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Rutgers Board Rejects Merger Plan

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Board of Trustees at Rutgers University has voted down a plan that would allow Rowan University to absorb its Camden campus.

The board voted 32-4 against the plan.

The Rutgers Board said the plan "would deprive Rutgers of property and assets," and "remove from Rutgers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate and professional educational offerings," in a publicly-released resolution following the vote.

But in that resolution, the board also signaled willingness to reach another agreement.

"While we do not support such severance, we remain open to alternative proposals where Rutgers-Camden remains part of Rutgers University," it read.

Governor Chris Christie had wanted the merger, which is part of his plan to reorganize the state’s higher education system, completed by July 1. Governor Christie's office was not immediately available for comment on the vote.

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Comments [1]

Patrick Cox from Camden, NJ

It’s great that other options are being considered. Christie’s goal is to create an elite research university in South Jersey through a merger and it’s high time to talk about the best and most obvious way to do that: Rowan should be absorbed into Rutgers-Camden.

Rutgers is an accredited research university and Rowan is not. Rutgers is well stocked with expensive research resources and attracts internationally recognized faculty and students. Rowan does not. Rutgers is in good financial shape with a high bond rating whole Rowan struggles under enormous bad debt.

Rutgers has recently hired a very forward looking and decisive new President with a proven track record administering medical research universities. Rowan struggles under temporary management that has made numerous, high-profile poor decisions lately that have all but ruined Rowan’s reputation; all recent top candidates for the job of Rowan President withdrew themselves from consideration when they saw what bad shape the school is in.

Rowan has been dragged through the mud by their Interim manager and is in no position to play a leading role in improving higher ed. When funding was cut, he led Rowan on an zealous spending spree on credit; now they’re stuck with a lot of bad debt. They’ve spread falsified SAT scores of their own students and NJ students at another schools, lying to the public and discrediting the academic achievements of New Jersey students (disgraceful behavior for a “teaching school”). They claimed themselves ready to be an “elite” research institution with no resources or accreditation, as if they don’t understand how research in higher ed even works. They sent NJ higher ed dollars to U Penn for a report advising them to ignore educational details and lie to the public. Rowan has lost all credibility.

It’s to time to get serious about higher ed. The best thing for Rowan is to be absorbed into Rutgers, consolidating the state’s higher ed system and dollars, and eliminating the duplicate--and duplicitous--administration.

May. 05 2012 12:47 PM

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