The harshest – most amusing, truest – thing I read today about Rutgers President Robert Barchi’s public meeting in Newark today is that it will give those on the Newark campus an equal opportunity to yell at Barchi like denizens of the New Brunswick campus have had all week. Who said that? If you know, tell us, so I can attribute.
Jeff Gardner was at town hall, and apparently asked The Question, and did it sharply and cleanly. He’ll write about that in a bit. But meanwhile, Rutgers also posted a news release today (read it in full here), I had to read through 6 times to figure out what the hell it was saying. Here’s part (bolding’s mine). This is what struck me as downright obfuscatory:
“During a news conference held at Rutgers University on Friday, April 5, I was asked if members of the Rutgers Board of Governors had seen last fall the video containing excerpts of men’s basketball practices. At the time, I responded that at the December 14, 2012 meeting of the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics the committee received a report that action had been taken with the head basketball coach for inappropriate behavior. I also stated that I had reviewed the minutes of the committee meeting and had spoken with some of the members who were present at the December 14 meeting. Also at the news conference last Friday I said that, while the details are a little unclear, what is clear is that video was reviewed.
“In continuing our lesson learned efforts, I was able to confirm on Saturday, April 6 that the chair of the Board of Governors Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics reviewed the video in early December. The video was not seen by the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics or by any other member of the Board of Governors.”
Huh? Seems to me the question for the Board of Governors, but particularly for Barchi, is not “When did you see the video?” but “What did you know and when did you know it?” It’s not really about the video; it’s about being tuned in enough to know what’s happening not just for university restructuring and high-level meetings, but student life on your campuses. Throw up clouds of dust in front of that and Barchi’s tenure should be questioned.