Written by ANTHONY PERNO For the Courier-Post

Recently, the Rutgers-Camden community has spoken out against a merger with Rowan University.

As a graduate of Rutgers-Camden School of Law, I understand the concerns raised by the students, faculty and alumni and their feelings of loyalty and pride for the Rutgers name. Change is never easy, but Southern New Jersey deserves the benefits of a major research university and the social and economic opportunity that it will bring to the region.

A great university requires both visionary leadership and investment. No one questions the commitment and talent of the Rutgers faculty, administration and students at the Camden campus, but Rutgers University has not prioritized its Camden campus. The university continually siphons Camden’s tuition revenues to New Brunswick instead of investing in Camden.

The Rutgers-Camden campus should generate approximately $114 million in tuition and state aid if the aid is distributed based on student population. Yet Rutgers-Camden only receives approximately $58 million for its annual operations. More recently, Rutgers Camden represented approximately a mere 9 percent of a capital request by Rutgers University to the state, although it has 18 percent of the university’s total student body.

The faculty and students at Rutgers-Camden have achieved remarkable advancement despite the lack of investment in their own campus. I agree an ethos exists at Rutgers for excellence. However, every academic program at Camden competes for resources with a duplicative program on Rutgers’s main campus.


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