NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed an education restructuring bill into law Wednesday that will bring big changes to many of the state’s universities.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

The hard-fought changes will give Rutgers University a medical school, through a merger with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

“Makes what I believe will be a much stronger Rutgers going forward. A stronger Rutgers in competing for the best students not only here in New Jersey but around the country,” Christie said at a signing ceremony in New Brunswick, attended by WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

The addition of a medical school to Rutgers will put the university higher in line for federal research grant dollars, Christie said.

“It takes the assets of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and disperses them to Rutgers and Rowan University,” Gov. Chris Christie said.

As part of the restructuring, UMDNJ’s osteopathic school will be folded into Rowan University. The Glassboro campus will also become a research institution.

The rest of UMDNJ falls under Rutgers campuses in Newark and New Brunswick.

“This allows us to have centers of excellence in the south, central and north,” Christie said.

The bill signing marked the end of what was a battle over the mergers.

“It was going to be a fight for one reason: People don’t like change. But standing still means you die,” said New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who is a Democrat.

“Education has to change just like everything else,” Sweeney said.

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