Saturday, June 8, 2013

An exisTTTenTTTial threat

I let a lot of potential material slide by because it will be ably commented on elsewhere and I feel no need to add my $0.02; really, I'm lazy. Occasionally, I'll come across something so profoundly idiotic that I blog about it rather than gnash my teeth regretting I didn't.

Philadelphia Business Journal recently wrote up Rutgers-Camden's precipitous drop in admissions this cycle. Frankly, if the school closed I wouldn't give its demise more than one, terse paragraph, but this set me off:

"The applications stopped coming when the merger talk started. We were supposed to become the Rowan law school and no one wanted a Rowan degree."

Of course they didn't, you dipstick. Law is a presTTTigious "profession" comprised of haves and have-nots, the preponderance of your alumni being in the latter. Imagine the carnage if the name changed!

  • The facilities and library would remain the same
  • The faculty and administration would remain the same
  • The substantial tuition benefit of matriculating at a public university would remain the same
  • The curriculum would likely improve due to the new association with a medical school

Is a law a shithole or what? Change the signs on the buildings and the name on the diploma and you've consigned your graduates to a life of stifling work and penury. As opposed to the grandeur awaiting Rutgers-Camden alumni.

Here's what really pissed me off. New Jersey is not exactly replete with educational powerhouses, Princeton University excluded. For as long as I remember, it has led the nation in exporting college freshmen — I checked and it still held this title in 2006. The smart and better-off leave the state and the earnest bourgeois stay behind and matriculate at Ramapo, Rowan, and Rutgers. NYU rejects can choose from between two undistinguished public law schools. A Rutgers-Camden dean criticizing Rowan is the pot calling the kettle black.

Rowan University was known as Glassboro State College until industrialist Henry Rowan pledged $100 million, then the largest-ever gift to a public college, at which point it was renamed in his honor. Prior to that it was best known as site of the 1967 Glassboro Summit. Subsequently, it became a public research university and is one of only two institutions in the country that has both an allopathic and osteopathic medical school. I'm sure these future doctors will be proud to be Rowan alumni as they begin practicing. As for future un-and under-employed Rutgers-Camden Law grads, who knows?


  1. In this GLUTTED field, which has always been obsessed with "prestige," a name counts for a lot. It helps explain why Biglaw firms would rather hire the last in his class graduate from Harvard than the very top law grad from NYL$.

    Rowan is not known outside the state of New Jersey, with the possible exception of New York. Now imagine if Princeton University bought the school. The school's rank would climb.

  2. Now, if only there were a way for New York to buy New Jersey...think of how much we could save on Senatorial salaries. The country's prestige would also go way up; everyone's heard of "New York," but far fewer people worldwide recognize "New Jersey."