Rutgers plans to finalize its merger with three medical institutions by this summer.

University President Richard McCormick told the Senate Higher Education committee today that Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the School of Public Health would become a part of Rutgers by July 1st.

"Our state needs a first class, comprehensive, university-based health sciences center....the well being of our residents demands it."

McCormick told the committee that the state could win more federal grants, attract the best faculty and students and support New Jersey's resurgence in the biomedical field.

"We could become a national figure in fighting cancer, treating pediatric diseases and meeting the health needs of an aging population."