TRENTON – The controversial merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan universities would be reworked under a bill being introduced today, Sen. Donald Norcross said.
The bill would call for three things to be done, Norcross explained:
*Rutgers University-Camden would remain in place.
*Rutgers-Camden and Rowan would have an “umbrella governance board’’ to oversee them.
*The health sciences divisions between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University would be strengthened. The specific details on how this would happen were not immediately known.
The higher education reorganization of the Christie administration, which he wants accomplished by July 1, has been controversial, particularly regarding the absorption of Rutgers-Camden by Rowan.
Advocates of the original proposal say this will strengthen South Jersey’s higher education resources as well as its overall economy. Opponents – in particular law students – decry the loss of the Rutgers brand name.
Under this new bill, Rutgers-Camden would have autonomy from the New Brunswick campus, Norcross said. He said Southern New Jersey has been shortchanged for too long in the realm of higher education, and this approach would provide greater autonomy for Rutgers-Camden.