New Jersey legislators have agreed to merge the University of Medicine and Dentistry into Rutgers University and make Rowan University part of a sprawling new collegiate complex in South Jersey.
The hotly contested merger, championed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, means Rutgers will retain control over its Camden campus, a sticking point during the merger discussions, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer
Christie said in a radio interview the merger would “turn Rutgers from good to great” and will make New Jersey more attractive for industry.
Rutgers officials gave the merger their tentative support, but said the school’s board of governors would fully review the final version of the bill before signing off on it. Rutgers trustees at one point had threatened to sue if Christie and state lawmakers moved ahead without the college’s approval, the Inquirer reported.
The Rutgers-Rowan merger is similar to other plans under consideration by state lawmakers nationwide because of the intensified competition among unversities for dwindling federal research dollars.
Under the plan, Rutgers will take over the medical and dental school’s Newark and New medical campuses, along with its nursing, dental, and other graduate biomedical departments.
Meanwhile, Rowan will be designated a research school and will launch doctoral programs in biomedical engineering and pharmacology. Rowan will also absorb the School of Osteopathic Medicine, located in Stratford and will collaborate with Rutgers’s on health-science programs.
In addition to the merger, state legislators also approved a $750 million bond issue to be placed on the November ballot to help fund construction projects on the states’ college campuses.
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