GLASSBORO – Rowan University faculty urged the college’s Board of Trustees Monday to oppose legislation that would merge the school with Rutgers-Camden.
Faculty spoke to the trustees during a special meeting that was called specifically to address the legislation and proposed merger. Officials warned the bill, as written, would take authority away from the trustees and could cripple the university.
“Rowan faculty and staff have consistently demonstrated restraint about the speculation and controversy regarding the possibilities of a reorganization of higher education in New Jersey,” said Eric Milou, a math professor and president of the University Senate. “However, we now believe it is time for our voices to be heard.”
Milou said the legislation, as currently written, would “diminish the autonomy and potential growth of both universities.”
Milou told trustees the University Senate would be open to improving the language of the legislation, but stressed it’s opposed to the proposal as written.
“We cannot let the desires of a few dictate what’s best for our students,” said Sanford Tweedie, another faculty member opposed to the merger.
Trustees went behind closed doors shortly after hearing from a half dozen officials opposed to the merger. The trustees are expected to discuss the proposed legislation and could potentially vote on a resolution when they return from executive session.
Between 50 and 75 people attended the Board of Trustees meeting, which was announced Friday.
The legislation dealing with the proposal is scheduled to be dealt with before a Senate Higher Education Committee on Thursday.
Originally Gov. Christie proposed merging Rowan with Rutgers-Camden, a move that immediately drew opposition from Rutgers-Camden supporters. The latest proposed legislation would modify that approach and allow Rutgers-Camden to remain but have greater autonomy from the Newark campus.