Planet Princeton

Rider University to Consider Closing Down Westminster Choir College’s Princeton Campus

Westminster Choir College, Rider University

Rider University President Gregory Dell’Omo told faculty and staff last week that the school may need to shut down Westminster Choir College’s Princeton campus, sell the property, and consolidate all students, faculty and staff onto the Lawrence campus to avoid a deficit that is projected to be $13.1 million by 2019.

The potential closing of the Princeton campus was first reported by The Rider News, the student newspaper at Rider University.

The teachers’ union at the university has offered concessions that would save the school up to $5.5 million annually by 2020, but school officials claimed the short-term concessions are not enough.

Dell’Omo said Rider University needs to increase its enrollment by 114 undergraduate students by the fall 2017 and find $7.8 million in savings or face a $7 million deficit in fiscal year 2018. The school would need to increase enrollment by another 46 undergraduate students in the fall 2018 and find $7.2 million in savings, or the deficit would increase to $13.1 in 2019.

Campus consolidation is being studied and a decision will not be reached until February, school officials said. Westminster professors and students have been upset about the possibility of the Princeton campus being shut down, saying it will ruin the character of the choir college.

The potential move comes at a time when Princeton University is looking at expanding its campus. The Princeton Public Schools district is also looking to expand as school enrollment climbs.

Visit The Rider News for the full story.

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Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

12 comments

  • He has shut it down now. Rider students got a pretty harsh email about a week ago.

  • The Rider president probably had a musical girlfriend who dumped his sorry ass and now hates anything to do with music. His lack of forward thinking and leadership should prove his inability to cope.

  • I think with a few minor modifications, you can make that into a pretty sweet McMansion.

    😐

  • I agree, it will be sad if they leave. But those wonderful interactions we/I have had, don’t necessarily pay all their bills. Running a college is very, very expensive.

  • I think the commenter was writing about the town of Princeton. Not Princeton University.

  • chjenkins – the genre is responsible for most modern music that you probably listen to in more ways then you think, and it has stood the test of time for centuries.

  • What’s a dying genre? Do you mean classical music? If so, you couldn’t be more wrong. Many Westminster Choir College graduates are finding work quite easily.

    Also, the financial problems aren’t with Westminster Choir College, rather with Rider University. Rider is using WCC as a means to correct failings at the Lawrenceville campus. In doing so, they are, at the least, damaging the international reputation of WCC and, at the worst, destroying a major musical institution.

  • Rider*

    I think this is more about Rider University than it is about Princeton. The Ivy League school should have more of an influence on the neighborhood than it’s neighbor, in Lawrenceville.

  • This campus is a Princeton “institution”. Too many such places in Princeton are falling, or have fallen, by the wayside in recent years. Every single attempt should be made by Ryder Univ to find additional solutions to those mentioned here in order to keep the campus open. Closing it will represent an incalculable loss the Princeton & a black mark in perpetuity against Ryder Univ.

  • The campus was basically our back yard growing up. We used to have a lot of interaction with the alumni and the students in the local music programs.

  • This is sad to hear. Westminster Choir College has been a fixture and brings a tremendous sense of culture to the town. I remember playing around on the campus when I was a child living on Linden Lane.

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