Rutgers Trustees Boost Compromise Plan

Ann McClure's picture

A compromise on the proposed merger between Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden moved another step closer Thursday as the Rutgers board of trustees passed a resolution stating that the Camden campus must stay within the university and suggesting that it was open to compromise to make that happen.

Weeks in the making, the resolution is largely symbolic and comes three months after Gov. Christie announced plans to overhaul New Jersey’s public universities with an eye toward making them more competitive — a process that is to include a shrinking of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and giving Rutgers a long-sought medical school and other health facilities.

“We’ve considered and heard a lot, and we felt it was appropriate for the board to be heard at this point, with the governor’s July 1 deadline fast approaching,” trustee Lora L. Fong said in an interview. “Rutgers is the state university of New Jersey, and Camden has been part of Rutgers for a significant period of time.”

In the resolution, adopted by a 32-4 vote, the trustees said that a merger of Rowan and Rutgers-Camden would “preclude many citizens of this state from obtaining a Rutgers University education and be contrary to Rutgers’ express mission,” “deprive Rutgers of property and assets,” and “remove from Rutgers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational offerings” and “faculty members that have attained national and international recognition for excellence.”

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