The trustees of Rutgers University, whose consent even Chris Christie presumably needs to consummate a shotgun wedding between Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden, don’t like being rushed.
“I feel like I’m doing this with a gun to my head,” trustee Dorothy Cantor said Thursday, referring to the governor’s ambitious/preposterous July 1 deadline for setting the merger in motion.
Rutgers trustees are frustrated by the lack of financial and other details in Christie’s overall proposal, which mostly involves transferring assets of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to Rutgers-New Brunswick.
And as part of the all-of-nothing package deal Christie would prefer to dictate, rather than negotiate, Rutgers-Camden would be amputated from New Jersey’s flagship university system and absorbed by Rowan, in Glassboro.
Proponents among the power bloc of Democrats whose votes Christie needs for his priority legislative projects insist the merger will create a research university of the greenback-generating clout South Jersey deserves.
Despite fierce pushback, including concerns about damaging town-gown programs in Camden, merger-ites are busy laying track. On Thursday, Rowan issued a "road map" to the merger; this unilateral wish list of steps, some of which appear to require magic, was immediately lambasted by merger opponents.
Meaning, pretty much everyone except for Rowan's inner circle, Christie and Co., and South Jersey's Democratic power posse.