2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:64M-2 - Findings, declarations relative to the public system of higher education.

18A:64M-2 Findings, declarations relative to the public system of higher education.

2. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. Rutgers, The State University ("Rutgers"), is a body corporate and politic that operates schools and colleges in the State of New Jersey and offers degrees in undergraduate studies, graduate studies, and professional studies such as medical, legal and business, operating pursuant to the authority granted to it by the Rutgers, the state university law, P.L.1956, c.61;

b. Rutgers was designated as the State university in 1945, but it was not until 1956 under the Rutgers Compact that the State assumed managerial control and financial responsibility over the school. Upon reorganization in 1956, Rutgers' formerly private governing board - the Board of Trustees - transferred all management, control, administration and policy-making functions to the publicly controlled Board of Governors. The Board of Trustees retained the power to manage and invest certain pre-1956 private assets or private gifts and maintained an advisory role at the school in support of the University;

c. Rutgers was established as the "instrumentality of the state for the purpose of operating the state university" and whose primary purpose is as a public trust for the provision of higher education pursuant to N.J.S.18A:65-2. To this end, the law provided for its liberal construction "necessary for the welfare of the state and the people of New Jersey to provide for the development of public higher education in the state and thereby to increase the efficiency of the public school system of the state..." Rutgers is the only comprehensive public research university in New Jersey and currently consists of three campuses in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden;

d. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey ("UMDNJ") is a body corporate and politic that operates programs of medical, dental, nursing, public health and health-related professions and health sciences education in the State of New Jersey, currently operating pursuant to the authority granted to it by the "Medical and Dental Education Act of 1970," P.L.1970, c.102, and "The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Flexibility Act of 1992," P.L.1992, c.84. One of its founding institutions was the former Rutgers Medical School. UMDNJ was established to serve the interests of the State by establishing programs of medical, dental, nursing, public health, health sciences and health-related professions. It was charged with providing a greater number of trained medical personnel to assist in staffing hospitals and public institutions and agencies and to prepare a greater number of students for the general practice of health-related professions in New Jersey. To that end UMDNJ was provided authority to form relationships with health care organizations, research institutions and private individuals, firms and corporations. Such public-private relationships would supplement the resources available from the State, thereby providing an economic and efficient means for developing and offering a full range of health care services;

e. It is the intent of this legislation to recognize and maintain the spirit and intent of the "Agreements Reached Between Community and Government Negotiators Regarding New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry and Related Matters of April 30, 1968";

f. Currently, UMDNJ operates two allopathic medical schools in the State of New Jersey: one located in Newark (New Jersey Medical School) and the other located in New Brunswick/Piscataway (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School). In addition, UMDNJ operates an osteopathic medical school at Stratford, New Jersey. There are no other osteopathic medical schools located in the State;

g. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine ("UMDNJ-SOM") is a major source of primary care physicians for the State and South Jersey. The school offers several post-graduate residency and fellowship positions for approximately 600 students through affiliate hospitals including endocrinology, cardiology, critical care, gastroenterology, nephrology, infectious disease, and many others. UMDNJ-SOM is at the forefront of addressing the need for more physicians and has expanded its class size by 50% over the past two years. Of the more than 1,700 graduates of UMDNJ-SOM, 55% practice in the State, about half of whom deliver primary care;

h. Rowan University ("Rowan") is a State university located in Glassboro, New Jersey, with a campus in Camden, New Jersey, currently operating pursuant to the authority granted to State colleges by N.J.S.18A:64-1 et seq., and P.L.1994, c.48 (C.18A:3B-1 et seq.). Rowan is presently considered a major regional higher education institution. Currently it is comprised of seven academic colleges: Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Fine & Performing Arts, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the College of Professional and Continuing Education, and a Graduate School. Rowan's nearly 11,000 students may pursue degrees in 36 undergraduate majors, seven teacher certification programs, 26 master's degree programs and a doctorate in educational leadership. Rowan University's main campus is located just 20 miles from Cooper University Hospital with a satellite campus in Camden. Rowan University has a reputation as a top regional university and is home to a newly-constructed, state-of-the-art science building for programs focusing on science and technology;

