Sweeney gives Rutgers ultimatum to reform its governance

State Senate votes to expand Rutgers board
By GEOFF MULVIHILL-Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – A reorganization of New Jersey’s higher education system quickly became official a year ago, but some details that go along with it are still raising contention.

The state Senate pushed for changes Thursday to Rutgers University’s governing structure, passing a bill to expand the flagship school’s main governing board, despite strong opposition by campus and alumni groups.

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On Thursday, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution opposing Sweeney’s bill but committing to review the school’s governance structure. The resolution said the board welcomes dialogue with legislative leaders.

Also, members of university employee unions rallied Thursday in New Brunswick against looming layoffs resulting from Rutgers’ takeover a year ago of New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine.

According to the legislation that enabled the merger, no employees could be laid off because of it for a year.

Jean Pierce, a public policy staff member for Health Professionals and Allied Employees said unions have been told more than two dozen workers are facing layoffs so far, and she expects the number to grow. She said labor groups have been meeting with university officials but have not been allowed involvement as promised on layoffs.

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