Christie to sign higher education merger bill

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will sign a hard-won higher education restructuring bill today.

    The bill signing happens in New Brunswick, but the governor also plans stops in Newark and Camden — the three cities most affected by the measure.

    The bill gives Rutgers University a coveted medical school and elevates Rowan University to a research university.

    The legislation paves the way for shifting the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to Rutgers and Rowan.

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    The legislation also links Rowan and Rutgers-Camden for joint collaborations in the sciences, but stops short of merging the two, which was a deal-breaker for some.

    Christie promoted the changes for months before the Democrat-led Legislature agreed.

    South Jersey Democratic Party leader George Norcross III added his muscle to the bill.

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