In November 1967, in the aftermath of the previous summer's riots in Newark, New Jersey's newly appointed Chancellor of Higher Education, Ralph A. Dungan, directed a memorandum to the presidents of all state institutions of higher education. In this document, he outlined a proposed program of special assistance to young men and women from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. The presidents' response was immediate, widespread and overwhelmingly favorable. Administrators were particularly enthusiastic at institutions that participated in the federally supported Upward Bound Program, which sought to help high school scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for entry into college.
The following February, the Select Commission on Civil Disorders (the Lilly Commission, established in response to the events in Newark) reported to Governor Richard Hughes, who subsequently submitted his Moral Recommitment message to the New Jersey State Legislature. The message called for the establishment of a broad range of programs to address the basic conditions the commission cited as contributing to the summer's unrest. Among those programs was EOF, established by legislation sponsored by then-freshman legislator Thomas Kean Sr.
EOF set the pace for many initiatives that are widely incorporated into college life today. Among the many powerful EOF strategies are pre-college articulation, basic skills testing and remediation, systematic retention efforts, peer counseling and tutoring, academic support courses, multicultural curricula, human relations programming, scholar leadership development and outcomes-based program evaluation.
It is through EOF we are able to provide the Educational Opportunity Program and the Pre-Medical Pre-Dental Plus Program.