Gov. Chris Christie must go through the state Legislature if wants to move forward with a sweeping reorganization of New Jersey’s higher education system, according to an opinion issued by the state’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

The Star-Ledger obtained a copy of the non-binding opinion, which said Christie could not use a 1969 law that empowers the state’s chief executive to reorganize departments with modest legislative interference.

The OLS opinion is based largely on a recent state court decision that said Christie overstepped his authority while abolishing the Council of Affordable Housing.

Christie’s plan calls for Rowan University to take over Rutgers-Camden and for Rutgers University to absorb parts of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)