NJ State Senate President Steve Sweeney sees the future of Rutgers-Camden as a “partnership” with, and not a “takeover” by, Rowan University.

Sen. Steve Sweeney
Sen. Steve Sweeney
“We have to respect the Rutgers name,” the West Deptford Democrat says.

Taken aback by fierce resistance — including from the faculty of the Rutgers School of Law-Camden — to the proposed shotgun marriage of South Jersey’s two public universities, Sweeney, George E. Norcross 3d and other local political leaders are campaigning to recast, if not reconfigure, Gov. Christie’s proposal.

The notion of severing Rutgers-Camden from the statewide Rutgers system and merging its downtown campus with suburban Rowan is contained in the final report of a gubernatorial advisory commission, the members of which appear to have spent most of their time re-allocating the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s assets among Rutgers-New Brunswick and other institutions in the northern and central parts of the state.

Clearly, some form of Rowan-Rutgers merger was supposed to be presented to the public as a means of ending the step-child status of Rutgers-Camden. (Consider: Rutgers’ current $1.5 billion wish list of construction projects includes less than $150 million for the Camden campus)


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