Christie confident Rutgers-Rowan merger plan will go through

Gov. Chris Christie says he’s confident his proposed restructuring of New Jersey’s higher education system will be done by July 1.

While no one is saying exactly what the merger costs will be, Christie maintains the long-term benefit will far exceed any restructuring expense.

And the governor says he’s not disturbed that South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross has been involved in private meetings with Democrats to discuss how to make the merger plan better.

“To the extent George wants to be involved and provides some type of constructive contribution, I don’t have any problem with it,” Christie said Wednesday. “He isn’t making any decisions. The decisions are going to be made by me and Sen. Sweeney and Speaker Oliver and others who have an official role in this process.”

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Christie once again dismissed the idea of Rutgers-Camden keeping its name if the campus is merged into Rowan University.

“I’m not going to let anybody keep the Rutgers name unless they’re being governed by Rutgers,” he said. “I’m supporting my plan. We’re going to move forward with my plan and my plan is going to be implemented.

“The people at Rutgers Camden need to get ready for that, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said.

On Tuesday, some Democratic lawmakers indicated they would not vote on the plan until they know the projected cost.

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