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Cost of Controversial Rutgers Merger Expected to Be Unveiled Monday

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The cost of Governor Chris Christie’s ambitious plan to reconfigure Rutgers University in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden will be revealed Monday.

The price-tag — which has taken weeks to calculate — is expected to be made available during the legislation’s second public hearing on the controversial proposal.

The legislation calls for combining Rowan and Rutgers-Camden in new partnerships focused on health science education, transferring the University of Medicine and Dentistry to Rutgers and giving UMDNJ's School of Osteopathy to Rowan. University Hospital in Newark would operate as a nonprofit.

Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto, a Democrat from Northern New Jersey, complained in April about what he said was a “shocking” lack of information the administration has provided about the proposed merger.

“Something this big requires study and analysis, especially when it comes to the finances,” Preito said. “I expect much more from the administration.”

Even without cost estimates, Assembly Democrats have said the merger is too expensive.

“With cuts in several higher education categories, including direct aid to schools, our focus should be on getting more students to college and less about forcing a $1 billion-plus merger on students that don’t even want it,” said Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, a Democrat from Bergen County.

With the Associated Press