Cunningham re-elected for second AAUP term

By Amethyst Martinez

After a chaotic fall semester filled with faculty layoff fears, silent protests against the university president and low morale, Rider’s American Association of University Professors chapter has re-elected Quinn Cunningham as its president for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Cunningham, an associate professor, was first elected last spring following professor David Dewberry, who also served two terms.

Following a semester where unease became familiar until the administration’s October announcement to not lay off any faculty, Cunningham said that union struggles should begin to settle down. 

“It was a little tough in the fall, but I think it’s been a good year overall,” said Cunningham. “I hope to sort of continue trying to be a good representative of our faculty.”

Now, with a signed contract, all union members will receive raises over the next three years, with a 0.25% increase next fall and a 2% increase the following two years. 

“Actually seeing this contract kind of be followed through will be a big thing for our members,” said Cunningham.

Since her arrival in 2014, the professor has seen the university struggle for a decade, from tense contract negotiations with the union to possible strikes. The contract, which will remain in effect for the next three years, gives faculty members and administration the opportunity to build trust following a highly tumultuous past few semesters. 

“It’s been really interesting, I’ve learned a lot,” said Cunningham. “We should be relatively calm for at least a few more years.”

Last year, Cunningham told the Rider News that she hoped to bring positivity back into the union — a feat Dewberry said she is accomplishing, despite problems still remaining. 

“Quinn’s re-election is a testament to how hard she’s worked…and her collaborative spirit,” said Dewberry. 

He said that now, union members are waiting for a change of the administration’s leadership. 

“There’s a sense in the air that it’s going to be soon,” he said. “We’re just waiting for this to pass.”

President Gregory Dell’Omo’s contract expires in 2025, to which he has remained mum about a tenure extension. 

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