Gov. Christie Gives Preliminary Approval Of UMDNJ, Rutgers Merger

Ann McClure's picture

Part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey should be merged with Rutgers University under recommendations presented to Gov. Chris Christie today.

Rutgers should take over three of UMDNJ's most successful pieces — Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey — in a major realignment of the state's medical education programs, according to the five-member advisory committee convened by the governor.

"This is a critically important issue," Gov. Christie said. "Having spent what feels to me like most of the last 10 years of my life dealing with UMDNJ ... I'm looking forward to providing the kind of certainty to the life sciences that it so desperately needs."

The idea was first proposed earlier this year by a task force headed by former Gov. Tom Kean. Supporters argued giving Rutgers its own medical school would help bring more research funding to New Jersey. But critics said stripping UMDNJ of several of its most successful branches would hurt the Newark-based school's reputation and financial future.

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