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 management authorities.

  • 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.

Contact Information:

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