Tag Archive: Rowan University

McCormick Visits Rutgers Camden

Last Friday, Rutgers President Dick McCormick met with three groups on the university’s Camden Campus.  One of these meetings was a regularly scheduled University Senate meeting.  The other two were with faculty and students, to talk about the governor’s proposal to severe the Camden Campus from Rutgers and give it to Rowan University.

The first meeting was with faculty.  While the auditorium door was closed McCormick did not ask that the meeting not be taped.  There were a few themes to his remarks.  

One was that it is clear after last Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting that at this point in time the Board would not approve the measure.  Both the Rutgers Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees would have to agree before the change could be made.  There is general approval of the central part of the plan, that the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and the Cancer Institute merge with Rutgers New Brunswick.  There is already a long history of collaboration among these organizations.  In fact, the medical school used to be part of Rutgers (see details below).  However, the loss of the Camden Campus was very unpopular among the Trustees.   This throws a monkey wrench into the works.  McCormick said that present these two parts of the plan  were combined at the request of South Jersey political forces.

A second theme was that, although not put into these exact terms, McCormick would give up the Camden Campus in order to get a New Brunswick medical school.  However, as stated above, it is not his decision.  Once the stance of the Board of Trustees became apparent McCormick said the situation had changed.  He says he and others tried very hard to separate the parts of the proposal, and to offer alternatives, such as a separate budget line for Camden and / or greater collaboration between Rutgers Camden and Rowan.  

A third theme is that one reason he won’t fight harder is fear of retribution.  He was asked why the University didn’t simply say no to the whole proposal and then suggest a path forward more to its liking.  The theory being the state has limited options on what to do with UMDNJ, the parent university for the state’s freestanding medical schools.  McCormick said there was a fear of reprisal in regards to the university’s budget.  He said in 1970 the university gave up it’s medical school (renamed the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) because the state said if it didn’t all money to support the school would be withheld.  While in this situation no specific threat had been issued he felt it was a possibility.

These three themes were repeated at each of the three meetings, although he backpedaled on the issue of budget reprisal later in the day.

There are two other interesting statements he made during the day.  One was that regardless of how the situation resolved he thought more higher education money would be going to South Jersey.  The other is that he thought South Jersey politicians wanted higher education in South Jersey to be more responsive to them.  McCormick cited the immediate past history of UMDNJ as a cautionary tale if that option is followed too far.  (This would be a reference to the case of former State Senator Wayne Bryant who had a “no show” job at UMDNJ and one reason why he is currently in prison.)

At all of the meetings students, faculty, staff, University Senators, and alumni spoke against the loss of the Camden Campus of Rutgers.  One man from Newark teared up as he recounted how his life had been changed for the better by the University Scholars program, that had led him to be a student at Rutgers where he had returned as a teacher.  He did not want Camden youth to miss that opportunity.

McCormick is stepping down in a few months and is guaranteed a very well-paying job in the history department on the New Brunswick campus ($300,000+).  Currently all three universities involved (UMDNJ, Rowan, and Rutgers) have interim or lame duck presidents.    

Lautenberg Questions Rowan Takeover of Rutgers Camden

Sen. Frank Lautenberg is asking some good questions about the proposed takeover of Rutgers Camden by Rowan University.  According to the Camden Courier Post (“Lautenberg raises questions over proposed merger,”) Lautenberg has written to Gov. Christie asking, among other things, how the different levels of tuition between the two schools will be handled, and for a list of facilities that would be handed over to Rowan.  There are a number of Rutgers programs in South Jersey, including the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory and the Pinelands Field Station.

This is the kind of detail that has been missing in all the conversation about severing the Camden Campus of Rutgers and subsuming it into Rowan University.  Hopefully Gov. Christie will make a public response.

Other details are coming from, surprise, surprise, the interim President of Rowan, Ali Houshmand, who seems to have had inside information in this matter for months.  He has posted an FAQ on the takeover, providing some information on what current Rutgers Camden faculty will be doing (“off campus and online programs”) and benchmarks for the first five years of the takeover, such as who will be living in the student housing currently being built in Camden (law and medical students).  How does he know this?  If he has a blueprint for how this will work, let’s see the whole thing.  

Kudos to Sen. Lautenberg for standing up and asking for some solid information on what has, heretofore, been a “ponies and rainbows” proposal.  

And while we’re talking about making information public, it would be very interesting to know why Rowan’s Middle States report is passworded.  Rutgers and most other schools make their Middle States self-study public.  Rowan’s can only be viewed by those with a Rowan login.

Rowan Advertises for M&A Firm

Rowan University, in its rush to forcibly take control of the Camden Campus of Rutgers University, is not waiting to see if the Barer Commission’s recommendations are acted upon by either an executive order from the governor or by legislative action, or amended or not acted upon at all.

