By Nic Corbett/The Star-Ledger

TRENTON — As Rutgers-Camden students protested a recommended merger with Rowan University outside the Statehouse, Rutgers President Richard McCormick today said the university would not give up the campus if given a choice.

Christine Deguzman
Christine Deguzman, 20, a junior at Rutgers-Camden majoring in music, joins other students as they rally against proposed merger with Rowan University near Gordon Theatre on Thursday February 2, 2012. Patti Sapone/The Star Ledger
“If we could pick and choose among the recommendations of the UMDNJ Advisory Committee, we would not want to turn over the Rutgers-Camden campus to Rowan University,” McCormick said.

“At this point, however, we don’t know if we will have a choice because the exact contents of a plan are understandably unclear,” he said.

McCormick was among three university presidents to speak before the Senate Higher Education Committee today on the recommendations of The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Advisory Committee, which has proposed sweeping changes to advance medical education in New Jersey. UMDNJ interim president Denise V. Rodgers and Rowan interim president Ali Houshmand also testified.

In its final report, the committee called for Rowan to take over Rutgers-Camden, including its business and law schools, and form a comprehensive research university that would support Rowan’s Cooper Medical School. Houshmand expressed enthusiasm for the plan.

The committee also reiterated earlier recommendations to give Rutgers three of UMDNJ’s pieces on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus — Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. McCormick estimated this will cost more than $40 million.


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