By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey governor Chris Christie says he’ll implement the ideas of a blue-ribbon panel that will dramatically change the look and approach of higher education across the Garden State.

One aspect of the plan calls for the assets of Rutgers University campus in Camden to be taken over by Rowan University, based in Glassboro, NJ.

While most of the plan focuses on Rutgers’ operations in New Brunswick and Newark, and forming a new Health Sciences University in the northern part of the state, Christie says merging Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University allows for Rowan to become a major research facility.

“It’s going to give them an opportunity to be a top flight university,” the governor said today, “to have a medical school, have a law school, have a strong undergraduate and graduate program.  That’s going to allow Rowan to enhance its reputation.”

Christie indicates the plan allows for greater focus and control of the state university system going forward.

The governor says he plans to work with legislative leaders to put this plan into effect, although some parts of it could be accomplished through executive order.

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