It has posted an ad asking for bids from mergers & acquisitions law firms.  Lest their intentions not be clear, the RFP on the Rowan site starts out referencing the Barer Commission’s report and states:

It is the intention of Rowan University at this time to engage the services of a law firm with expertise in mergers and acquisitions to assist Rowan as it explores this exciting opportunity.

Rowan has consistently been ahead of the curve on this subject, with the acting president of the university talking of the takeover as a certainty in November, months before the commission released it’s report.  (see “At Rowan, an early acceptance of merger plan,” by Kevin Riordan in the Philadelphia Inquirer 2/02 for details).  One wonders if Rowan has inside information that the governor will use an executive order to proceed.

If so, both seem to have forgotten that both the Rutgers University Board of Governors and the Rutgers University Board of Trustees must agree.  The Board of Governors met in Camden last week and heard over 2 hours of testimony from those opposed to the separation of the Camden Campus from the university.  President McCormick stated at the beginning of that meeting that Camden was an essential part of Rutgers.  

The haste that Rowan shows in advertising for an M&A firm before any firm action has been taken is somewhat unseemly.  Even if Rowan is being given inside information and advance notice it might look better if they gave at least perfunctory attention to the fact that Rutgers Camden is still a functioning part of the State University of New Jersey.  There has been some refinement of terminology recently, discussion of a partnership and not an acquisition or takeover.  Hiring an M&A firm to plan, and signing a contract to pay for, an acquisition when the form and even existence of any such connection is uncertain, is premature.  

(For more information follow the archives section of www.r2rmerge.com or follow the Endangered Raptor on twitter — @EndangrdRaptr)

Defend Rutgers: Communicating Rutgers Identity 101

This video was developed by the writer for a class assignment in Rutgers Master of Communication and Information Studies program. We’re hearing a lot of Rutgers exceptionalism; well-deserved. We’re also interested in hearing from Rowan University students and community members. – promoted by Rosi

This video is a little experiment that I put together to help tell the Rutgers story during a time of significant transition.

Rutgers is one of the few institutiuons that reaches all parts of New Jersey and is one of only 59 universities in the country that is a member of the prestigious American Association

Yet, Rutgers has never recieved the in-state support that other large public, flagship universities, like Penn State, Indiana, Wisconsin and Virginia regularly recieve.

Now the Rutgers-Camden campus is being used as a pawn in the long overdue reorganization of medical education in the state while a nationwide search for a new Rutgers  president is underway.

New Jersey needs a robust flagship public university as part of it’s economy and public life.  

Help Defend Rutgers and help us tell the Rutgers story to key leaders across the state.

Background on Proposed Rowan Takeover of Rutgers Camden

Feedback from the Rutgers & Rowan communities is invited and encouraged. – Promoted by Rosi

The proposal to merger Rutgers Camden and Rowan University, with its new medical school, is one of several proposals made by Gov. Christie’s Advisory Committee on the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.   Their report, a 57 page pdf, is available on the web.  

The bulk of the report concerns the restructuring of UMDNJ.   Two of the committee’s charges pertained to South Jersey.  One was “whether UMDNJ.’s South Jersey .-based schools should be merged with any

of  the  senior  public  higher  education institutions in  South  Jersey” and the other “how graduate medical education should be  delivered in South Jersey.”  

UMDNJ has a medical school in Stratford (Camden County), the School of Osteopathic Medicine.  The Advisory Committee decided against merging that school with any other institution and essentially leaving it as an independent school.  

Cooper Hospital in Camden had had an agreement with another UMDNJ institution, Robert Woods Johnson Medical School, that allowed medical students to do two years of their school program at Cooper.  Cooper decided to open its own full medical school which became attached to Rowan University.  (For the full story behind this read “How Camden got a medical school” on nj.com.)  It is this medical school which forms the basis of the Advisory Committee’s recommendation that Rutgers Camden be separated from Rutgers and subsumed under Rowan University.  Another Adivsory Committee proposal is that Robert Woods Johnson Medical School leave the UMDNJ umbrella and become a part of Rutgers University.  There are other proposals in the Committee’s report and none are dependent upon or linked to any of the others.

Now: Hearing on Rutgers-Camden & Rowan University merger

Going on right now in Committee Room 4 at the Statehouse is the hearing of the Senate Higher Education Committee to discuss the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University.

You can listen live here.

Note: You’ll need Windows Media Player, which you can download quickly with the link at the bottom of the media page.

