By Amethyst Martinez
After a whirlwind year at the university that included fear of layoffs, top officials leaving and financial uncertainty, Rider President Gregory Dell’Omo participated in a sit-down interview Jan. 25 with The Rider News to talk about what is next not only for Rider, but his tenure as president.
Dell’Omo, who has been president of the university since 2015, remained mum on whether or not he was planning to retire in July 2025, when his current contract extension ends.
In the interview, Dell’Omo declined to say whether there were plans for a contract extension.
“We haven’t talked about it with the board yet,” said Dell’Omo. “At some point in time, probably in the next six months, the board and I will have a conversation.”
Last January, in an interview with The Rider News, when asked if 2025 would be his last year as president at the university, Dell’Omo responded, “I think so,” among other comments discussing his retirement 10 years after his tenure began in 2015.
After the interview, The Rider News published an article entitled, “Dell’Omo’s tenure extended, announces plan to retire.” Following the publishing, Dell’Omo sent out an email describing the article as “inaccurate.”
“If and when I have retirement plans, please know that they will be announced formally and directly to the University community, not in the student newspaper,” said Dell’Omo in an universitywide email on Feb. 1, 2023.
In response, The Rider News released the transcript and audio of the interview the same day, standing by its reporting.
Almost two weeks later, Dell’Omo sent out an universitywide email apologizing, saying,“Upon reviewing the transcript and audio of our conversation that was released by the paper, it is readily apparent that I was too ambiguous when speaking about the subject of retirement. I should have been much clearer. Though my contract currently ends July 31, 2025, I truly have not made any definitive decisions about retirement at this moment.”
Last January, his contract was extended from 2024 to 2025, before the spring semester.
“Whenever I decide to retire or the board asks not to renew me, I’m just hoping whenever that occurs, the university’s in a much better financial position, and that’s what I’m focused on,” said Dell’Omo.
Path Forward Plan
Dell’Omo also discussed the Path Forward Plan, his multiyear financial stabilization initiative, which is projected to be in effect until 2027.
The plan consists of ways to pull the university out of its financial crisis – through better enrollments and retention, increased housing numbers and extreme cost reductions.
According to the president, the goals for the plan were hit for the fall semester, with projections to make the spring semester, too, in terms of deficit reduction.
“This year, our goal was to get [the deficit] down to about $7 million, so about a $10 million reduction of the deficit that’s coming in,” said Dell’Omo. “The first year plan is on target.”
After many students went unpaid for months in the fall semester due to disbursements errors and a failed integration of the payroll system ADP, Dell’Omo said that the new system, Banner Web Time Entry, was rolled out smoothly.
“We’re pleased with how it’s turned around, and now it’s getting positive,” said Dell’Omo.
The disbursements office will now use several unique email addresses; firstname.lastname@example.org for account payable invoices and check requests; email@example.com for Rider employees and firstname.lastname@example.org for student payroll.With the new emails, the hope is to segment the inquiries to go in the right place in a quicker fashion, according to the president.