The Response of CHEN Schools To War on Terrorism
NEWARK, Dec. 12--The combined economic impact of four institutions of higher education which
comprise the Council on Higher Education in Newark (CHEN) is only part of the story. Since Sept. 11,
the CHEN schools--Essex County Community College, (ECCC), New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT),
Rutgers University-Newark, and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)-- have
responded meaningfully to the region's and the nation's urgent social and economic priorities.
Already existing programs and research have taken on new urgency and prominence, and new programs
are being established. A few examples follow:
- The ECCC Police Academy continues to respond to new training needs for public safety and emergency
- NJIT Associate Professor Michael Recce says it's possible to embed pressure sensors into a plane's
steering wheel. The sensors can recognize a pilot's grip. Should a hijacker grab the wheel, ground
control would gain control of the plane.
- The School of Criminal Justice Institute of Policing at Rutgers University-Newark, which Acting
Governor Donald DiFrancesco created last spring for studying racial profiling, has expanded its scope
to study and inform on racial profiling of Muslim-Americans.
- The nation's foremost program in education and training concerning chemical and physical threats
is located at UMDNJ. The program, in operation since 1981, providing environmental and occupational
safety and health training, has trained 175,000 professionals in hazardous materials-related topics.
- At ECCC, in addition to basic training for police, corrections and juvenile detention officers, the
academy offers credit and non-credit offerings for both law enforcement personnel and civilians from
police, fire, health and public safety venues.
- NJIT finalized completion this fall of a computer system connecting the state health department
and 115 local health departments in an around-the-clock information system. The system has provided
throughout the crisis rapid two-way communication between state health officials and local health
officers for dissemination and collection of health related information and data. NJIT operates the
servers and provides administrative and technical support for the system.
- At Rutgers University-Newark, the College of Nursing has been focusing on the nursing shortage and
the increased need for highly prepared nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse researchers to respond to
public health issues.
- UMDNJ plays a dominant role in providing continuing education and outreach in all aspects of
emergency preparedness. UMDNJ has partnerships already with both the State of New Jersey and the
City of Newark that enable the formation of a comprehensive network approach to emergency preparedness.
- At ECCC a program and course development is underway spanning topics such as the fire response
for police officers, weapons of mass destruction, hazardous materials, incident command system training,
biological and chemical weapons and nuclear devices.
- NJIT played a key role in the Twin Tower's recovery effort, helping the government monitor and map
the disaster site. A civil engineering unit helped position planes hovering above the wreckage. The
planes took three-dimensional aerial photos which recovery crews then used to access the damage and
orchestrate the clean up. An antenna at NJIT tracked the satellites and downloaded the data into a
computer at the university.
- At the Rutgers University-Newark School of Law, an ongoing engagement in classrooms and through
conferences and symposia has continued on the protection of civil liberties as federal laws have changed.
- UMDNJ scientists are developing biological techniques to detect virulent agents. UMDNJ-New Jersey
Medical School has one state-of-the-art biosafety level III laboratory and a second such laboratory
will be located in the International Center for Public Health.
NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling
more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students
in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School
of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors
College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers
adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include
architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental
engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics,
multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet
Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.
Karen Tinebra, Essex County College, 973/877-3053
Sheryl Weinstein, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 973/596-3436
Helen Paxton, Rutgers University, Newark, 973/353-5262
Susan Preston, Univ. of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ, 9733/972-7265