The row over Rut-Row grows

A consultant’s report about how supporters ought to spin a shotgun marriage of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan universities may have been premature, but it seemed prescient. Until now.

The Learning Alliance for Higher Education predicted a “New Rowan” University would face opposition, particularly from a Rutgers-Camden faculty facing amputation from the rest of the state’s signature university system. And nine weeks after Gov. Christie proclaimed the merger, the campaign against it, on campus and beyond, grows fiercer by the day.

But now the report is under the sort of attack the consultants didn't foresee.

“Truly offensive and enraging” is how the heretofore equivocal Rutgers President, Richard McCormick, characterizes the report in an email obtained by the Star-Ledger. The merger proposal itself is a "disappointment" and diplomatic overtures to Fort Christie have not been acknowledged, McCormick said in the email, which was leaked to and has been authenticated by the Newark-based newspaper.

Meanwhile, a new statewide poll shows a majority of New Jerseyans remain opposed to the proposal.

But the significance of the fact that nearly 60 percent of registered voters think the proposal stinks is eclipsed by the bipartisan bromance between Christie and State Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Smitten by visions of research dollars and other monies flowing toward a new Mega-U, Sweeney's Southern bloc of Christiecrats are expected to dutifully support the merger, should it prove impossible for the governor to simply impose it.