By Tatiana Schlossberg, Staff Writer. The Record.
Even though Monday was a historic day for Rutgers University — merging with the state’s medical schools and maneuvering towards joining the Big Ten Athletic Conference — reactions on the university’s New Brunswick campus were mixed, with many students unaware that any change was afoot.
The University’s board of governors voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger as part of a reorganization of the state’s public education that began almost a decade ago. The move to the Big Ten from the Big East had not yet been finalized on Monday afternoon, but the university will accept an invitation to the conference, which was likely given the University of Maryland’s entry into the league on Monday — Rutgers invite was contingent on that move.
In Trenton, lawmakers on both sides said they were happy about the board’s approval of the merger, saying the decisions will elevate the standing of Rutgers nationwide.
“The vote paves the way for making New Jersey’s institutions more competitive with the rest of America,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean said.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, a co-sponsor of the merger legislation, said the time was at hand for the state to advance its education system.
“I’m ecstatic that they recognize higher education needs to change in New Jersey,” he said.
On campus, the students didn’t quite echo the enthusiasm of the legislators and board of governors, although many said they were hopeful about both the medical school merger, and Rutgers’ entrance into the Big Ten.