New Jersey's governor and Rutgers University's president say they are confident a higher education merger can be completed on time, though nearly 2,000 items are still on the to-do list as the July 1 deadline approaches.

NJ Governor Chris Christie (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie says he's confident Rutgers President Robert Barchi can integrate most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers by summer.

Barchi told an Assembly budget panel last week he's within sight of the deadline. He says more than half of the 4,000-plus issues associated with the merger have been dealt with so far.

Barchi also told the panel he expects Rutgers' credit rating to drop after it absorbs debt from the financially riskier UMDNJ. But he says the dip should be temporary.

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