NJ governor confident in university merger bill

Associated Press

BRICK, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie says he's confident the Legislature will approve a plan to change New Jersey's higher education system.

The governor first proposed a plan six months ago to break up the University of Medicine and Dentistry and transfer its medical school to Rutgers. He also sought to merge Rutgers' Camden campus with Rowan University and grant Rowan research university status.

The plan has since morphed to accommodate objections, but the basic concept remains intact.

Christie says the proposal creates three centers of educational excellence. But critics say it's being sped through the Legislature without proper consideration, and its cost is unknown.

Rutgers' trustees have threatened to sue if the legislation isn't amended so they retain their authority over the Camden and Newark campuses.

Final legislative votes could come Thursday.

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