By John Ostapkovich and Robin Rieger

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The notion of merging Rutgers University’s Camden campus with Rowan University took two hits today.

At the noisier one, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and Camden residents rallied outside the Rutgers-Camden library prior to a meeting of the school’s board of governors in another building, where the issue was being discussed.

Speakers uniformly denounced the idea of handing the Rutgers-Camden campus over to an expanding Rowan University.

Rutgers president Richard McCormick told the audience he liked a proposal for Rutgers new Brunswick to takeover The Cancer Institute, The School of Public Health and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, but adds he doesn’t want to lose Rutgers Camden.

“We also argued severing Rutgers Camden was not a good idea”, said McCormick.

Students from Rutgers main campus even came in by bus to show that the Camden outpost is all part of the Rutgers family.

“Rutgers University is a beacon for the best and the brightest of South Jersey,” said student athlete Christopher Gailey, “and by being here today, you show everybody that that’s exactly what we are.”

Earlier in the day, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll was released that found the takeover idea unpopular, with 2½ times as many respondents opposing the idea as approving of it (see related story).

Read the report of Gov. Christie’s Task Force on the Rutgers-Camden takeover


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