person who serves as a member of a governing board prior to the effective date of [this act] P.L.2021, c.250 shall [not] be required to complete the training within six months from the effective date of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† c.†††† The [institution, in consultation with the] secretary[,] shall:

†††† (1)†† prescribe the subject matter of the training which shall include, but need not be limited to, governance responsibilities, ethical standards, due diligence, the requirements of the "Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act," P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.), and P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.), issues associated with laws on privacy, board member fiduciary responsibilities and the role of the governing board in the financial management of an institution of higher education, and a review of the types of financial, organizational, legal, and regulatory issues that a member of a governing board may be required to consider in the course of discharging the member's governance responsibilities;

†††† (2)†† [provide the training directly or] arrange for [, or specify,] [the] an entity or entities to provide the training.† In the case of a county college, the secretary shall designate the New Jersey Council of County Colleges to provide the training [;] in consultation with the secretary; and;

†††† (3)†† [conduct a periodic review of the prescribed subject matter of the training to insure that the training includes information on relevant changes to State or federal law and other information deemed necessary to enable governing board members to serve effectively;] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.††† , c.† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

†††† (4)†† [certify completion of the training for each governing board member upon receipt of documentation thereof, as provided on a form and in a manner prescribed by the secretary, or otherwise arrange for certification by the training entity; and] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.††† , c.† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

†††† (5) take other such actions as the secretary determines appropriate to effectuate the purposes of this act.

†††† d.† The institution shall certify completion of the training required under this section for each governing board member upon receipt of documentation thereof, as provided on a form and in a manner prescribed by the secretary.

†††† e.† The secretary shall provide notification to a governing board member who has failed to comply with the requirements of this section and provide the member with a 30-day grace period to fulfill the outstanding training requirement. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, failure to fulfill the outstanding training requirement within the 30-day grace period shall constitute a resignation from the governing board and a vacancy shall be deemed to exist.† The board member shall be disqualified from being reappointed to the board, or appointed to any other governing board of a public institution of higher education, for the succeeding two-year period.†††

(cf: P.L.2021, c.250, s.1)

 

†††† 2.† Section 17 of P.L.2009, c.308 (C.18A:3B-62) is repealed.†

 

†††† 3.† (New section)† There is annually appropriated from the General Fund to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education the sum of $350,000 to effectuate the purposes of P.L.†† , c.††† (C.†††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill.†

 

†††† 4.† This act shall take effect on the 1st day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, but the Secretary of Higher Education may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.†

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill makes various changes to the training requirements of governing board members of public institutions of higher education and provides for an annual appropriation of $350,000 from the General Fund to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education for the billís purposes.†

†††† Under current law, a newly appointed member of a governing board of a public institution of higher education is required to complete training within one year of the memberís appointment.† This bill requires that the training be completed within six months of the memberís appointment and further that previously appointed members who were exempted from the current training requirement complete the training within six months of this billís effective date.† All members will be required to complete training every two years thereafter while serving as a governing board member.††

†††† Current law generally provides that the subject matter of the board member training is prescribed by the institutions of higher education, in consultation with the Secretary of Higher Education.† This bill provides that the secretary is to determine the subject matter of the training and that the training include the role of the governing board in the financial management of an institution of higher education.† The bill provides that, in the case of four-year public institutions of higher education, the secretary will arrange for the training; current law, by contrast, requires the institution to arrange for the training.† Public institutions of higher education also would no longer be required to conduct a periodic review of the training.†

†††† The bill directs the secretary to provide notification to a governing board member who has failed to comply with the training requirement and provide the member with a 30-day grace period to fulfill the outstanding training requirement. The bill provides that† failure to fulfill the outstanding training requirement within the 30-day grace period constitutes a resignation from the governing board and a vacancy will be deemed to exist.† Under the bill, the board member will be disqualified from being reappointed to the board, or appointed to any other governing board of a public institution of higher education, for the succeeding two-year period.†††

†††† The bill further repeals a section of law that requires four-year public institutions of higher education to provide certain information, orientation, and training to each of its governing board members.† Under the bill, all required training for governing board members at public institutions of higher education will be arranged for by the secretary.††

†††† Finally, the bill provides that $350,000 will be annually appropriated from the General Fund to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to effectuate the billís purposes.