i. 20 years ago, Hank and Betty Rowan gave the former Glassboro State College a gift of $100 million, then the largest private gift to a public university in the United States. Thereafter, in addition to increasing capacity and quality throughout all the programs of the university, Rowan University created an engineering school which has quickly become one of the top-rated undergraduate engineering schools in the country with rankings of 3rd in the country for chemical engineering and 16th overall for public engineering schools. In addition, the engineering school has led the way in developing relationships in southern New Jersey with the private business community, providing a qualified workforce as an attraction for companies to locate in the area. The gift transformed the college into a comprehensive regional university which is poised to take the next step as a research institution;

j. In June 2009, Rowan University and The Cooper Health System partnered to establish Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), the first new medical school in New Jersey in 30 years. The establishment of CMSRU, a four-year medical school located in Camden, will help address the current local and national shortage of physicians and improve healthcare throughout the region. Its inaugural class will begin in August 2012;

k. The goals of this legislation are to create and enhance the essential higher education opportunities for the residents of the State and to create vibrant educational institutions and communities that attract business to the State and which will allow the State to retain its residents in terms of college placement and workforce. The future economic development of the country will be a knowledge-based economy which will put a premium on an educated workforce and advanced degrees. This legislation restructures the higher education system in the State to provide for more vigorous educational communities that will provide opportunities for students and the workforce necessary to attract crucial private sector jobs as this century unfolds;

l. The Legislature has the ultimate responsibility for balancing the functions of public higher education institutions in New Jersey. The State has a responsibility for improving and expanding higher education opportunities for its residents and in that regard it has established a multi-level higher education system for which it has the responsibility to assess from time-to-time and to restructure as needed to improve higher education opportunities. This legislation reflects a thorough and intense review of the higher education system in the State and makes rational changes the Legislature believes are necessary to provide residents with access to a high-quality in-State education. Higher education is vital for a thriving economy because our State's sophisticated economy -- home to many pharmaceutical, biological science and other complex industries -- demands a well-trained workforce;

m. This legislation also renews the State's commitment to sustaining and growing its universities and to help them achieve greater success on the national and international stage. New Jersey must stem the persistent historical fact of seeing its brightest high school students leave the State to attend college, and then not return after college. As a State, we lead the nation in net outmigration of college-bound students. This outmigration of students leads to the outmigration of a well-trained workforce and prevents the State from attracting crucial private sector jobs. This legislation will allow for the development of a system to cultivate better collaboration between its businesses and its institutions of higher education. New Jersey's economy will benefit from increased and integrated coordination between public and private research;

n. For the State's students to receive the quality higher education necessary for future growth and for the State to achieve its economic goals, Rutgers, as the State's preeminent institution of higher education, for all that it has achieved in its history, must become a great university and enter the top tier of public research universities. To this end, the relationship between Rutgers and the State has evolved to meet changing times, from 1770 when it was chartered as Queen's College, through several amendments to the charter in the late 1700's, to amending the charter in 1825 to change the name of the school to Rutgers University, to the 1945 legislation declaring Rutgers as the state university of New Jersey, to the 1956 Compact whereby the Board of Trustees of Rutgers ceded management and operational control of the school to the State in the form of the Board of Governors in return for substantial financial assistance, and to the subsequent amendments to the Rutgers Compact in 1967, 1970, 1988 and 1994. The Legislature has an obligation to the State and its students to ensure the relationship is still working and thriving. As evidenced by the storied past between the State and Rutgers, the Legislature has periodically examined the role of Rutgers in the State's higher education system and made necessary legislative changes to that relationship to reflect and address the evolving educational needs of the State;

o. As the relationship with Rutgers has evolved, the State has become more involved both financially and in creating a growing higher education system for its residents. The State has provided in excess of $10 billion in support to Rutgers since fiscal year 1990 for its operations as The State University of New Jersey and the State has a responsibility to ensure its funding is leading to greater higher education opportunities and jobs;

