The chairman of Rutgers University's board of governors said the easiest way to accomplish a realignment of the state university with Rowan University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey would be to follow the set of principles approved Wednesday by Rutgers' leadership boards.
Hours after the joint session of the Rutgers boards, a group of key Assembly Democrats announced they would introduce legislation today that matches the bill proposed by Senate Democrats on Monday. The Senate bill would make sweeping changes, including a new governance structure for Rutgers-Camden that would seem to violate the set of principles approved by the Rutgers boards Wednesday.
Asked if the Assembly Democrats' action Wednesday was a slap in the face to the Rutgers boards, Izzo said he "didn't take it that way."
"I think that is part of the legislative process," Izzo said. "That's the vehicle, and now we need to talk about the vehicle."
The Rutgers board of trustees had planned to issue a "set of principles" last week, but abruptly canceled their meeting because of a desire to get both governing boards on the same page, a Rutgers source said last week. The source cited the fact that Izzo was out of town last week as a reason for the delay in creating and issuing a joint statement by the two Rutgers boards.
However, Izzo did not attend Wednesday's joint meeting of the Rutgers boards, instead calling in by phone. Izzo said he couldn't come to New Brunswick because he was at PSEG's office in Newark attending a series of internal meetings to prepare for the company's annual board of directors strategy meeting.
"Nothing sinister here at all," Izzo said. "Remember, yesterday was a last-minute governors add-on" meeting. A press release about Wednesday's meeting was sent to the media at 5 p.m. Monday.