Anyone familiar with high-priced corporate mergers can tell you that the cost involved in putting a deal together is far more expensive than planting a new sign on the corporate lawn and ordering fresh business cards.
Still, even I’m surprised at the eye-popping costs already being racked up over the plan — which seems to have been drawn up on the same maps that indicate the world is flat, with the edges simply labeled "here be monsters" — though it continues to be assaulted on almost all sides. Between Rutgers, Rowan, UMDNJ and others in the game, more than half a million dollars has been committed already, and it’s likely to stretch into the millions, according to a report in The Record.
There’s a lot to be said for the benefit a top-notch research university would offer to the state. And making higher education a top resource in South Jersey would be a smart idea, and a way to hopefully generate more private investment in the part of the state that’s equal parts farmland and gangland.
But the most important factor in any consolidation is cost, and months after the proposal first reared its ugly head, there’s still no idea what the ultimate price tag will be. All we have is the governor and a very small cadre of supporters telling us this is the only future for higher education in New Jersey.
Here be monsters, everyone.
I’m even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.