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Proponents Hustle To Move University Merger Bill

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Proponents of a higher education restructuring plan are scrambling to get the measure through the Legislature and to the governor’s desk by week’s end.

The bill creates a quasi-merger between Rowan University and Rutgers’ Camden campus, and transfers most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry to Rutgers.

But the plan supported by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross III still faces hurdles, including unanswered questions about its cost.

The Assembly Budget Committee will hear the bill Monday, and some new amendments are expected. That may help appease critics from North Jersey, who worry about the viability of University Hospital, UMDNJ’s teaching hospital and the state’s biggest charity care provider.

Opponents in South Jersey want to limit the authority of a new Rowan/Rutgers-Camden governing board.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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