William F. Owen Jr., the president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who in a surprise last month indicated he supported a partial merger with Rutgers University, unexpectedly submitted his resignation today.
Owen, who has led the 6,000-student Newark-based university for the past 4 1/2 years, will leave his $570,000 post on Dec. 31. His contract was set to expire in June.
Owen, through a UMDNJ spokesman, declined to comment and Kevin M. Barry, chairman of the university’s board of trustees, did not discuss the reasons Owen gave for his resignation.
However, Barry praised Owen for his "his boundless enthusiasm for academic medicine," his striving for excellence and his commitment to the university and community.