The Rutgers Search Advisory Team Is A Disaster

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As we near the end of Day Five of this easily-avoided train wreck in New Jersey, the Rutgers search committee is trying to convince itself that it did not completely fuck this hiring up six ways to Sunday.

The key players remain Kate Sweeney—the Rutgers alum who apparently pushed hard for Hermann without knowing much of anything of her history and noted it wouldn't have mattered anyway—and co-chair Richard Edwards. Sweeney and Edwards sent around a pretty boilerplate cover-your-ass email to the remainder of the advisory team, essentially implying that if they were going down, the entire team was coming with them.


"As members of the Search Advisory Team, you all had the opportunity to examine Julie's credentials, to spend some time with her when she was on campus, and to provide us with your thoughts regarding her candidacy as Rutgers' next Director of Intercollegiate Athletics," they said. "As you know, there was strong support for Julie, and for what she could bring to Rutgers."


A person whose job it is to find and recommend prospective administrative hires to a large university actually sent out an email reminding the rest of the search advisory team that it was everyone's decision to hire Hermann and if you didn't say anything at the time, well that's your problem. It is the "you snooze, you lose" of emails.

ESPN obtained some responsive emails from the committee, essentially calling bullshit on the whole thing. One email, from Ronald Garutti, a member of the search advisory team and the board of trustees, decried the slapdash process and any attempts to describe it otherwise.

"Please, let us not at this late date attempt to convince ourselves and the public that there was sufficient time to delve deeply into either candidates's documents ...

"With 13-15 committee members present at the interviews, and with each member needing to be given the opportunity to ask their own questions, and with Julie's interview starting more than 15 minutes late, there was little or no time to ask follow-up questions, or probe deeply ...

"Please let's not present this as any kind of exemplary process. Subsequent events have proven otherwise."

Richard Edwards still has until Saturday before his trip to China; there's still time to make some personnel moves. Maybe he should start with the entire search committee.


Photo Credit: Getty

Emails critical of Hermann process [ESPN]