Gov. Chris Christie has endorsed the final recommendations of an advisory committee charged with overhauling the state’s higher educational system. Among its findings, the report calls for giving Rutgers University portions of the University of Medicine and Dentistry. They include the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The state will remain the owner of University Hospital, based in Newark, but with a private manager.
The committee also recommends Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden be integrated into a broader institution, known as Rowan University and based in Glassboro and Camden. Through this integration, the Committee recommends that this new institution be positioned for public research university status.
The governor says the changes will ensure New Jersey meets its potential as a national leader in medical education and biomedical research. But union officials have some concerns. Jean Pierce of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, which represents 4,000 UMDNJ employees, wants to know if there will be job cuts. The governor says that will be determined by management. Christie wants to implement this plan as soon as possible. If he submits a reorganization plan to the legislature, it has 60 days to act.