N.J. University Restructuring Plan Already Costing $566,000

Ann McClure's picture

Dozens of high-priced and well-connected lawyers, accountants and other professionals already are benefiting from Governor Christie’s plan to restructure some of the state’s largest public universities – even though the plan’s future is far from certain.

The tab for outside consultants has surpassed $566,000 and is on pace to reach into the millions, an analysis by The Record has found. The governor has shifted the cost of figuring out how to dismantle the state’s medical school in North Jersey and merge Rutgers and Rowan universities in South Jersey onto the schools themselves – a cost that will be borne by taxpayers and students.

Interviews and records obtained through the state’s Open Public Records Act show:

Rutgers hired three prominent law firms – including one that bills up to $350 an hour — and accountants whose contract stipulates up to $1.4 million in fees.

Rowan is about to hire bond specialists and attorneys with contracts that could exceed $200,000 and a $250-an-hour partner in the law firm of a former governor.

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