The Rider University faculty passed a no-confidence vote today against President Gregory Dell’Omo and his financial team.
Union leaders said Dell’Omo’s decision to institute program cuts and layoffs of tenured faculty just weeks after taking office in 2015, his refusal to seriously negotiate with the faculty union, and the decision to close Westminster Choir College after the 2018 academic year all contributed to the faculty’s loss of confidence. Seventy-five percent of faculty members who voted (305 faculty members), supported the no-confidence move, union leaders said.
“A series of rash actions by President Dell’Omo and a decade of dubious financial management have compelled Rider’s faculty to pass this motion,” said Art Taylor, professor of information systems and Rider AAUP president.
Union leaders said they had hoped for more from Rider’s top administrator. They claimed that during his short time at Rider, Dell’Omo has demonstrated an “autocratic, top-down management style” that diminishes or ignores faculty input, and he has instituted a series of “rash, unjustified actions” the faculty believe are not in keeping with the traditions of Rider University.
“We believe that in order for Rider to flourish, the professional faculty who have dedicated their careers to the institution must be partners in the process of running and building the institution,” Taylor said.
The union has represented Rider’s nearly 500 full- and part-time faculty, librarians, coaches and athletic trainers since 1973. This is the Rider union’s first no-confidence vote. The vote asks president Dell’Omo to take the actions necessary to regain the confidence of faculty.
“We believe the president can begin this process by reaching out to faculty,” Taylor said. “We hope he will continue our long-standing tradition of a truly collaborative and inclusive approach to running the university, something we have long found serves our students best.”
The president’s office has not released a statement about the vote yet. We will update this story when a statement has been released.