North Jersey legislators say Rutgers and state must pay for UMDNJ merger

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.

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Rutgers Restructuring: Behind Closed Doors

Two independent visions for Rutgers-Rowan — both developed in secret — are sure to keep the conflict and controversy going

By Tara Nurin

New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex) are working to introduce legislation next week that would retain Rutgers-Camden within Rutgers University, while establishing a joint governing board to share funds and fiduciary responsibilities between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University.…

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Pet Relocation For Community College President Covered In N.J.

By Elise Young and Terrence Dopp

New Jersey’s Essex County College paid $680 to relocate the incoming president’s pet. The state’s Brookdale Community College reimbursed the now-retired president $41,000 for his childrens’ university tuition.
Governing boards at New Jersey’s community colleges agreed to augment presidents’ salaries with those perks in recent years, along with housing allowances, country-club memberships and airfare for spouses to travel to conventions, according to a report yesterday by state Comptroller Matthew Boxer.…

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Report: Controls needed on pay of N.J. county college presidents


New Jersey’s two-year public colleges need to rein in their practice of wooing their presidents with high salaries and benefits including unchecked expense accounts, free housing, and country-club memberships, State Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer said in a report released Wednesday.

“There are no state standards or guidelines for college trustees to rely on when setting compensation terms for their president,” Boxer said in a statement.…

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Essex County lawmakers to present demands regarding N.J.’s higher education overhaul

By Jarrett Renshaw/Statehouse Bureau

TRENTON — A group of Essex County lawmakers plans to present a laundry list of demands to Senate President Stephen Sweeney Thursday that must be satisfied before they support a controversial overhaul of the state’s higher education system, the Star Ledger has learned.

The long and potentially expensive list — which includes granting Rutgers-Newark unprecedented autonomy and pumping millions of state taxpayer dollars into Newark’s University Hospital and medical school — was laid out in a conference call headed by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker, according to sources familiar with the plan.…

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Rein in pay and perks for N.J. county college presidents, state comptroller says

By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — The state comptroller released a report today calling on the state’s county colleges to rein in rising pay and perks for their presidents.

Using data from 2010, the comptroller’s investigation found presidential compensation varied widely at the state’s 19 two-year public colleges. But many presidents earned more than $300,000 a year and had lucrative perk packages that included housing allowances and retirement contributions.…

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Hearing focuses on hospital

By Leslie Brody, Staff Writer. The Record.

More than a dozen union representatives, Newark residents and other advocates on Tuesday stressed the importance of bolstering University Hospital, concerned that services for the poor might be hurt by a reorganization plan for the state’s medical school system.

Denise Rodgers, interim president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, argued for more state funding for University Hospital — UMDNJ’s debt-ridden teaching hospital and the state’s largest charity-care provider — because the school “can no longer afford to subsidize it.”…

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Legislator: Compromise on NJ university mergers won’t be ready by June 1

By James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writer.

Negotiations over a proposed overhaul of New Jersey’s public universities are unlikely to be completed in time to introduce compromise legislation by Friday, as he had hoped, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said Tuesday.

“It could be next week, but not much longer than that. It has to be very soon because the clock is ticking,” the Gloucester County Democrat said, referring to Gov.…

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New plan for Rutgers-Camden, Rowan is recipe for disaster

By Adam Scales and Andrew Shankman

Four months ago, a closed and secretive process resulted in the shocking announcement that Rutgers-Camden was to be merged into Rowan University. When this plan was revealed to consist largely of magical thinking, many overwhelmingly rejected it. The people of this state, particularly in South Jersey, have made it clear Rutgers must remain in Camden.…

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Video: Competing Voices Heard at Essex County Meeting on UMDNJ-Rutgers Merger

By David Cruz

State Sen. Ron Rice (D-28) convened a meeting of Essex County Democratic lawmakers in Newark to hear from the public about what should happen to University Hospital in Newark as part of the proposed merger of the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) and Rutgers.

The merger of UMDNJ with Rutgers is supposed to be settled by July 1, but there are more loose ends to this deal than there are signed agreements.…

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University Hospital will remain part of UMDNJ under merger, president says

By Kelly Heyboer and Salvador Rizzo/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — Newark’s largest hospital will remain part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey if the controversial plan to reorganize the state’s higher education system moves forward, the school’s president said today.

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has agreed to amend the original reorganization plan and allow UMDNJ to keep University Hospital under its umbrella, even if another hospital system comes in as a partner, said Denise Rodgers, the university’s interim president.…

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Judge upholds suspension of pension increases for N.J. public employees

By MaryAnn Spoto/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — Hundreds of thousands of retired public employees are not entitled to cost-of-living adjustments, a Superior Court judge has ruled, upholding a segment of the new pension regulations that suspend the increases indefinitely.
Friday’s ruling by Superior Court Judge Douglas Hurd in Mercer County affects all current and future retirees in pension systems funded by the state, including police, firefighters, teachers, judges – and their local counterparts who are in those systems.…

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N.J. Senate President Stephen Sweeney plans to unveil framework for university merger

By Juliet Fletcher And Melissa Hayes, Staff Writers. The Record.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney is preparing to introduce bare-bones legislation to serve as the proposal for merging New Jersey’s medical school with Rutgers University, but first he will meet with lawmakers staunchly opposed to the reorganization, according to several Senate Democrats familiar with the plan.


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State, private colleges ask N.J. for a $6B upgrade

By Jarrett Renshaw/Statehouse Bureau

TRENTON — The state’s 45 college presidents have compiled a bulging $5.9 billion wish list in the hope that lawmakers and taxpayers agree to invest in a long-sought expansion and upgrading of New Jersey’s public and private schools.
The list of 300 projects obtained by The Star-Ledger was provided to legislative leaders and Christie administration officials as they consider asking voters to approve the first bond issue for higher education in more than two decades.…

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