One public and one private university and the State of New Jersey have cooperated to sustain the only doctoral program in audiology within 150 miles of the Garden State.
The program was put at risk when Seton Hall University announced in the spring of 2004 that it planned to stop admitting new students to it because the program consistently lost money. Last December, a group of students, professors and would-be students in the program sued the Roman Catholic institution, accusing it of misleading them about its intentions and doing a poor job of planning the phaseout -- charges the university denied.
At the same time, the program's partisans reached out to nearby Montclair State, a public institution that had a master's program in communication sciences and disorders.
Officials at Montclair believed they could make the program a financial success, even though Seton Hall had been unable to, because the state university could charge lower tuition and because clinical professionals in audiology will, beginning in 2007, be required to have a doctoral degree.
So last spring, the presidents of Montclair State and Seton Hall wrote New Jersey’s governor asking that the state provide $1 million a year to help move the doctoral program to Montclair, describing it as a "win-win" for all parties.
Last month, Gov. Richard J. Codey agreed to provide the funds and the state Commission on Higher Education formally approved the transfer.
"We appreciate Governor Codey's interest and support in ensuring the successful transfer and continuation of this program at Montclair State -- an action that will assure New Jerseyans will have access to a high quality professional program in this important health field," said Susan A. Cole, Montclair State's president.