The historic bell at the Rutgers campus, which was gifted from Col. Henry Rutgers in 1826 to the school that took his name, was rung on June 30 to commemorate the “official beginning of one of the largest academic mergers in US history.” Rutgers will absorb most of the medical university, which includes hospitals, clinics and institutes, and eight professional schools. Rutgers’ annual budget will increase more than 40 percent to nearly $4 billion as a result of acquiring most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Last year, students and faculty members protested for months against the merger. Gov. Christie and other proponents argued that the deal would heighten Rutgers’ stature and increase its ability to attract medical research dollars. Brian Weinblatt, a development director at the University of Miami who has studied academic mergers nationally said, “This brings them a comprehensive brand. The people at the main school get a medical school and the people at the medical school get a football team.”
This merger is part of a larger reorganization of the state’s higher education system, which will also elevate Rowan University in Glassboro, Gloucester County to the status of a research University. Rowan will acquire UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, but the remaining medical university – schools, clinics, and institutes in Newark, New Brunswick, and Piscataway will go to Rutgers.
Approximately 10,730 UMDNJ employees will be assigned to Rutgers and 1,172 to Rowan, while 3,460 will remain at the University Hospital in Newark. The University Hospital was spun off as an independent entity, but Rutgers medical students will still train there. School officials have referred to this deal as an “integration” to avoid the takeover implications associated in mergers.
The majority of employees from the medical University welcome the association with the nationally recognized and well-regarded Rutgers name. Terri Goss Kinzy, a research dean at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway said, “The research enterprise is very excited about the merger. When you’re competing for grants, you want a high-profile brand.” Kinzy studies infectious diseases and believe that the association with Rutgers will allow for more “interdisciplinary research and a clearer path to graduate programs in the medical sciences for Rutgers students.”
Rutgers is expected to absorb $76 million of the estimated $100 million cost of the merger. Most of the cost is for professional fees, accountants and information technology consultants needed to finalize the shift. Rutgers has already spent months working out new contracts and agreements with units of the medical university. Christopher Molloy, Rutgers integration czar said, “I spent last week in Newark with 30 lawyers working out 20 different agreements. Honestly, this has really been an amazing process.”
Call us today for more information or contact us for a free business review.