Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation on Wednesday to integrate all but two units of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

The legislation, called the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act, had passed both houses of the state Legislature on June 28.

"The strategic integration of UMDNJ into Rutgers will leverage our combined biomedical research strengths to create a major academic and health science powerhouse with newly energized campuses in Camden, Newark, New Brunswick and Piscataway," said Richard Edwards, interim president of Rutgers.

In a report last year, Moody's Investors Service called the proposed plan a credit positive for Rutgers because it would enhance its market position. Moody's rates Rutgers at Aa2 and UMDNJ at Baa1.

The question of what would happen with UMDNJ's outstanding debt of around $600 million still remains. A spokesperson for Rutgers said the joint integration teams will be looking at possible solutions.

Most of the provisions in the legislation are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2013.

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