The Honorable Rochelle R. Hendricks

Secretary of Higher Education
State of New Jersey

Rochelle R. Hendricks was named the first Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey in May 2011.  As Secretary, she is responsible for policy and program development to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of New Jersey’s higher education institutions.  Since starting the position, Secretary Hendricks has engaged the agency in the national higher education reform agenda while focusing on advancing the blueprint for reforming higher education recommended by the Governor’s Higher Education Task Force chaired by Governor Kean, as well as the report issued by the UMDNJ Task Force chaired by Dr. Sol Barer.  Under her leadership, the office has been reorganized to enhance implementing the reform agenda which, with bipartisan support, has resulted in the largest academic merger in U.S. history and the first higher education facilities funding in two decades.

During her tenure as Secretary, she has launched several groundbreaking initiatives to facilitate innovation, equity and continuous excellence in areas essential to the civic and economic well-being of the State and its citizens. Among the initiatives are the following: New Jersey Prior Learning Assessment Network, New Jersey STEM Pathways Network, the Higher Education Student Success Collaborative, New Jersey Coalition of Anchor Institutions, and the Entrepreneurship/Global Impact Program and Award. She has encouraged the use of federal grants administered by OSHE to support programs for impact and sustainability; the College Readiness Now program is a prime example of this funding approach. She is especially pleased with the successful administration by OSHE of the federal grant that has resulted in the long-awaited implementation of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System. The commitment to the Educational Opportunity Fund program and GEAR UP has been strengthened and will continue to be. Her promotion of New Jersey’s colleges and universities through multiple means is designed to demonstrate the immeasurable value of the institutions to the public good – from individual and community prosperity to advancing innovation and preserving core, universal cultural and civic values.