Gov. Christie lent guarded support to a bill introduced by Democratic legislative leaders Monday that would dramatically reshape higher education in New Jersey by drawing Rutgers-Camden closer to Rowan University and by breaking up the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
The legislation, introduced by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester), would establish a board to govern Rutgers-Camden and Rowan and sever many of Rutgers-Camden's administrative links to the larger university.
The bill is not exactly along the lines of Christie's January proposal, but he called it "a critical and positive step," adding that he "looks forward to working together to achieve this reorganization by June 30."
The Republican governor's plan, especially his proposal to merge Rutgers-Camden into Rowan, has stirred months of protests from Rutgers students, alumni, and officials, and led to closed-door negotiations among political leaders on a possible compromise.
The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Donald Norcross (D., Camden) and Joseph F. Vitale (D., Middlesex).