TRENTON – The president of Rutgers University told the Senate Higher Education Committee this morning that the institution is on track to have the merger involving three medical institutions accomplished by July 1.
President Richard McCormick told the committee during its inaugural meeting that it is their best intention that Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey become part of Rutgers on July 1.
“We are well engaged with colleagues” in accomplishing the recommendations of a higher education task force last year that these facilities become part of Rutgers, McCormick said.
Committee member Robert Singer, (R-30), Jackson told McCormick that essentially the sooner this merger happens the better. He said that the new “branding,’’ of having the Rutgers name on these facilities, will help push the state forward in these medical fields.
He said that, for example, the state is losing millions of dollars in clinical-trial money that goes out of state nowadays but which could return to New Jersey if this merger is finalized. He told McCormick that many people like to think the name of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey carries great weight but in reality it does not, whereas the Rutgers name does.
McCormick’s remarks on the progress of the merger were part of a wide-ranging question and answer session in which university leaders reiterated longstanding issues: the need for a bond issue to generate funds for long-overdue infrastructure improvements at higher-education institutions, and the need to supply public facilities with dependable funding to help relieve the burden being shouldered by students.