Response of the NBFC to the Barer Report

Response of the (Rutgers University) New Brunswick Faculty Council to the University of Medicine and Dentistry Advisory Committee Report (also known as the “Barer Report”)

Adopted Unanimously on February 3, 2012

The New Brunswick Faculty Council (NBFC) believes that the Final Report of the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) Advisory Committee contains excellent recommendations concerning the Newark and New Brunswick/Piscataway institutions, but has very grave reservations about the proposals for Southern New Jersey, and insists that the proposals must be separated.

The merger of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and the School of Public Health with Rutgers-New Brunswick will greatly enhance both institutions, and will provide increased opportunities for collaboration and for obtaining large grants. The majority of faculty and students at both institutions are enthusiastic about this merger, and preparations and planning for that merger are well underway. Therefore, the NBFC strongly endorses the proposal for this merger.

This, however, stands in sharp contrast to the report’s proposal for Southern New Jersey. No preparations have been initiated yet for a merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan University, so the two proposals are, at the very least, not on the same timetable. The geography of combining Rowan and Rutgers-Camden is far less favorable than the New Brunswick/Piscataway merger. The faculty and students of Rutgers-Camden are vehemently opposed to the proposed merger with Rowan. Forced mergers in academia seldom work well, as the faculty the resultant institution would most like to retain are those who are most likely to leave even before the merger is finalized.

In addition, Rutgers-Camden is an essential part of Rutgers, and must remain so if Rutgers is to remain true to its name, “The State University of New Jersey”. Therefore, the NBFC is strongly opposed to any action which would remove Rutgers-Camden from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and urges the Rutgers Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to insist on separating the proposals, and to vote “No” on the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden with Rowan. The NBFC supports the consortium model for strengthening higher education in South Jersey, which allows both Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University to retain their unique identities and cultures.