LETTER FROM PRESIDENT MAZUR
At Sussex County Community College we make every effort to be transparent and accountable.
This past spring SCCC began the process of making needed repairs and improvements to our main classroom building and Student Center, Building D, that was constructed in 1931 and requires updates to its heating and air conditioning, ventilation, windows, steel structural supports and brick facade in order to meet the needs of our students and staff.
When the College received one bid for the construction work, at a higher than expected price, some questions were raised about the bid process, including concerns that members of the SCCC Board of Trustees had outside relationships with the engineering firm helping the College oversee the Student Center project.
We took these concerns seriously and asked the Saiber law firm – which is located in Florham Park and has extensive experience conducting internal reviews for colleges and universities including Princeton University, Rutgers University, Kean University and Stevens Institute of Technology – to examine our bidding process and recommend steps to improve transparency going forward.
Saiber’s independent review is now complete and is on our website at www.sussex.edu. I encourage all those interested to read the report themselves.
After conducting more than a dozen interviews and thoroughly reviewing all of the relevant documents, the Saiber found that the bid approval process used by SCCC was appropriate, that the sole bid submitted by Echelon Services was reasonable and that Echelon Services is a qualified contractor with experience on similar public projects.
However, Saiber also found that the Board of Trustees could have allowed more time to review bid documents, and that the Board lacked a comprehensive and rigorously enforced ethics policy. While the outcome of the bid process was valid, Saiber has recommended a new, more thorough ethic and conflict of interest policy that the Board of Trustees take up. (Exhibit P on the Saiber report.)
I am thankful for Saiber’s thorough review of this matter and am grateful to the entire campus community for their patience during this process. It is my hope that we can quickly begin the needed renovations to the Student Center and return our focus to what has always been SCCC’s mission: providing thousands of students with a high-quality, affordable education.