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Senate Holds Hearings on Rutgers, Rowan Merger [AUDIO]

Rowan University
Flickr User Jason Howie

The state Senate Higher Education Committee will hold a hearing on Governor Christie’s proposed restructuring of Rutgers, Rowan and UMDNJ.

The Committee recommended a reorganization of UMDNJ into three entities:

***The creation of the New Jersey Health Sciences University (NJHSU), including the New Jersey Medical School, the New Jersey Dental School, the Gradate School of Biomedical Sciences, the School of Nursing and the School of Health Related Professionals. The University Behavioral Health Care, the School of Osteopathic Medicine and The Public Health Research Institute would also be included under the NJHSU banner with significantly increased autonomy.

***An expansion of Rowan University to include: Rowan University, Glassboro; the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden; Rutgers University-Camden, Rutgers University School of Law-Camden; and Rutgers University School of Business- Camden.

***A realignment of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Public Health and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in Central Jersey into Rutgers University.

The recommendations were part of a final report from the UMDNJ Advisory Committee. Invited participants in the hearing will include representatives from the affected colleges.

Senator Sandra Cunningham, head of the Senate’s higher education committee said the hearings are needed to fully understand the statewide benfits and implications of such a huge plan.

“We know its going to have a big impact upon healthcare and education in our state…but there a lot of questions unanswered.”

Cunningham says she’s been bombarded with emails from faculty and students at both schools regarding the merger. The presidents of all three schools will testify in Trenton today.

“There is a big impact on students and what they are feeling…and I think its important that we fully understand what it all means….both from a financial standpoint and to understand what it means for all of the students and faculty across the state.”

The senator says they plan to hold future hearings at UMDNJ and Rutgers-Camden.

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