Governor's Task Force Report'

Latest Updates


February 13, 2013:

SOM Name Adopted

RowanSOMRowan University's Board of Trustees has adopted a new name for the incoming School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford--Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Communication Integration Team explored several naming and identity system options for the school for when its transfer is effective, July 1.

The decision to call the school Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, or RowanSOM informally and in secondary references, firmly incorporates SOM into Rowan and takes advantage of Rowan's regional and growing national reputation.

"Such a transition as moving one school to another is hardly ever seamless but the adoption of the new name gives everyone on both campuses a sense of belonging," Rowan President Ali Houshmand said.

SOM Dean Thomas A. Cavalieri said the new name reflects a bonding of the schools, both well-established and complementary of one another.

"I like it," Cavalieri said. "The name captures both SOM’s rich history and its exciting future as part of Rowan University."

Graphical standards, developed through cooperation of staff at Rowan and SOM, will be used in signage, websites, business cards, stationery, and much more. A distinct lab coat patch is still in development.


February 8, 2013:


Since the approval of the New Jersey Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act representatives from Rowan and SOM have been actively addressing concerns related to this historic transition. One of the highest priorities under discussion was the continuing accreditation of both schools. Our collaborative efforts have led to significant progress to date, and we anticipate a successful outcome from our respective accrediting agencies in the near future.

In December, Rowan submitted an extensive outline to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that details how the addition of SOM supports the university’s vision to drive economic development in the region, enhance the area’s workforce through increased participation in higher education, and to cultivate research opportunities and productivity. The report covered a wide array of concerns, including students, faculty, academic programs, governance, human resources, financial, and legal issues that are being addressed in preparation for the upcoming integration of the two schools. Rowan anticipates a response from the Middle States Commission in early March.

At the same time, SOM has received approval from its accrediting body, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), to postpone the completion of a scheduled self-study process until after SOM becomes part of Rowan. Also, an on-site accreditation visit by COCA that was originally planned for this October has been rescheduled for the same time in 2014. COCA still plans an SOM site visit this October, but it will be focused on two standards: Mission, Goals and Objectives; and Governance, Administration and Finance. SOM’s full COCA accreditation remains unchanged during this additional year.

SOM also has contacted the divisions of the American Osteopathic Association that accredit graduate medical education and continuing medical education. Both have indicated their intent to continue SOM’s full accreditation for these activities after it becomes part of Rowan University on July 1.

While the New Jersey Medical and Health Science Education Restructuring Act calls for complex changes in higher education in New Jersey, it provides both Rowan and SOM with paths for growth that combine the strengths of both institutions to develop new programs in medicine, the health professions, biomedical sciences, and related high-tech disciplines at New Jersey’s newest public research university.


December 2012:

Transition Steering Committee reviews key issues - New FAQs - Integration Team membership updated

At the Transition Steering Committee meeting on November 30, the 12 integration teams gave updates on their work. Each team has a prioritized work plan designed to ensure that the most critical issues are addressed prior to the July 1, 2013 target date for integration.

Priority issues include accreditation and student financial aid. Rowan is preparing a substantive change application to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as are UMDNJ and Rutgers. Subsequent to Middle States approval, the federal Department of Education will conduct a review to certify Rowan to administer student financial aid on behalf of current UMDNJ students. Rowan, Rutgers and UMDNJ are working closely together with these agencies toward a realistic timeline and successful outcome. The accreditation sub-committee of the Academic Programs Integration Team, the Student Services Integration Team, and the financial aid officers of the three universities are guiding these processes.

The School of Osteopathic Medicine also has been working with its accrediting agency, the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), to ensure continuous accreditation throughout the transition process.

Regarding the programs and students of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) in Stratford, a different approach is underway. The New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act does not specifically address the transfer of GSBS. Accordingly, Rowan is seeking all necessary University and state approvals to create programs identical to those currently offered at GSBS-Stratford - the PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology; the Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology; the Master of Science in Biomedical Science; the Master of Biomedical Sciences; the Master of Science in Molecular Pathology and Immunology; the Certificate in Biomedical Sciences; the DO/PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology; and the DO/Master of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology - within its new School of Biomedical Sciences. With the programs established, on July 1, 2013, all current GSBS-Stratford students will become students of Rowan. All GSBS faculty, who hold their primary appointments at the School of Osteopathic Medicine, will move into Rowan with the osteopathic medical school. The new structure preserves the educational and research strengths of GSBS-Stratford, while providing opportunities to build collaborations with life sciences programs at the undergraduate level and with disciplines such as bioengineering at Rowan.

Please see the links to FAQs and Integration Team Members for other updates.

We will keep you informed on these and other important developments in future updates. Integration Teams, their sub-committees and various ad hoc integration-related groups are meeting frequently. The next Transition Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for December 21, and our next Integration Update will be in early January.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to achieve a seamless transition of the School of Osteopathic Medicine and the programs and students of GSBS-Stratford into Rowan on July 1,2013. With that goal in sight, we enter the New Year enthusiastic about the exciting opportunities that await us. Happy holidays!