College merger could serve as promise of new era

For the Courier-Post

Rarely does an opportunity come along that can transform a city and region for generations to come. A chance to ignite the economy, create hundreds and possibly thousands of jobs, and take first-class universities to an even higher level. The promise of a new era, where a resurgent downtown and safe, vibrant neighborhoods restore a sense of pride in the people who live and work there.

Such an opportunity has presented itself in the proposed merger of Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden. This exciting, inspired plan can be the catalyst for the kind of renaissance that could make South Jersey an epicenter of intellectual and economic success for decades. It’s up to us to seize this chance.

The recent proposal by Gov. Chris Christie breathes new life into a concept that has been discussed but never acted upon for nearly a decade. It calls for the partnering of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan to establish a premier research university that would join the ranks of the great educational institutions in the New Jersey-Eastern Pennsylvania region.