By David Madden

CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey Senate Democrats have come up with an alternative to the Christie Administration’s plan to merge Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University.

Instead, the schools would have a joint board to oversee collaborative efforts between them.

Camden County state senator Donald Norcross co-authored the plan and says the bill was drawn up after consulting with all the parties, including schools, students, administration, alumni and the Governor’s office.

“First and foremost, Rutgers remains in Camden,” Norcross said.  “Second, it has autonomy from the New Brunswick administration and, third, we create a collaborative board that will highlight those assets, particularly in the health sciences, between Rowan University and Rutgers University.”

In recent weeks, Governor Christie began backing off the idea of a merger simply saying that the issue is being negotiated with the legislature.

Norcross wouldn’t say if the plan has Christie’s support.

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