By PolitickerNJ Staff | November 19th, 2012 - 3:12pm
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Gov. Chris Christie today applauded the approval by Rutgers University's two governing bodies of the merger of Rutgers and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, saying it will unleash the full potential of the state’s largest university.

Both the 11-member Board of Trustees and the 59-member Board of Governors approved the merger in a joint meeting Monday.

“The integration of these New Jersey institutions unleashes the full potential of Rutgers University, making it a national magnet and competitor for medical research funding, educational talent and opportunity for students,” Christie said in a statement. “I congratulate and thank the Rutgers governing bodies for their partnership in our vision to move forward boldly to secure Rutgers University’s place as a premiere center in the nation for education excellence, the health sciences industry and an engine of economic growth.”

The merger is effective on July 1, when Rutgers will assume the bulk of UMDNJ.  University Hospital in Newark, which serves as a teaching facility for UMDNJ, will emerge from the process as a stand-alone entity.  The plan also calls for UMDNJ’s School of Osteopathic Medicine to merge with Rowan University.

As part of the deal, Rutgers will assume more than $450 million of debt currently on the books of UMDNJ, but will not take on $116 million in debt held by University Hospital.

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