Stuart Shapiro

It was six months ago that the New Jersey Policy Lab started operations after being awarded a grant from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. So it seems like a good time to update everyone on what we have been doing.

We have funded nine projects either internally or with our partners throughout the New Brunswick and Newark campuses of Rutgers University. The projects are largely focused on, as our mission statement declares, “equitable policy solutions” to questions in New Jersey governance. These projects are now all up and running and their goals have been outlined in blog posts on this website.

We have also begun to do specific projects at the behest of the state government, also largely focused on pressing policy questions. These projects will conduct “rigorous evidence-based research that considers equity, efficiency, and efficacy of public policies and programs in holistic and innovative ways,” (another quote from our mission statement!). We will obviously say more about these projects in the months ahead.

The most recent and perhaps most important development occurred just last week. We welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Cooner as our new permanent Executive Director. She has a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked in higher education, survey research, and management consulting. As the Vice President of Social and Public Policy at The Harris Poll, she focused on policy issues related to health, well-being, and access to care. Liz also served as the Executive Director of Institutional Research at Union County College for more than six years. Welcome Liz!

The next six months should see the publication of the results of many of the projects already started and the commencement of hopefully many new projects. We hope you are here with us to learn from them.