By David Madden

GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Leaders at Rowan University say the proposal to merge with Rutgers-Camden under the Rowan name will mean little to students now on campus or to those making decisions for the fall.

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Dr. Ali Houshmand, Rowan’s interim president, went to great lengths today to stress that any merger would take years to complete.  And he’s been actively seeking discussions with Rutgers-Camden officials — discussions that began just last week.

As for student angst over what goes on any diploma, he says, “We have developed a plan that every single one of them deserve to get the degree for which they entered the institution.  So a student that entered Rutgers-Camden will receive a Rutgers-Camden degree.”

Houshmand says he has not been happy with the tone of the public discussion.

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“A lot of people have been engaged in throwing a lot of mud at Rowan, insulting this institution, and it’s hurtful,” he said today.

He insists he needs to work with his counterparts at Rutgers-Camden to improve academic offerings, particularly on the postgraduate level.

And he knows no merger will work without everyone working together.

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