Sen. Frank Lautenberg is lobbying for Rutgers University to maintain its presence in Camden.

The Democratic senator has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Chris Christie's plan for higher education, which would reconfigure the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Rutgers and Rowan University.

The plan calls for a takeover of Rutgers-Camden by Rowan.

Lautenberg was on the Camden campus Thursday showing his allegiance with a vocal group who oppose the merger.

Rutgers Board of Trustees is meeting later Thursday to consider a resolution showing that it is open to alternatives other than a complete takeover.

Christie wants the merger completed by July 1.

That deadline could come and go without the Legislature signing off on the plan.

Other alternatives are also being explored.

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