Rutgers president urges bond issue to support capital projects

TRENTON – Rutgers University President Richard McCormick said Monday he would strongly recommend a bond issue on the ballot to support capital projects in 2012 for higher education.

He said state residents have historically supported bond issues, such as the Jobs Competitive Bond Issue in 1988.

The New Jersey Presidents’ Council, which McCormick heads, recommends a 30-year, $2.5 billion capital projects financing plan that would be put up on the ballot, as early as 2012.

In his testimony before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, McCormick stressed the need to have a capital improvement program for public colleges and universities.

 “We are concerned… over the lack of adequate funding for long-term capital needs at the state’s colleges and universities,” he said. “Our facilities are in need of significant upgrades and expansions.”

 McCormick said he believes the university could avoid a double digit percentage hike in the tuition rates.

 However, it’s difficult to know until the state budget is finalized by the state Legislature. Another official said the results of collective bargaining will also play a major role in determining how much of an increase there will be.

Rutgers president urges bond issue to support capital projects