New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney
New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney

Stronger higher education and medical schools lead to a stronger economy, and the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, which went into effect this month, will contribute to both.

Last year, the Legislature approved, and Gov. Christie signed, the legislation, which is changing education in our state.

As of July 1, most components of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey were transferred to Rutgers University. University Hospital in Newark became an autonomous institution, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford became a part of Rowan University.

Rutgers, University Hospital, and Rowan, already respected in their fields, will become even greater centers of excellence through the legislation. Additionally, with the School of Osteopathic Medicine joining Rowan, which last year partnered with Cooper University Health Care to found Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, Rowan becomes only the second university in the nation to offer both medical and osteopathic degree programs.

The Restructuring Act is especially important to South Jersey. Rowan now becomes the second comprehensive public research university in New Jersey, joining Rutgers in that status. Our region is home to about 2.5 million people, making it greater in population than 15 states. Many of those states have more than one research institution, and it is essential that South Jersey does as well.

For Rowan, research university status brings the opportunity to offer more graduate and doctoral programs. Rowan plans to focus its expansion on graduate offerings in health, science, engineering, and business.


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