Christie, silent on Rut-Row

NJ Gov. Christie hosts a town meeting in the Middle School gym in Haddonfield, Tuesday, June 12, 2012. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )

No one hoping to ask about the future of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan universities was called upon during Chris Christie’s road show Tuesday in Haddonfield. And the governor’s uplifting performance offered no mention of the controversial proposal.

As you may have heard, Christie’s original call for a Borg-like absorption of R-C by RU has recently been transformed by Democratic legislators into a scheme for some sort of affiliation of, or partnership between, the two South Jersey campuses.

This potentially bipartisan “compromise” is supposed to mollify furious stakeholders enough to enable the governor to meet his stupendously optimistic July 1 deadline to start restructuring higher education.

But the main focus of that statewide reorganization, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is now raising questions. Interim president Denise V. Rodgers issued a statement Tuesday against having UMDNJ's School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Stratford, become part of Rowan.

“ The members of the Board of Trustees... are opposed to the transfer of the UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) to Rowan University as proposed in the most recent version of legislation to restructure higher education in the State — the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act," Rodgers said in the statement. She also noted that the boards at Rutgers and Rowan recently weighed in with their concerns as well.

Undeterred (like Christie), state Sen. Donald Norcross, D-Camden, tells the Gloucester County Times that a deal is eminently do-able.

Rutgers-Camden professor of history emeritus Howard Gillette's blog post today about the Christie show raises yet another stubbornly unanswered question, however.

What will the restructuring cost?