Supporters of Rutgers-Camden are mounting a campaign against Governor Christie’s plan to merge the campus with Rowan University. Some are raising money in preparation for a legal fight.
Rutgers Camden Law School professor Allan Stein said the Campaign to Save Rutgers-Camden is fundraising to support advertising, political organizing, and if necessary, litigation. “There has been some suggestion that the Governor plans to implement this through something called the Executive Reorganization Power. Which gives him the authority — without prior legislative approval — to reconfigure agencies under his control. And if he does that we will take him to court and get an injunction,” said Stein. “The President [of the University] doesn’t report to him, he can’t hire or fire anybody. There’s no operational control he has what so ever! We’re not an executive agency.”Opponents worry the merger would dilute the schools’ distinctive missions and identities.
Rowan University spokesman Joe Cardona said it’s important to focus on what is best for the region.
“We’ve been testifying at hearings that the legislators have been having,” said Cardona. “So it could happen by executive order or legislating or a combination. But that’s not up to to us to support or criticize that. It’s the Governor’s proposal.
Governor Christie has said combining Rowan and Rutgers-Camden with the soon-to-open Cooper Medical School would create a true research university for South Jersey.