Monday, June 3, 2013

Rutgers AD fiasco shows how incompetent college administrators can be

No one can really blame Julie Hermann for taking the job of Athletic Director at Rutgers when it was offered to her. After all, it wasn't up to her to divulge any details of "negatives" in her career history that might have prevented from being hired in a new job. That would be the responsibility of the people in charge of hiring - i.e., the college administrators at Rutgers University.

The level of incompetence of administrators and faculty at colleges and universities when it comes to hiring people for jobs borders on the bizarre. The situation at Rutgers is only one example.

First, the university wastes thousands of taxpayer dollars by paying an "executive search firm" to try to find a suitable candidate as its next athletic director. When in reality, the search committee of Rutgers administrators, faculty, and students could simple have advertised the opening and contacted other athletic departments at colleges around the country to inform them of the open position for minimal expense (not to mention, most people who work in college athletics would have known that there was an open position at Rutgers just by listening to the news).

Then, one of the members of the search committee on her own identifies Hermann as a candidate. So much for paying the search firm to provide a service. How come they didn't identify Hermann?

According to one published report, the process of hiring Hermann was rushed through the search committee, to the dismay of several committee members. Plus, no one at Rutgers did any kind of background check, which may have turned up the controversy of her tenure as a volleyball coach. The Star Ledger newspaper found out about the volleyball coaching controversy. Apparently, Rutgers did know about the discrimination lawsuit that was filed against Louisville when Hermann was there. It didn't seem to matter in the decision making process, as do many outlandish things that occur in the college sports world. College coaches and sports administrators get paid millions, jump from one job to the next, all the while claiming that they are working in the best interests of "student athletes." Yeah right.

Rutgers president Robert Barchi did the politically convenient thing by firing former athletic Tim Pernetti. Defending the hire of Hermann and not publicly admitting that Rutgers fouled up the vetting process is also a politically convenient move. But why should we expect anything more from the incompetent college administrators?

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