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"If the board of governors doesn't support this, it's in trouble. I don't know how you supersede...

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"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."

The Rutgers boards are set to vote on a statement of principles opposing any union between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan. All eyes ultimately fall on the Board of Governors, as the Board of Trustees are certain to oppose the so-called compromise. It's doubtful the BoG would support it though, as they have a fiduciary to do what is in the best interest of the university, and the proposals to have Newark and Camden politicians gut Rutgers of assets while still having rights to the university's name are too much of a price to pay. Now the question becomes as to whether the original proposal will be revived, which probably was worth the trade. Obviously you'd prefer for UMDNJ-NB to just be returned to Rutgers, but we cannot get out of this situation without a medical school. It is absolutely vital for the future of Rutgers. Sen. Singer does deserve a lot of credit for being responsible and respecting the rule of law, as opposed to Sen. Sweeney, who has a callous disregard for the Rutgers Act of 1956. The second bit of comments from Singer are pretty good, a best of all worlds scenario. As the merger in New Brunswick is absolutely vital to the future of New Jersey's economy, New Jersey legislators ultimately can't be dumb enough to cut off their noses to spite their faces, could they? Not approving the main merger would cost the state millions in research funds. At the end of the day, they have to approve that no matter what, as failing to do that would represent a dereliction of duty and responsibility to the taxpayers of New Jersey.

"Thanks to the Rutgers Act of 1956, our two governing boards are free from the influence peddling...

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"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."

Quotes don't really get much better than that. The fact that corrupt Newark politicians are railing about "wasteful" spending in a plot to give them a giant patronage slush fund to reward cronies with really takes the cake. Investment in Rutgers-New Brunswick has been cut to the bone because of budget cuts that these politicians largely voted for, and they still have to gall to spout these blatant lies. The fiction about only 55% of tuition being spend on satellite campuses owes a great deal to the central administration fees that would largely increase if the campuses were governed centrally. The rest, of course, owes to the fact that no one would value an education from the Newark or Camden campuses if they were not associated with Rutgers-New Brunswick, so they fairly must pay what is essentially a licensing fee for the privilege of association. The independence of the Rutgers Governing Board is not a bug, it's a feature.

The trustees said many of their colleagues wanted to emphasize their opposition to the...

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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!’"

This is from Bob Braun in the Ledger. Rutgers is prepared to offer increased autonomy to the Newark and Camden campuses, but is not willing to let political hacks in Newark and Camden take over those campuses and raid their treasuries. Simply put, it is not acceptable for a campus to bear the Rutgers name but not be under the direct and sole authority of the Rutgers Board of Governors. Update: as you would expect, Rutgers sources insist they have no interest in having George Norcross run the Camden campus by fiat.

Time to go nuclear against Stephen Sweeney

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New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who holds nothing resembling a college or university degree, now has it in mind that the state of New Jersey should circumvent and gut the Rutgers Act of 1956. This is no less than an open declaration of warfare by Sweeney and his puppet master George Norcross against Rutgers, and therefore, Rutgers should respond in kind. The most disgusting part? Middlesex County legislator Joe Vitale, who should be screaming at the top of his lungs defending Rutgers, is supposedly abetting Sweeney and Norcross in their dirty dealings. As that Ledger article points out, patronage-minded politicians in Newark and Camden are treating this merger proposal as an opportunity to loot the state university of its prestige and treasure, and this cannot be allowed. Both are still stuck in the moronic, simplistic view of this issue as a zero sum game of local politics, rather than the correct view of an opportunity to strengthen the state university of New Jersey while enhancing the state's life sciences industry. Rutgers should not stand for it, New Jersey voters should not stand for it, and New Jersey economic heavyweights such as Johnson & Johnson and Merck should not stand for it either. We stand at the precipice of an opportunity to do an enormous, practically unbound level of good for the state economy by returning the illegally, immorally stolen Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine to its rightful owner in Rutgers University. Yet, all these clowns care about is greasing their palms and looking out for number one. It's downright pathetic. There is little wonder why New Jersey's higher education is suffering. With politicians like these, how could it not? That's why New Jerseyans need to stand against this horrific attempt to broach the sacred Rutgers Act of 1956, and demand that Governor Christie stand up to George Norcross, do what's right, and only move forward with the New Brunswick portions of the merger while tabling every other proposal. Update: let's be clear on this - Newark's politicians are just as craven, reprehensible, and opportunistic as Camden's. I guess it's a point of pride that we don't stand for that kind of garbage in Central Jersey, but this is just absurd. This isn't about regional parochialism. It's about the general welfare of the entire state. Someone has to step up and be an advocate for all of New Jersey against these thieves and criminals. Frankly, Gov. Christie is abdicating his role and responsibility if he does not take a stand against these demands. Update2: some more on Newark's excessive, outrageous demands.

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