A tentative compromise is in the works that could save the controversial proposal to merge Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University, higher education officials said today. The framework for the deal calls for creation of a combined institution in South Jersey that would be controlled by an independent board but retain some form of the Rutgers name, the officials said.
Under the plan, negotiated behind the scenes by a group of state lawmakers and university officials, Rutgers would still oversee how degrees are awarded and other academic issues but would have no authority over day-to-day operations of its Camden campus, those involved in the talks say.
"There is a conceptual plan," said Peter McDonough, Rutgers’ vice president for public affairs and one of those involved in the talks. "We think we’ve got a loose framework."
The plan still faces review by Rutgers’ governing boards and Gov. Chris Christie, who has pushed for the merger and so far has given no indication he is willing to compromise on the plan — which has faced strong opposition on the Rutgers-Camden campus and among many in the Legislature.