Last month Governor Chris Christie announce a complex restructuring of New Jersey’s medical schools.
Under the proposal, Newark’s UMDNJ would be replaced by New Jersey Health Sciences University, University Hospital would be placed under non-profit management and Rutgers-Camden and its law school would become part of Rowan University. Cooper Medical School in Camden would become part of Rowan.
Mark Magyar has an excellent piece on the proposed restructuring at NJSpotlight.
Alarmed by the prospect of losing the prestige that comes with the Rutgers name, many at Rutgers Camden, including our friend Brian McGovern of Save Jersey are fighting the move to Rowan. Save Jersey has become Save Rutgers Camden today with a lengthy post about how to legally block the merger.
Magyar in his NJSpotlight piece noted that the name of the South Jersey institution is important to advocates of the merger as well:
The absorption of Rutgers-Camden, with its 6,000-plus students, into Rowan, with more than 11,000 students, was not so much a matter of numbers as of name. Sources said that the family of Henry Rowan, who donated $100 million to expand his alma mater, Glassboro State College, into Rowan University, balked at the idea of the Rutgers name displacing Rowan.
Furthermore, Norcross, as head of Cooper University Medical Center, had been heavily involved in the creation of the new Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, and both he and Sweeney have talked about the importance of a South Jersey university that would not be a stepchild to the much larger Rutgers University in New Brunswick, as the Camden campus was sometimes perceived to be.
The South Jersey merger with Rowan has also gotten some push back from Rutgers-Camden faculty, Rutgers retiring president Richard McCormick. Colleen O’Dea outlines reports both sides of the controversy in a NJSpotlight piece today.