Gov. Chris Christie says the planned merger involving three of New Jersey’s public universities is a “take it or leave it” deal.
The governor Tuesday rejected pleas that Rutgers-Camden keep its identity instead of being merged into Rowan University in Glassboro. The proposal also calls for parts of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to be folded into Rutgers-Newark.
Rutgers-Camden students and alumni have vigorously protested the merger plan.
“Let me make something very clear. It all happens or none of it happens. This is not a divisible plan,” Christie said. “This is a well-thought out, coordinated plan to create three centers of excellence for higher education in New Jersey.”
Christie said the merger represents what’s best for the higher education system and the state’s economy.
The governor is also adamant that the newly reconfigured school will be known as Rowan University.
“I am not favoring any type of hybrid consortium that allows them to keep a name that they’ve become, for whatever reason, wed to,” he said. “Some times progress means change.”
Christie said he’ll work with leaders in the Legislature to come up with the best way of implementing the plan. He says he’d like it to be done by July.