Opposition to the proposed merger – behind which South Jersey Democratic power totem can clearly be seen –  was swift from the Rutgers community. Students – as you can read in this diary. Professors. Alumni. And the Rutgers-Camden chancellor Wendell E. Pritchett – all have denounced the plan. Rowan seems happy for the attention but probably bristling from being dissed like it’s a kiddie kollege.

This was rolled out with very little information, and the sense among some in the Rutgers community particularly that the questions haven’t been well-addressed, and the plan’s going to be rammed down New Jersey’s throat (Gov. Christie says this will happen).

This is an Open Thread. If you’re an alum of Rutgers or Rowan, let us know.  

Tough week to be a Jets fan

It’s bad enough for this New York / New Jersey Jets fan to miss the playoffs. It’s worse to have to watch the division rival Patriots and stadium rival Giants in the Super Bowl. But it’s just insulting when I find that New Jersey’s Rowan University, as part of a display honoring great African American head coaches in the NFL, has a display honoring Herman Edwards for his work at Kansas City in 2007. They couldn’t find a Jets helmet anywhere in New Jersey?  

Tough week to be a Jets fan

It’s bad enough for this New York / New Jersey Jets fan to miss the playoffs. It’s worse to have to watch the division rival Patriots and stadium rival Giants in the Super Bowl. But it’s just insulting when I find that New Jersey’s Rowan University, as part of a display honoring great African American head coaches in the NFL, has a display honoring Herman Edwards for his work at Kansas City in 2007. They couldn’t find a Jets helmet anywhere in New Jersey?  

Blue Jersey Focus: Troy Singleton, featured

How would you like to be the speaker who goes to the podium before two international celebrities? And do it while you are nursing a very bad cold? Well, New Jersey Assembly candidate Troy Singleton was in just that position last night, and he hit a home run.

Last night’s Get Out the Vote rally in Willingboro featured nine time Olympic Gold Medal winner Carl Lewis and Oprah celebrity Newark Mayor Cory Booker. But Singleton was a star in his own light.

Singleton’s district, the seventh, is one of the few competitive legislative races this year. He and his running mate, Assemblyman/Doctor/Lawyer Herb Conaway are competing against the flip-flopping Mayor of Mount Laurel, Jim Keenan, and Christie Clone Chris Halgas.

Singleton already has a list of accomplishments that would make him one of the best prepared Assemblypeople in Trenton. As chief of staff to former Speaker Joe Roberts, Singleton knows the ins and outs of the State House. He’s a labor leader and serves on the Turnpike Authority, the Burlington County Bridge Commission and is a trustee of Rowan University.

Lewis and Booker were inspiring in their remarks last night. But listening to Troy was the highlight.



A South Jersey Medical School at Last!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after beginning to pay attention to New Jersey politics, it’s that South Jersey is neglected. If there’s a second thing, it’s that the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is a scandal.  So you won’t be surprised that I gladly welcome yesterday’s announcement that there will be a new medical school in South Jersey:

Rowan University and Cooper University Hospital announced today that they are partnering in the formation of a new, four-year allopathic medical school in Camden, NJ which will be known as Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Yes, the latest thing I’ve learned is that allopathic means conventional medicene. I believe the story was broken by the Courier-Post. In any case, the new school in Camden is made possible by an executive order by Governor Corzine, which will go into force unless rejected within 60 days by the legislature:

The new medical school will be the first four year allopathic medical school in South Jersey.  Currently, Cooper provides clinical training to third and fourth year medical students from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)/Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Independent studies by both Cooper and UMDNJ concluded that there is a significant need for a four year medical school in South Jersey, and that Cooper and its medical faculty are well prepared to meet that need.  “We are appreciative of our 30 year relationship with UMDNJ. This affiliation has positioned Cooper for the endeavor announced today,” added John P. Sheridan, Jr., President and CEO of Cooper.

The newly-established Cooper Medical School of Rowan University will be financed by existing annual allocations to the Camden Campus and will not require any additional taxpayer dollars.

The goal is to have the first class begin in September 2012. One long-term benefit will be that a stronger academic hospital will be able to compete with Philadelphia, helping keep the $2 billion that presently goes over the river.  More importantly, this will address the shortage of New Jersey doctors — remember, the baby boomers will be retiring soon.  The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has been working to increase the number of medical school slots.

There’s some grumbling from Essex County politicians that UMDNJ is losing turf, but they can only complain about feeling disrespected, not the merits of the plan:

Both Rice and a UMDNJ spokesman, however, acknowledged Rowan was in a better position than UMDNJ to finance the new medical school venture because of its healthier bonding capacity. Rowan plans to issue $100 million in bonds for the new school.

I don’t know what will happen in the fall election, but this move by Governor Corzine will benefit New Jersey for the rest of this century.