Five former New Jersey governors, representing both political parties, are giving the embattled president of Rutgers University a vote of confidence.

Former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)

They appeared at a public forum in Newark on Thursday to discuss the job of governor.

They say President Robert Barchi should be given the chance to complete a complex higher education merger that former Gov. Thomas Kean says will elevate the flagship school to a one of the country's elite research universities.

Former Gov. Christie Whitman, a Republican like Kean, says constant press reports on the latest university sports scandal aren't helpful.

The university is under fire for hiring a new athletic director whose former players say she was a verbally abusive coach. Julie Hermann was hired after a player abuse scandal at Rutgers forced out the prior athletic director and basketball coach.


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