R.I.P. Rutgers Camden

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I’m feeling blue this morning staring at the juris doctorate degree hanging on my office wall, Save Jerseyans.

It was awarded after a lot of hard work by the “Rutgers Camden School of Law.” Not Rutgers New Brunswick or Newark. Not Rowan University or some out-of-state institution in NY or PA. Rather, I earned it at a school that proudly served as South Jersey’s 90-year old share of the nationally-recognized Rutgers brand. We get passed over quite a bit by North Jersey interests down here. Can you blame us for wanting our own piece of the pie?

Well, not for much longer it seems. Yesterday morning, Governor Christie held a press conference and announced his intention to personally ensure Rutgers Camden’s dissolution; the end result will its merger into a 17,000 person institution under the Rowan banner:


Naturally this decision didn’t happen in a vacuum. The Governor’s plan is a response to the UMDNJ Advisory Committee Final Report commissioned by his administration over a year ago. Read it and make up your own mind.

Plenty of South Jersey residents are none-too-pleased with the merger even if they accept the basic logic behind it. Southern Republicans (and North Jersey Democrats) will undoubtedly question the merits of a plan long-championed by notorious Democrat Party Boss George Norcross III. Many Rutgers Camden alumni will fret over the value of their degrees and the future condition of their alumni network.

A Facebook petition imploring Governor Christie to reconsider his position is already approaching 1,000 members.

I joined the Facebook group but frankly, Save Jerseyans, I haven’t decided what I would ask the Governor to do. It’s a lot to chew on. I need to think on it. Everyone in South Jersey should. If realized, this move will engender major and long-lasting repercussions for our region.


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