Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rutgers-Camden Dodges the Bullett

John Oberdiek (Rutgers-Camden) writes with the conclusion of the struggle over the proposal to give the Rutgers-Camden campus away to Rowan University:

Last Thursday, the New Jersey Legislature finally resolved the turmoil surrounding Rutgers-Camden, including its Law School, and Rutgers as a whole since a Governor Chris Christie-appointed commission recommended, among other things, that Rutgers-Camden be severed from Rutgers University and be merged into Rowan University.  The legislative framework, which emerged after much intense negotiation and which awaits approval by the Governor as well as Rutgers's two governing boards, retains Rutgers-Camden as a fully engaged part of Rutgers and even puts the campus in a position to thrive.  It also adds a long-sought medical school to the university.

In a message to the campus sent at the end of last week, Wendell Pritchett, Chancellor of Rutgers-Camden (as well as a member of the law faculty) approvingly summarized the key points of the legislation this way: 

  • Rutgers–Camden will remain an integral part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  Faculty will continue to be hired and promoted according to the same University-wide standards; degree requirements will continue to be governed by Rutgers; and collective bargaining will remain with Rutgers.  All employees will remain employees of Rutgers. 
  • The Rutgers Boards of Governors and Trustees will retain their oversight of the Rutgers–Camden campus. The legislation creates a Rutgers–Camden Board of Directors, which will be charged specifically with helping our campus to grow and evolve.  At the same time, Rutgers–Camden shall continue to be subject to the authority, and crucial support, of Rutgers University. 
  • Rutgers–Camden will gaingreater administrative autonomy and an appreciable infusion of financial support. The campus will receive its own appropriation as a line item in the state budget, and will retain a greater share of tuition revenues here on our campus.  Rutgers–Camden Law Dean Rayman Solomon notes that the opportunity for greater financial autonomy will help the law school with its efforts to attract top faculty and students.

The Rutgers University Board of Governors signaled its general agreement with this legislation in a resolution approved on June 28, noting that its approval, and any future action, is subject to the due diligence of Rutgers’ governing boards.  If approved by the Rutgers boards, this legislation would take effect on July 1, 2013. 

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