Prieto: Too Many Unanswered Questions on Rutgers Reorg

(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) released the following statement Thursday after the committee heard from Rutgers University President Robert L. Barchi on the university’s reorganization plans:

“President Barchi’s testimony that the Christie administration ordered the university not to submit individual budget line items for the Rutgers campuses raises many concerning questions.
“This reorganization plan is a great opportunity for our state, but it almost seems like it’s being slapped together by the Christie administration without much thought or planning.
“That was definitely not the Legislature’s expectation.
“The law called for separate budget line-times for each of the three Rutgers campuses in Newark, New Brunswick and Camden, as well as the School of Biomedical and Health Services, but we have none.
“The budget plan gives the power to allocate money to the campuses to an advisory committee that was never supposed to have such authority. I cannot imagine giving an advisory committee the power to allocate state resources.
“We’ve heard estimates for transitional costs, but there is no appropriation for them.
“And the budget does not provide any specific funding for University Hospital.
“We have way too many unanswered questions for something this important and basic parts of this law are apparently not being followed. The administration needs to explain what exactly is going on here.”