"If the board of governors doesn't support this, it's in trouble. I don't know how you supersede the board of governors," said State Sen. Robert Singer (R., Ocean), who sits on the Senate Higher Education Committee and supports the governor's proposal. "It's one week away. We have to see."
"If we don't get the whole thing, maybe do the Rutgers-UMDNJ thing now and we have to wait on Rowan and Rutgers," he said. "It's important to get this moving the right way. Half a pie is better than no pie."
"Thanks to the Rutgers Act of 1956, our two governing boards are free from the influence peddling and secret back-room deal-making that politicians in both the north and south are rushing to bring to both Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden," said Shankman.
"When I have to consider who I have more confidence in: independent Rutgers boards who uphold a 246-year tradition of nonpartisan excellence or politicians seeking to control as much as they can whenever and wherever they can, to me the choice of who to trust is very clear."
The trustees said many of their colleagues wanted to emphasize their opposition to the Christie/Norcross plan after The Star-Ledger published details of a so-called "compromise" worked out behind closed doors. The details "infuriated" the trustees, said one member of the board, because they played no part in what appeared to be a done deal. In a confidential email, one trustee wrote of the plan, ``Not just ‘no,’ but ‘HELL NO!’"
But after more than four months of discussion among New Jersey’s political leaders and academics, significant opposition continues.
While talks have progressed on a compromise aimed at preserving the Camden campus’ connection to the Rutgers system, there remains disagreement over the makeup and role of an independent board overseeing that campus and Rowan and what role Rutgers’ governing bodies would play, according to persons close to the talks.
A meeting of Rutgers’ board of trustees has been scheduled for Thursday in New Brunswick to discuss the proposal.
Adam Scales, a Rutgers-Camden law professor who has led faculty opposition to the merger, said many on campus were opposed to giving a discussed Rutgers-Rowan joint board control over the Camden school’s finances.
"A managing board focused on joint collaboration, 99 percent of the faculty wouldn’t have a problem with that," Scales said. "But anything that looks like a wide-ranging board, that would merit very widespread rejection here at Rutgers."