RU to become RU? Rowan may absorb Rutgers-Camden

CAMDEN — Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a plan Wednesday to merge Rutgers-Camden into Rowan University, but the proposal didn’t get high marks from everyone involved.

Rutgers-Camden could become part of Rowan. / JOSE F. MORENO/Courier-Post
Rutgers-Camden could become part of Rowan. / JOSE F. MORENO/Courier-Post

While Rowan officials praised the governor’s announcement, the top administrator at Rutgers University issued a tepid response. And students at both schools criticized the plan.

“The governor has taken the liberty of messing with South Jersey. Why is he destroying and devaluing the one thing Camden has?” asked Jeremy Abay, a student at Rutgers School of Law. The law school and Rutgers School of Business would become part of Rowan under the plan.

The combined institution, to be called Rowan University, would be based in Glassboro and Camden.

The proposed merger was among multiple changes recommended to Christie by a committee that considered ways to improve higher education in New Jersey, particularly for medicine.

The committee, which was formed in May of last year, initially considered changes that would involve the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. At Christie’s request, the panel broadened its focus in September to include the South Jersey colleges.

Christie backed all of the committee’s recommendations, including a call to give more independence to UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. UMDNJ officials said they “respectfully disagree” with that idea.