N.J. higher education overhaul bill heads to Christie’s desk

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will disband, and portions of it will be taken over by Rutgers and Rowan Universities. Senate President Steve Sweeney co-sponsored the bill and hails it as a win-win across the state. “You have to equate the cost savings that are coming into this bill and you also have to recognize that there’s going to be hundreds of millions of new dollars, research dollars, coming into this state,” he said.

Proponents say Rowan University will gain status as a research institution and give a boost to health science education in South Jersey.After weeks of difficult negotiations, some lawmakers were not satisfied. Senator Ron Rice says while many issues have been addressed, he’s still worried about the cost of the plan.”If in fact we’ve moved a failed plan, we’re never going to be able to make that up long term,” he said. Lawmakers on both sides of the issue agree there is much more work to be done if the plan is to be in place by this time next year.

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