Did the state violate its own laws when it proposed awarding more than $645,000 in state funds for construction projects at Princeton Theological Seminary?
Lawmakers raised that question at a tense hearing in Trenton today at which state Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks was asked to explain how the state decided which proposals qualified for more than $1.3 billion in proposed funding for construction projects at colleges and universities.
The list of 176 projects at 46 colleges and universities includes money for two religious training institutions: $10.6 million for Beth Medrash Govoha, an all-male Orthodox Jewish rabbinical school in Lakewood, and $645,313 for Princeton Theological Seminary, a 200-year-old school that trains male and female Christian ministers.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) questioned whether the award to Princeton Theological Seminary is legal. The money for the seminary is scheduled to come from the state’s Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund, even though the legislation for the fund says such awards can only go to state-funded institutions, Sarlo said.