Gov. Chris Christie expects to have recommendations on how to reconfigure New Jersey's main public medical school by the end of the year.

Christie has endorsed merging the New Brunswick and Piscataway components of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with Rutgers University. Rutgers is preparing to absorb the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey and the School of Public Health by July, even though the merger hasn't been approved.

The forthcoming report is expected to address what to do about the school's units in Newark and southern New Jersey.

Newark leaders say it's essential that UMDNJ and its University Hospital remain major parts of the city.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)