Governor Christie says the higher education restructuring bill he’s signed into law will produce big benefits for the Garden State.

During a ceremony on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus, Christie said Rutgers university – with the infusion of UMDNJ assets around the state “goes from 55th to 22nd in the country, in terms of the amount of federal grants they’ll be receiving. That’s a significant leap that would not have been made – or be able to be made – any other way- or certainly not that quickly – that quick of a jump.”

He said this grant money will help to attract all different kinds of business here.

“You look at having that level of federal research being done at Rutgers University – and allow bio-tech companies, pharmaceutical companies to be able to just go to one place – from the laboratory all the way through to clinical trials – in hospitals – can all be done under the Rutgers umbrella now. They don’t have to hop to different institutions in New Jersey.”

Christie adds, “I heard from pharma executives and bio-tech executives that – that was one of the things that was driving them out of New Jersey – the hodge-podge education system where – we can go to Rutgers for the initial work but then to do the clinical trials we have to go to UMDNJ. There’s two different types of grant procedures in the different place….It just made it very user unfriendly…So I think you’re going to see more and more jobs that have traditionally been New Jersey jobs in the pharma and bio-tech industry begin to grow again here.”

He stresses with this new reorganization, “Rutgers doesn’t have to make excuses anymore – oh we don’t have a medical school because of this- we don’t have a dental school because of that – and trying to justify why we don’t have things that other major state universities have – now we do…And it’s also going to be great for the students. Students are going to have increased opportunity for graduate education…This kind of changes is healthy…universities, like any other institution – can become sclerotic if they don’t change – and I don’t want to see this university become sclerotic.”