NJ HIgher Education Reorganization Is Official

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
July 1, 2013

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Rutgers transition ceremony in Piscataway (photo courtesy Tim Larsen/Governor's Office)

The reorganization of New Jersey’s higher education system is now official. Rutgers has absorbed most of what was the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

The goal of the merger is to attract more talent and make the combined facilities more competitive in obtaining money for research.

Terry Hartle is senior vice president of the American Council on Education which represents about two thousand colleges and universities. He says it will take a while to make the university and the medical school function as a single entity.

 “They’ll need to change a lot of processes and procedures. They’ll need to look for ways to establish collaboration, but it will happen. In terms of attracting more faculty, in terms of higher research dollars. I think you’ll probably start to see things changing within a couple years.”

Eric Kelderman is a reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington. He expects that, over time, addition of the medical school will yield greater revenue for Rutgers, but says there’s no guarantee it will mean a big boost in research grants.

 “The national funding for medial research through the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation are not likely to increase really at all in the short term and maybe even the long term, and you already have a significant competition for those sorts of monies.”

Kelderman says it’s not clear whether the merger will encourage students and faculty from outside the area to consider going to Rutgers.

“In terms of attracting star faculty or potential research stars, graduate students, post doctoral students, it’s already up there among the best, so how much better can it get.”

The reorganization also has Rowan University taking over the School of Osteopathic Medicine and becoming a research university.

Kelderman says that should be a great opportunity for Rowan and bring economic development money to the region.


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