Rutgers President Fields Questions from the Public [AUDIO]
Rutgers University President Robert Barchi was scheduled to host a town hall meeting in Newark to discuss his strategic plan for all school campuses, but the chat was diverted every so often to the hottest Rutgers topic at hand.
Signs held high read, "Give Barchi the Boot," and, "When Will U Resign?" It's been a week since the public was introduced to the video of the abusive behavior portrayed by basketball coach Mike Rice, who was removed from his position on Wednesday. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti resigned days later, and folks have been calling for Barchi to do the same.
"Everyday, I recognize that I can be asked to step down if I am not perceived as doing my job," Barchi told the press after his three-plus hour discussion with students, faculty and alumni. "I leave that evaluation up to the board; that's their job."
Barchi, again, said he did not see the controversial video late last year when it was first brought to his attention.
"I did not see it before Tuesday night of last week, and I immediately terminated the coach. I would have done it when I first saw it," he told a member of the crowd.
Barchi notified the crowd of a new system in place at Rutgers, in response to the Rice incident. He has ordered that all practice videos from every sport be analyzed for any evidence of similar behavior. He said any hint of bullying or homophobic language must be reported to him immediately. He also ordered that an action plan be put in place to demand practice videos be monitored regularly in the future.
"My real concern right now is making sure that the programs we have on the ground now...are performing the way we expect them to perform," Barchi said. "We'll then go backwards, as much as we have tape, to see whether there's anything in the past."