New Jersey lawmakers are scrambling to satisfy all parties involved in fashioning an overhaul of the state’s higher-education system, which includes a possible merger of the Rutgers University campus at Camden with Rowan University.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie has set a deadline of July 1 for working out a deal, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer
The latest legislation calls for the Rutgers Camden campus to remain tied academically to Rutgers University but fall under an independent board’s control. But the bill would break up the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey, giving most of it to Rutgers and its osteopathic school to Rowan.
Lawmakers are also trying to address concerns from students and professors at both schools over possible tuition increases and layoffs.
A union coalition representing all the state universities’ faculties and staffs has endorsed the latest bill, which includes a year-long no-layoff guarantee.
But financial experts have stirred student unrest about the overhaul plan by suggesting it could lead to double-digit increases in tuition because of the costs involved in restructuring school debts.
The bill is headed to the state Senate for a vote on Thursday, but no hearings have yet been set in the state assembly.
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