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Legislators Working On Compromise In Pending Merger Of Rowan And Rutgers-Camden

(Gov. Christie folds his notes before taking questions at a press conference today in Trenton.  Photo from State of NJ video)

(Gov. Christie folds his notes before taking questions at a press conference today in Trenton. Photo from State of NJ video)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

GLASSBORO, NJ (CBS) – The clock is ticking on the proposed merger between Rutgers-Camden and Glassboro-based Rowan University, part of a plan New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has to improve higher education in the state. Legislators are working on a compromise to appease supporters, opponents and most importantly, the Governor.

Rowan wants it. Rutgers-Camden doesn’t. And both constituencies are giving their elected representatives an earful. Options being weighed behind closed doors include the merger Christie wants, along with a partnership between the two schools–perhaps a consortium.

“It’s more of a fact-finding effort, getting information. There’s going to be legislation required in order to do anything here,” says Senate President Steve Sweeney.

The Governor has considered using his executive authority to make most of this happen, although some lawyers suggest he lacks the authority to go that route. Regardless, Christie has insisted the recommendations of his blue-ribbon panel, which call for the merger, are those he plans to follow. Sweeney hopes to get a bill drafted, approved and signed into law by the end of June.

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