Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

It sounds easy enough: Take two of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s schools and its cancer institute and merge them into Rutgers University.

But in reality, folding pieces of one university into another is legally complicated and potentially costly, higher education officials say.

What happens to workers’ union contracts? Who will own the land on which the schools are built? Which school takes on UMDNJ’s bonds and debt? How do you handle professors’ tenure agreements? How do you split up state funding?

“We’re beginning to think about some of the really challenging administrative issues, like how to put 5,000 more people on the payroll and how to bring together two apparently very separate IT systems, just to name two challenges,” Rutgers President Richard McCormick said.


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