Professor calls out contradictions at convocation 

By Joel Feldman 

I WAS astonished to hear Rider’s president say at the faculty and staff convocation that we have to work together whatever our differences. This is a man who has never worked together with anyone. He has operated through threats to extort concessions from the faculty. He has shoved a sham prioritization process down our throats against our loud objections. He has destroyed successful programs by unilaterally announcing eliminations that saved virtually no money in violation of every principle of shared governance. He has reduced our beloved choir college to a shadow of its former glory. 

We told him that he would lose the lawsuit and that we would lose the land in Princeton, but he refused to listen. Now he is throwing good money after bad by pursuing a fruitless appeal. He has trashed the institution financially after repeated sacrifices from the faculty and now he comes to us asking for more concessions and threatening layoffs. At no point has he ever taken any responsibility for the disastrous consequences of his reckless actions, and he has continually blamed everyone else. Then he has the unmitigated gall to speak of “working together.”

No. I will not work with him. I will not work with him to advance the continued destruction of the institution to which I have devoted my life. I will not work with him to pursue a path forward which leads over a cliff. Nor does it make any sense to try to talk or reason with him. At this point, I am just waiting for him to leave, because I don’t think anything will get better until he does, and there is not much I can do in the meantime. Sadly, I speak with many faculty members every day who express this same sense of helplessness, but all I can do is to continue to do my job, to teach and inspire my students the best I can, in the midst of the perpetual disaster machine that Rider has become under this administration.

If Gregory Dell’Omo had one shred of integrity, one ounce of concern for this institution, then he would step aside for the good of that institution and let someone else lead to give us a new start. That is why I held a sign at the convocation asking the president to resign. I don’t expect it to happen, but he will eventually leave, and I just hope we get better leadership next time. Then I will enthusiastically lend my hands and my heart to work together to rebuild this institution.

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