Christie: Barchi’s connection to corporate boards was known upfront

SOUTH RIVER – Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that letting Rutgers University President Bob Barchi sit on corporate boards was something that was disclosed upfront, adding that it’s Rutgers’ governing body’s decision to make, which apparently thought it was an acceptable practice.

Christie added many presidents serve on corporate board of directors around the country. He said the university’s directors board set up a procedure in which he would recuse himself from personally doing business involving the two company boards he sits on and Rutgers University.

“It’s their decision to make,” Christie said during announcements of home buyout offers for Sandy victims in South River. “I leave it to Rutgers. If the board of governors (is) comfortable with it. They’re the ones running the university day to day, not me. This was certainly something that was not a surprise. It was disclosed upfront.”

Barchi’s participation on the two boards was disclosed by The Record newspaper of Bergen County. His service on the boards has earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars and stock.

Christie has vehemently defended Barchi in the past, saying the president did an adequate job in the handling of the scandal involving Rutgers basketball Coach Mike Rice and athletic director Tim Pernetti, saying his less-than prompt response initially is not considered a fireable offense.

Like that time, he added that he does not run Rutgers University, and is not supposed to micromanage all of its actions.

“I got enough to do without worrying about every different consulting or director position that every person at everyone of our state universities has. That is the job of the governing bodies. I left it to them…If theya re satisfied …then I don’t see any reason for me to be involved unless someone could point out  a specific instance of conflict where President Barchi has acted in the interest of a company rather than the university, and no one has raised that issue.”Despite all the recent events, he said again today that the Board of Trustees should be scrapped. It’s a proposal sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), of West Deptford.

Christie: Barchi’s connection to corporate boards was known upfront