(CAMDEN) – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) has released the following statement in response to today’s special vote among the Rutgers University Board of Governors and Board of Trustees. The Boards voted to formalize the University’s expansion to include most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This vote is the next step in the Higher Education Restructuring Act authored by Senator Norcross and signed into law earlier this year. “Today the Rutgers Boards have voted to bring higher education in New Jersey into the twenty-first century. Our institutions will become even stronger, with more tools to create a dynamic workforce prepared to meet the needs of our changing industries. “This vote is an endorsement of the values we have fought for from the beginning. With it we will see a more independent Rutgers-Camden with its own governing board to make the decisions that are best for its campus. South Jersey tuition dollars will stay where they belong, enabling Rutgers to build programs that are meaningful to the students here. This vote also fosters the developing bonds between two great institutions – Rutgers-Camden and Rowan – that have become engines of economic growth for our region. “The Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees have understood that this historic change is the only way to keep New Jersey competitive in the fields of medical and health sciences. This is a win for our students, our businesses and our economy.” Under the Restructuring Act, Rowan University in Glassboro will become a research university, Rutgers University’s Camden campus will realize more financial autonomy, and the two universities will enhance their ties through joint medical and health sciences programs and curriculum. The higher education restructure is to be finalized by June, 2013.