TRENTON - The pending realignment of New Jersey's university system will cost a lot more than was projected just seven months ago.

Rutgers University president Robert Barchi told a state Senate committee Thursday that the merger cost could hit $75 million - 50 percent more than the highest estimate given when the overhaul was being considered in May.

The consolidation will combine Rutgers with most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and partner it with Rowan University.

The higher costs became apparent as university leaders worked through the details of combining systems, Barchi told senators. He cited major issues with combining information technology and human resources systems. Some lawmakers believe the costs of the Christie administration-promoted plan could hit $100 million, double the highest early estimate.   

- AP