Maintenance employees put the temporary wall in place Tuesday in a building at the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported. Board President Ralph Izzo said the members were unable to hold a discussion with the disruptive audience.
"I don't know how you conduct a meeting with people shouting at you," he said.
Greg Trevor, a university spokesman, said the board did not take any action while the meeting was closed and was not in violation of the New Jersey Open Public Meetings act.
Most of the audience was angry about the university budget, which includes a faculty pay freeze. One focus is the $335,000 salary guaranteed Richard McCormick when he steps down as university president next year, which will make him the highest paid professor at Rutgers.
The audience also began yelling when a student leader was barred from speaking. He had missed the 24-hour notice period.
When the board reopened the meeting, most of the audience had left. Three reporters remained with the board when the meeting was closed.