NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — The two governing boards at Rutgers University on Monday approved absorbing most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in an expected but major step in an overhaul of New Jersey's higher education system.
Both the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees accepted the changes that were called for in a law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in August.
"Integration will finally give the people of New Jersey the comprehensive public research university that they deserve," Ralph Izzo, chairman of the Rutgers University Board of Governors, said in a statement. "The new Rutgers will expand biomedical research across our state, enhance medical care for our citizens, and create new opportunities in the biotechnical and pharmaceutical industries."
Proponents hope that having one school contain both scientific research and medical education will make Rutgers a better partner for the pharmaceutical industry, which is a key part of New Jersey's economy.
In the reorganization, hashed out by the Republican Christie and leaders of the Democrat-controlled state Legislature, Rutgers will take over most parts of UMDNJ, including a cancer institute and two medical schools.