Governor McGreevey, who has promised to leave office on November 15, a little more than three weeks from now, has already left us with plenty to remember him by (e.g. the taxpayer-funded family reunion in Ireland, the helicopter rides, the trip to Puerto Rico funded by bad guys, the billboard thing, his association with corrupt fundraisers, the “Machiavellian” thing, and his appointment of his boyfriend Golan Cipel as Chief of Homeland Security.)
Yesterday, he made seventy-four direct appointments and re-appointments to various state commissions. While each of these commissions has been given a specific role to play in the state government, some of them have considerable clout and influence on very important matters in the state.
For example the Commission on Higher Education has the following responsibilities (scroll to 18A:3B-14):
a. Statewide planning for higher education including research on higher education issues and the development of a comprehensive master plan, including, but not limited to, the establishment of new institutions, closure of existing institutions, and consolidation of institutions, which plan shall be long-range in nature and regularly revised and updated. … The commission may require from institutions of higher education such reports or other information as may be necessary to enable the commission to perform its duties;
b. advocacy on behalf of higher education including informing the public of the needs and accomplishments of higher education in New Jersey;
c. making recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on higher education initiatives and incentive programs of Statewide significance;
d. final administrative decisions over institutional licensure and university status giving due consideration to the accreditation status of the institution. …
e. adopting a code of ethics applicable to institutions of higher education;
f. final administrative decisions over new academic programs that go beyond the programmatic mission of the institution and final administrative decisions over a change in the programmatic mission of an institution. …
g. reviewing requests for State support from the institutions in relation to the mission of the institution and Statewide goals and proposing a coordinated budget policy statement to the Governor and Legislature;
h. communicating with the State Board of Education and Commissioner of Education to advance public education at all levels including articulation between the public schools and higher education community;
i. applying for and accepting grants from the federal government, or any agency thereof, or grants, gifts or other contributions from any foundation, corporation, association or individual, and complying with the terms, conditions and limitations thereof, for the purpose of advancing higher education. Any money so received may be expended by the commission upon warrant of the director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Department of the Treasury on vouchers certified by the executive director of the commission;
j. acting as the lead agency of communication with the federal government concerning higher education issues…
l. exercising any other power or responsibility necessary in order to carry out the provisions of this act; and
m. consulting with the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority on student assistance matters.
I readily admit that I am not familiar with the appointees. They may well have been appointed for legitimate reasons, and they may be eminently qualified for their positions (although the Golan Cipel appointment doesn’t exactly inspire confidence). It’s just that, given everything that Governor McGreevey has already laid on us, I wish he would go on vacation between now and November 15th and, at that time, just go away quietly and leave us alone.
Via Eugene at 28J.