Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A method to Rut-Row merger madness?

Not calculating the costs may make sense

A method to Rut-Row merger madness?

The costs of forcing a divorce between Rutgers and Camden, and arranging a marriage between the campus and Rowan University, haven’t been calculated.

Which may be less an oversight than an example of foresight, a reader writes:

“The major flaw of past merger (proposals) was… to determine the added costs (in advance), which led to wild calculations that scared lawmakers away…

“I am not a huge fan of the Governor, but I think he has at least learned from the past failures. Christie does understand one thing -- do the merger and THEN people will make it work out.

"The fact that the Gov is willing to consider a multi-billion bond issue for higher education this fall is his signal that he knows they need capital dollars…In a play on Field of Dreams -- if you merge them, the money will eventually come.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Shankman, the indefatigable Rutgers-Camden associate professor of history, predicts the proposed bond issue -- the state's first in a quarter century -- will be taken hostage by the pro-merger forces.

Opponents of the merger, Shankman says, will be cast as "selfish people preventing funding...because they're afraid of positive change."

Or as Christie said recently -- speaking of the merger as part of his overall higher education reorganization proposal -- "it all happens, or none of it happens."

See video below: The merger comes up at about 1:15.

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Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Karen Heller, Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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