By Kelly Heyboer and Jarrett Renshaw/Star-Ledger Staff
TRENTON — If Gov. Chris Christie wants to break up the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, both Rutgers University and the state are going to have to come up with some cash, according to a draft list of demands by North Jersey lawmakers.
The 12-page document circulating around Trenton this morning lays out the conditions that must be met before key legislators in Essex County and other parts of North Jersey will support the proposed restructuring of the state’s higher education system.
The demands include relieving UMDNJ of $662 million in debt that lawmakers say is crippling the school and its teaching hospital, University Hospital in Newark.
“Simply refinancing the high interest rate bonds alone is an incomplete solution that does not create adequate financial resources for UMDNJ and UH moving forward, and will only serve to perpetuate inequities in higher education funding for Newark,” the document said.
Rutgers University also needs to compensate UMDNJ if it gets the university’s medical school, cancer institute and public health school in the proposed merger.
“Rutgers may be asked to not only assume associated debt, but also to pay for the valuable assets it is attempting to obtain,” the document said. “Estimated value of these assets rests somewhere between $236 million (net book value) and $548 million (insurance replacement value).”