p. There has been widespread recognition for some time that Rutgers needs to take steps with the State's assistance to transform it from a middle- to a first-ranked public institution. In the last decade, an intense discussion about how to elevate Rutgers into a top-tier school has taken place in the State, starting with the Vagelos Report in 2002 and 2004, the Kean Report in 2010 and the Barer Report in 2012. These reports reflect that Rutgers' role in the State's system of higher education has been the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. This legislation is the product and culmination of this decade-long assessment of Rutgers' educational mission;

q. This legislation continues Rutgers as The State University of New Jersey and the pre-eminent governance role of its Board of Governors as a public body. The legislation mandates that the Board of Governors shall continue to have authority over the granting of tenure and promotions, establishing standards for academic programs and for the awarding of tenure to faculty at its Newark and Camden campuses. The Board of Governors shall be represented on the Rutgers-Camden Board of Directors and additionally, the Rutgers-Camden Board of Directors is represented on the Rowan University-Rutgers Camden Board of Governors. The Legislature consulted with and sought and obtained active participation of Rutgers in establishing the elements of this educational restructuring that will permit Rutgers to enhance its position. The Legislature has determined that the slight governance changes to Rutgers in this act are necessary to promote essential opportunities for higher education in the State and to improve the standing of Rutgers University as a whole;

r. The legislation fulfills the longstanding goal of Rutgers University to acquire a medical school and become a comprehensive public research university. Rutgers has long sought to regain a medical school as part of its curriculum; by Rutgers' own public statements, acquiring a medical school will propel Rutgers into a top-tier research university, and place it at or near the top 20 public universities in the nation. Very few great research universities lack a medical school. This legislation will provide for the transfer of the Newark-based UMDNJ schools (New Jersey Medical School, the New Jersey Dental School, School of Health Related Professions, the School of Nursing, and the Public Health Research Institute) to Rutgers and will transfer UMDNJ's Robert Wood Johnson Medical School located in New Brunswick to Rutgers as well. These institutions are valued at an excess of $895.5 million dollars;

s. Rutgers currently falls behind other public research universities in some key measures. Most importantly, the school ranked 64 in 2009 in federally-financed research and development expenditures. This low ranking is primarily influenced by the lack of a medical school as part of the degree offerings at Rutgers. Having medical schools will attract top-flight researchers and thus research grants, to Rutgers. The addition of medical schools to Rutgers will also increase interdisciplinary opportunities among the academic departments of the school;

t. The need to reform medical education in the State has been a subject discussed for years but up until now has been left unresolved. The reports done in the past ten years have consistently come to the same conclusion regarding UMDNJ. The Barer Report noted that the present organization of UMDNJ's substantial assets is not the best structure to maximize the effectiveness of the State's investment in medical, dental, nursing and health sciences education, associated research and health care. The State is the home base for many of the world's largest pharmaceutical and biotechnical companies. As such, the State and its institutions of higher education should, but do not, lead the country in attracting federal research funding and associated clinical training. This legislation will address these issues and establish a first-class comprehensive public research university-based health science center in New Jersey through the transfer of the New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to Rutgers;

u. Historically, the State has suffered a shortage of higher education capacity resulting in the substantial outmigration from the State of college-bound students. This outmigration has disproportionately affected the residents of the fastest growing region in the State, South Jersey. It is in the public interest that senior public education institutions in South Jersey work together to meet the demand for higher education capacity in the region. These transfers are essential to ensuring that all of the State's capable high school graduates are provided with the opportunity to obtain higher education in a New Jersey college classroom. The guarantee of a quality in-State education requires that these transfers be made in a comprehensive fashion to better enable the State to meet its growing workforce development needs;

v. This essential and practical expansion of the State's higher education system will help to address the educational demands of the fastest growing region in the State. The coordination of Rutgers-Camden and Rowan will spur the redevelopment of Camden by creating a long overdue residential campus, and expanding a health sciences campus anchored by the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, emphasizing the biosciences, biomedical engineering, nursing and allied health. Therefore, it is in the public interest that Rutgers-Camden be granted autonomy from Rutgers, that Rowan be declared a public research university, and that both schools work together with the newly formed Rowan University-Rutgers Camden Board of Governors, as an efficient and cost effective means to address an historical disparity in educational capacity and opportunity between the northern and southern regions of New Jersey;

