The Ledger's Josh Margolin is reporting that Pres. McCormick recently met with the NJIT President to discuss splitting UMDNJ in three, with Rutgers taking over UMDNJ/Robert Wood Johnson (New Brunswick). I have no opinion on what's afoot in Camden and Newark, but it's beyond vital that Rutgers reclaim the former Rutgers Medical School that was foolishly severed in 1970. The hospital facilities are located blocks away from Rutgers in New Brunswick, and the rest of their buildings are literally located on the Busch campus in Piscataway.
I've been wondering for months why Chris Christie's administration wasn't discussing this topic. It was especially striking as the elephant in the room after the unsolicited, odd proposal to merger Trenton's Thomas Edison State College into Rutgers. (State Senator Ray Lesniak, a Rutgers alumnus, has been keeping the topic in public discussion in the meantime.) I'd imagine institutional resistance and local provincialism is at fault, although Christie hasn't backed away from a fight with Bergen County over its popular blue laws. Wouldn't it make sense to use UMDNJ as a carrot when trying to push throw an unpopular merger and cuts though?
Sen. Ron Rice takes a clear, unwarranted shot at Rutgers in the article linked above. That should group him in with Patrick Diegnan, Stephen Sweeney, and other anti-Rutgers politicians in the state legislature, although his opposition is obviously rooted in a desire to keep the patronage and waste machine alive in Newark. The comments are illustrative with the risks involved here with overreach however. Rutgers should be 100% neutral on what happens to Newark and Camden. The best chance for success here is to push for a limited partition, and let NJIT and Rowan pick their own battles. We'd lose the united front, but a monster proposal opens up more avenues for attack and provokes more opposition.
For now Gov. Christie is declining comment and staying on the sidelines. The message to Trenton should be clear: play ball, if you want RU's help on Thomas Edison.