By Robin Rieger
CAMDEN, N. J. (CBS) – It looks like Rutgers-Camden will remain Rutgers-Camden, according to New Jersey State Senator Donald Norcross.
“There is no merger,” says Norcross.
“That’s wonderful news. We’ve been fighting for it, we’ve been united, we wanted this to happen,” says student Melanie Nugget of Moorestown.
Rutgers-Camden students who worried they would lose their campus to a merger with Rowan University, as initially proposed by the governor and some lawmakers, are relieved.
“I felt kind of nervous originally…the idea that it could be taken away from us,” said Alysa Little of Pennsauken, a recent graduate contemplating grad school.
Countless rallies have conveyed students and teachers passion to maintain the schools identity here in the midst of efforts to revamp higher education in New Jersey.
Amendments were made to pending legislation on the agenda in Trenton Thursday. Norcross says Rowan University will absorb the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a joint Rowan-Rutgers board will be created to oversee a medical research hub in South Jersey.
“You take two great institutions focusing on health sciences and I think that’s a win for all South Jersey and of New Jersey,” says Norcross.
“This will mean jobs,” Norcross added.
Rutgers-Camden spokesman Mike Sepanic says the universities board of governors voted 9-1 to support the legislation if the amendments met the boards concerns. A 1956 New Jersey law gave the school the final say, not lawmakers.
“Basically it’s a statement by our board of governors that says we acknowledge that there’s a lot of potential in restructuring higher education across our state and here’s how we’d like to proceed,” says Sepanic.