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Chris Christie calls for University of South Jersey

And...now we know why George Norcross is on board with combining UMDNJ-NB and Rutgers. Slightly over a year after the first NJ Higher Ed Taskforce report came out (as of noon, the new one doesn't appear to be online yet), they just released their final report, which calls for a merger between Rowan and Rutgers-Camden (is UMDNJ-Camden Straford in there as well?) Rutgers-Camden is strongly opposed to being detached from Rutgers, and it is unclear as to how the Rutgers-NB administration views the proposal. My take: they shouldn't necessarily be opposed to it, as having Norcross's legislators pushing for stuff like the upcoming higher ed bond could be a big help in terms of future appropriations. This arrangement would put more skin in the game, as would a hypothetical similar deal in Newark. NJ needs more higher education seats. HOWEVER, it must be understood, fully and clearly, that the Rutgers-NB/UMDNJ-NB merger takes precedence among all other priorities. The big danger with this South Jersey stuff is the possibility of bogging down everything else. New Brunswick first has to be the rallying cry. I'll have some more thoughts later today when the full report is online. Update: it looks like Rutgers is officially opposed to parting with Rutgers-Camden. The full report is available here The report advocates greater cooperation between RU-Newark, NJIT, and UMDNJ-Newark, but falls short of calling for a full merger. Also, for some reason, UMDNJ-Stratford remains part of the new UMDNJ.

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