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Rutgers-Camden Students, Faculty United In Opposition Of Rowan Merger

By Cherri Gregg

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Students, faculty and members of the Camden community gathered in a lecture hall on the Rutgers campus Tuesday night to discuss the impact of the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University.

The lecture hall at 401 Penn Street in Camden was filled to capacity with Rutgers-Camden supporters, who oppose what they called, the takeover of their beloved institution.

“There are just so many risks involved in this.”

Camden Professor Janet Golden is on the Executive Committee of the Rutgers’ Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. She says her group opposes the merger because of the negative impact to South Jersey.

“Instead of having three universities, they will have two. Instead of having local access to the flag-ship university. They would lose that. Faculty who want to be part of Rutgers because it’s an AAU institution, they’re going to leave.”

Golden says there are alternatives to merger, such as increasing and strengthening partnerships with other universities to generate research and new jobs.

New Jersey State Senator Donald Norcross attended the forum and listened to more than a dozen speakers who urged that he fight the merger. They spoke about the loss of education programming, opportunities to go to college and the university’s positive influence on Camden.

Norcross says he agrees that the loss of Rutgers-Camden from South Jersey would be detrimental, which is why he says it is imperative that the university gain its independence.

“We need to be separate from the administration of northern New Jersey.”

He says one of his biggest challenges in the state house is securing funding for the southern part of the state.

“If we look at the allocation of resources in higher education in New Jersey, Rutgers-Camden and South Jersey in general has been short-changed for a number of years.”

Students also attended the forum, showing off more than 11,000 signatures opposing the merger.

More from Cherri Gregg
  • Cindy Clark

    Rutgers Camden is precisely what a public institution of higher education should be. It is accessible, rather than elitist and exclusive, educating students diverse in income or in need of local access. Its service to the Camden community is pervasive, from legal advice to tutoring. An institution that nurtures its connection to community and “everyman” yet also performs so excellently in research is a singular treasure. Any public official who advocates putting this treasure at risk does not place enough value on the public good.

  • John Doe

    I don’t trust senator Norcross any farther than I can throw him! His brother is pushing for the merger, yet he himself is “against” it. Sever ties with the main campus before a decision can be made?!? Senator Norcross, you must think we are stupid! Being tied to the main campus is the only thing keeping you and your political gang from tearing the Rutger-Camden campus to bits and selling it to the highest bidder.

    The real question should be this: Gov. Christie and George Norcross hate each other. For Christie to come out and support a long standing pet project of George, what did George ultimately do for Christie to get his support? There’s a back story that will eventually come to light. George and his Camden county cronyies are shameless and evil. To hell with them!

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