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Rutgers Merger Deadline Looming [AUDIO]

It seems the scandal involving its basketball program is all we’re hearing about Rutgers University these days, but there’s actually something else happening at the school. The July 1 deadline for Rutgers to finalize the largest higher education merger is creeping ever closer. Governor Chris Christie is confident that Rutgers President Robert Barchi hasn’t allowed the basketball program scandal to distract him from working on the merger.

“I think Bob is appropriately and his staff is appropriately focused on it and have been appropriately focused on it,” said Christie. “This is the largest merger in higher education history. Rutgers is about a $2.2 billion institution. UMDNJ (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) is about a $1.7 billion institution. This is practically a merger of equals from a balance sheet perspective.”

The merger is a huge undertaking admitted Christie, but he thinks the deadline to finalize it will be met.

“I have absolute confidence in Bob Barchi and I believe it’s one of the reasons the (Rutgers) Board of Governors hired him in the first place was to be able to appropriately and effectively manage this merger,” explained Christie who said it’s time to move on from the basketball program scandal. “Let’s get on to issues that are going to be about Rutgers future. This is a stain in Rutgers past.”

Barchi held a town hall meeting yesterday to discuss the merger, but was peppered with questions about the basketball program.

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