w. Integrating these existing higher education institutions will increase research capacity and spur the continued vitality of a region that is no longer supported by historical strengths in manufacturing and agriculture. Furthermore, this legislation will help to stop the annual escape to other states of thousands of students and patients, and millions in clinical research investment dollars from key institutions in South Jersey;

x. The transfer of UMDNJ-SOM to Rowan University will allow better coordination of medical education in South Jersey. UMDNJ-SOM is ranked in the top three osteopathic schools in the country, and is a leader in providing primary care physicians for the southern region of the State. After the transfer, Rowan University would have the important distinction of being only the second full-purpose university in the country to have both an osteopathic and allopathic medical school. One stated goal of the Rowan University-Rutgers University-Camden Board of Governors is to create a joint health sciences college. The addition of UMDNJ-SOM into Rowan University will benefit its faculty through providing opportunities for diverse training to students through interdisciplinary teaching and collaboration with the newly created health sciences faculty from the other universities. Integrating UMDNJ-SOM with Rowan University would add a successful, recognized enterprise to the newly designated public research university;

y. Adding UMDNJ-SOM to Rowan, along with the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, will revitalize the regional economy through a renewed commitment to higher education. This legislation will allow Rowan University to build the capacity to compete for and receive federal and private sector research grants that will drive the university, the region, and its new medical school, to new distinction;

z. Currently, Newark is home to many institutions of higher education including Rutgers, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Essex County College and Berkeley College. The existing educational infrastructure needs to be able to do even more to help the city and the northern region of the State with its economic development needs and to provide innovative and problem-solving leadership. This legislation will allow Rutgers University-Newark to focus on the specific higher education needs of the region and the assets of the region to attract talented students and accomplished faculty to the school. This legislation will provide for an independent University Hospital that will maintain its status as the principal teaching hospital of the New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey Dental School and any other medical education programs located in Newark;

aa. The stated goal of this legislation is to create vibrant educational institutions and communities that will not only attract students but attract private sector jobs. The increased attention to the Rutgers University-Newark campus and University Hospital will allow the city to derive not only significant financial, medical and educational benefits, but cultural and social benefits as well. The improved focus on the Newark campus will be a conduit for expanding commercial opportunities in the city and for providing greater opportunities for students in the northern region to benefit fully from the substantial public investments already made and to be made in higher education in Newark;

bb. The goal of this legislation is to enhance the critical higher education opportunities for the residents of the State and to create vibrant educational institutions and communities that will attract business to the State and will allow the State to retain its residents in terms of college placement and workforce. This legislation recognizes the State's public institutions of higher education must work together as an integrated whole and thus provides for the necessary restructuring of the higher education system in the State which will provide more vigorous educational communities that will spur opportunities for students and the workforce necessary to attract crucial private sector jobs;

cc. The higher education reform and restructuring reflected in this legislation renews the State's commitment to sustaining and growing its universities and in helping them to achieve greater success. More particularly, the legislation reaffirms the State's economic commitment to Rutgers - over $10 billion to the University since 1990 - by the transfer of medical and related schools to Rutgers valued at nearly $1 billion dollars. Additionally, this legislation reaffirms Rutgers' preeminent role in the State's higher education system serving as an instrumentality of the State in trust for its betterment;

dd. This comprehensive review and restructuring of the higher education institutions and the systems that serve them as evidenced by this act, dictate that all of the schools, institutions and centers, transferred pursuant to this act, be transferred together and that no transfer of a school, institution or center may be done apart from the whole. The transfers reflected in this legislation are inextricably linked and work together to promote reform and the effective restructuring of the State's higher education system; and

ee. Nothing is intended to revise or nullify the rights of Rutgers, The State University under N.J.S.18A:65-1 et seq.

L.2012, c.45, s.2.

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