Last Wednesday, Governor Christie proposed a separation and merger of two of New Jersey state colleges as a way to improve or higher education; Rutger-Camden, a nationally recognized university, will not only be “merged,” but dissolved into Rowan University, a regionally known state school. People who attend Rutgers-Camden are typically from South Jersey, want the same education that New Brunswick offers but cannot alter their current life to head north, and want the recognition of a name, a BRAND, of a nationally and globally known University.
As a Rutgers-Camden graduate, as a RUTGERS graduate, I am not happy that my alma mater may be no more. Because of this, I wrote a letter to Governor Christie in regards to this matter and my feelings on this issue. I only felt that it would be fair to share it with the Rutgers Community and every one else.
I have attached a link to sign a petition against this potential merger: Stop the Merger!Dear Governor Christie, While I applaud your efforts in attempting to reform New Jersey’s higher education system, I feel that this merger may be more detrimental than beneficial. I understand your want to increase Rowan’s national recognition, but shedding the Rutgers name in Camden can be seen as a slap in the face to those students and alum that attended Camden because they could not attend New Brunswick for various reasons. I, like many other New Jerseyans seeking a secondary education, left New Jersey to pursue my degree. However, after my freshman year, I came back, looked at my college options (again) in NJ, and decided on Rutgers (my three choices were Rutgers, TCNJ, and Rowan). Rutgers-Camden won out in the end because it was more convenient than New Brunswick (and would be the same education), had my major (B.S. in Marketing, not Business with a specialization), and it fit my budget. I spent two and a half years at Burlington County College and transferred right into Rutgers-Camden without a second thought. Here are some of my reasons why Rutgers-Camden should remain Rutgers, not assimilate into Rowan: I went to RUTGERS, not Rowan for a reason, as did most students; they are not the same! Rutgers was founded in 1766 and is the eighth-oldest college in the United States, being one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. Rutgers is a name that is easily recognized and highly regarded by employers nationwide. Rutgers-Camden students report the highest level of satisfaction with their education out of the three campuses. I do not feel that it is fair to strip away Rutgers-Camden’s achievements and simply hand them over to Rowan who is still building their own name. I implore you to reconsider this merger. If you must continue with the merger, may I suggest that you hold onto the Rutgers name and make Rowan a sister school. We as a state do not need two research universities in order to compete with outside schools. If anything we need lower in-state tuition and an increase in out-of-state tuition, as many other states will charge as much as $10,000 more. New Jersey has a Southern New Jersey Research University, it goes by Rutgers-Camden; there is no logical reason to further separate the ties between North and South Jersey. Thank you for your time and I am interested to see the future decisions and plans for this proposed merger. Sincerely, A Rutgers Graduate