The school is on a roll in terms of academic prestige: Christie signed legislation July 21 giving Montclair State the Public Research University designation just one month after the college was ranked among the best schools for the money by Money Magazine.
In addition to the prestige, the new designation allows Montclair State to once again enter into public-private partnerships to construct new facilities and make financial aid available to hundreds of more students.
College President Susan Cole, Ph.D. told NJBIZ the new designation should also help Montclair State attract new students and reach its intended goal of expanding its student population to roughly 25,000 in the coming years, from its current population of a little more than 21,000.
“The designation puts us in an excellent position to compete for federal research dollars and generate corporate business partnerships,” Dr. Cole said. “It sets the table for us to be able to do the kind of things that big, comprehensive universities can do.”
Expansion at Montclair State — New Jersey’s second-largest higher education institution — has been underway for the past several years.
Dr. Cole said the creation of the new $22.2 million computer science and information technology school is the latest part of that expansion.
Cole estimated that the university should be ready to cut the ribbon on the new facility next fall, and is actively seeking to partner with local tech companies to help run it.
“We are making big investments in data analytics and Big Data usage,” she said. “We are looking to create relationships with big businesses in that area.”
The new computer sciences facility is just the latest university expansion project. Last year, it formed a partnership with Sony to launch a 100,000-square-foot communications and media training school.
The new school includes four studios, a 200-seat theater, a newsroom and a talk show set. Sony is providing laser projectors, studio cameras, production switchers and monitors.
“That facility will be literally the best broadcast facility on any campus in America,” Cole said. “Our students are being trained in the way that the media industry will be working in the future, not the way it was working 50 years ago.”
Another big part of the school’s expansion was the launch of its new nursing school last year.
The school operates in Montclair State’s Partridge Hall, which was renovated to include simulation labs, an anatomy lab and a mock quarantine building.
For Calico’s full NJBIZ story, click here.