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NJ university merger rejected

People who support New Jersey's Rutgers University, including many staffers and students, recently rallied for the Camden campus to stay open and for it not to become the recipient of a Rowan University takeover.

New Jersey lawmakers heard different testimonies on the issues of whether Rutgers University and Rowan University should be joined by business merger and whether portions of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey should become part of Rutgers.

The big question is whether the state's governor, Chris Christie, can complete his plan of reorganizing the system of colleges and universities in the state without the legislature's approval. If he does not need their approval, the governor would like to complete this plan through executive order.

One leader involved in the issue is an Assemblywoman from South Jersey and the Democratic Chair of the committee considering it. Celeste Riley notes this debate over who has the legal authority to approve the plan is not settled, according to a media report.

Also, a lawyer who is also the treasurer of the Rutgers Alumni Association provided his own testimony that this plan needs the lawmaking body's approval. He stated, "We're saying the power is in the hands of the Legislature and we're asking you to use it."

The public had another chance to provide comments on this plan advanced by Gov. Christie during the hearing at Rowan University in Glassboro. One potential outcome considered by some at the Rutgers-Camden campus is that it could lose its identity and even accreditation. For example, the Rutgers-Camden campus' prestigious law school would be part of the takeover by Rowan under this plan.

Source: BusinessWeek.com, "Rutgers-Camden: Reject merger with Rowan U.," Angela Delli Santi, March 19, 2012

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