By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — There was a bitter fight for several months this year over a proposal to merge part of Rutgers University with Rowan University (see news story).

Governor Chris Christie’s proposal got a warm reception at Rowan, where university president Ali Houshmand took exception to the staunch opposition coming from Rutgers-Camden.

“A number of people have been engaged in throwing a lot of mud at Rowan, insulting this institution,” he said, “and it’s hurtful.” (See news story)

Rutgers-Camden chancellor Wendell Pritchett led the local fight to block the merger (see news story).

“There’s no reason to remove Rutgers from Camden, from South Jersey, to achieve our common goal,” Pritchett said.

And that goal, he said, was to increase higher education funding in South Jersey.

In the end, they got that — without the merger. The two schools will work together on projects they deem mutually beneficial.

Rutgers demanded and got to keep its independence (see news story) — although, to be candid, most of the battle was over what name would appear on a diploma.