CEDAR GROVE – Gov. Chris Christie said today the state’s higher education restructuring plan will be good for the state, and that “we need to have as many magnets for business to our state” as we can.
Speaking on the higher education merger proposal moving through the Statehouse, the governor said at a town hall here the restructuring plan will be extremely beneficial to the state. He referred to exceptional higher education institutions as being “magnets” for business and industry.
“I am convinced we will attract hundreds of millions of dollars more in research grants,” Christie said, adding the industry’s best professors and scientists will follow to pursue grant opportunities.
Christie said Rutgers is one of the only universities of its kind in the country that’s lacking a medical research center, adding it’s a “big, big deal” to be without such an institution.
“We need to make New Jersey better (in terms of) higher education,” Christie said. “We want to keep New Jersey’s residents inside New Jersey.”
He said there will “be a lot of bickering” in the following days over the merger bill being floated in the Legislature, but that it’s something he stands behind.
“I am completely committed to make this change,” he said.
On Monday, the Senate Budget Committee gave its OK to the expansive reorganization that includes Rutgers, the University of Medicine and Dentistry, Rowan University and other health facilities.
The panel was told by one of the members of the Rutgers Board of Governors that if the reorganization works, Rutgers could vault from 52nd in outside research into the top 25 nationally.