November 10, 2011
Dear Members of the Rutgers University and UMDNJ Communities:
On September 20, 2011, Governor Chris Christie released and endorsed part I of the Report of the University of Medicine and Dentistry Advisory Committee. The report calls for the integration of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health, and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey – three components of UMDNJ – into the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The report stressed that the merger "should be exercised and realized as soon as possible." Governor Christie has accepted the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, calling them "a guide to improving New Jersey's system of medical education now and into the future."
Restructuring and strengthening medical education in New Jersey are imminent. Thus, the leadership at UMDNJ and Rutgers are working in a collaborative and cooperative way to accomplish this goal by building upon and enhancing the strengths of each university. It is our hope that the result of this cooperative effort is a merged medical education campus in New Brunswick and Piscataway that reaches new heights and an invigorated UMDNJ that continues to meet its current and ever critical future missions.
The proposed merger is extraordinarily complex and both universities have dedicated their senior executive staffs to working jointly through all the challenges presented so that the merger can be presented and accomplished in a timely manner. Integration teams comprising representatives of both institutions are engaging in responsible and appropriate discussions and planning efforts in areas of critical importance to a successful merger. These areas include, but are not limited to, academic and educational programs, clinical programs, research, student services, buildings and physical assets, human resources, information technology, legal considerations and finances.
Both Rutgers and UMDNJ are committed to full cooperation throughout the integration process and are working together to identify and resolve outstanding issues prior to fully executing the merger in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff. The boards of each university recognize their ongoing responsibilities and will ensure that the institutions, as they stand today and as they are restructured, fulfill their respective missions and remain academically vibrant and fiscally sound organizations.
Richard L. McCormick
President, Rutgers University
William F. Owen, Jr., MD, FACP