Rutgers president blasts merger report

April 4, 2012 at 2:00 PM

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., April 4 (UPI) -- The president of Rutgers University, New Jersey's state university, says Rowan University commissioned a secret report on merging with Rutgers-Camden.

In an e-mail obtained by The Star-Ledger of Newark, Richard McCormick called the report "truly offensive and enraging." He said he was not told about the report, dated Jan. 26, the day after Gov. Chris Christie announced plans for the merger.

The report outlines a strategy for dealing with critics of the plan. It suggests ignoring them and moving forward to meet Christie's July 1 deadline.

Rutgers has almost 60,000 students in 27 colleges and degree-granting programs. Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden, which include the university's two law schools, are smaller than the flagship operation in New Brunswick and neighboring Piscataway. Rowan has more than 11,000 students.

Rowan, formerly Glassboro State College, expanded into a university after industrialist Henry Rowan gave the school $100 million in 1992. As Glassboro, it was known as the site of the 1967 summit between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet leader Alexei Kosygin and as the venue for Black Sabbath's first U.S. concert in 1970.

Christie argues that the merger will create a strong research university in the southern part of New Jersey. Critics say it will simply deprive the region of a university.

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