NEW BRUNSWICK – What’s in a name?
To a majority of New Jersey’s registered voters, quite a lot when it comes to the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University.
According to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, 57 percent of respondents oppose the proposal unveiled by Gov. Chris Christie. Twenty-two percent support the idea, and 21 percent are unsure.
“Governor Christie’s plan to merge Rowan and Rutgers-Camden may be the most unpopular idea he has put forward to date,” said Rutgers-Eagleton Poll Director David Redlawsk, a professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
“Generally, he can count on support from a majority of Republicans. We might also expect voters in South Jersey to be in favor, given the benefits Christie says will come from the merger. But in reality, neither of these groups, or any other, comes close to supporting it,” he said in a release.
On another higher-education issue, a bond referendum to provide financing for new buildings, 48 percent support borrowing for improvements, but 45 percent do not back the idea.
Regarding the merger proposal, only 19 percent of those living in Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties support the plan, while 71 percent oppose it.
Even among Republicans the proposal lacks support. Forty-nine percent are against the plan, and only 32 percent favor combining the two universities.