One year into her role as president of New Jersey City University, Sue Henderson is preparing to unveil one of her first major achievements: the opening of a dedicated business school at NJCU.
Henderson will help cut the ribbon on Oct. 25, officially turning the school's department of business into a formal school. That move will place a greater emphasis on the growing business program at NJCU, formerly known as Jersey City State College, and will allow students to specialize in four distinct areas of business: accounting, finance, management and marketing.
"I think it gives you a far greater presence," Henderson said. "You have made an institutional commitment that's saying business is one of our important strategic areas."
That same day, NJCU also will open the Peter G. Mangin Real Estate Institute, which will offer seminars and lectures for real estate professionals, as well as programming for students that will help them earn a minor in real estate, Henderson said.
The announcement is part of major growth that Henderson has planned for the university, which is home to almost 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. NJCU has already added Ph.D. programs in securities studies and educational technologies, and in the coming years, the university will tack 22 acres and two new buildings onto its footprint.
"I got here a year ago, and I knew that there was so much promise," Henderson said.
As part of that growth, Henderson said she has made it a priority to bring in strong faculty members. With the business school, where the student population has ballooned to about 900, that means adding professors with real-world expertise who can mentor students and help them land more meaningful internships and, eventually, jobs.
The new real estate institute also incorporates that real-world expertise, Henderson said. In fact, the idea for the institute came from Peter Mangin, who made his money off Jersey City real estate.
"If you look around Jersey City, the people who have benefitted the greatest have been a lot of the developers," Henderson said. "So we're starting an institute that would provide seminars every year for people in the real estate business and provide a minor within our business program."
The institute will be funded by a donation from former Congressman Frank J. Guarini.
NJCU also launched an honors program this fall, with 23 students who have come to the university on a full scholarship. And Henderson said the business school is planning to launch an honors program of its own soon.
"There are so many wonderful things that we're doing, that we're making possible," she said. "I have a remarkable group of people who are very willing to say, 'Yes, we'll give it a whirl.'"