Adjunct GoFundMe totals $16,628, citing ‘No Raises’

By Jake Tiger

After a somewhat-viral social media push from Rider’s musical theater students, an adjunct professor’s GoFundMe campaign, titled “No Raises at Rider,” amassed $16,628 in donations, supporting an instructor who claimed to be facing bankruptcy, according to the campaign’s page.

Louis Goldberg, who specializes in musical theater, has worked at Rider as an adjunct for almost two decades and has not received a cost-of-living increase in 10 years, according to the GoFundMe posted on Feb. 19.

Goldberg declined multiple interview requests from The Rider News.

After its conclusion, the campaign was renamed simply to “No Raises,” removing all mentions of Rider and its employees.

The fundraising lasted for seven days in February, totaling 248 donations with the highest single contribution being $555.

The donations included contributions from Goldberg’s students, like senior musical theater major Avery Gallagher, who chipped in $15.

Working with him extensively throughout her time at Rider, Gallagher sang praises for the adjunct, stating that he has been a valuable, dedicated professor and mentor to his students.

“He is just a library of information,” said Gallagher, who is currently working with Goldberg for her “Senior Spotlight” performance. “He’s just such a genuinely good person. … He’s been teaching here forever.”

Gallagher said she received a thank-you text from Goldberg, and that he ended the campaign himself because he was overwhelmed by the support. 

Before the GoFundMe went up, Gallagher said that she and Goldberg would talk about shared financial anxieties and “making ends meet” while inflation continued to increase.

“[Rider President Gregory] Dell’Omo’s salary keeps going up, the cost of tuition keeps going up,” said Gallagher. “We’re not seeing that reflected in our teachers’ salaries, and our teachers are what make up the school.”

According to Quinn Cunningham, president of Rider’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, adjuncts at Rider currently make between $4,120 and $5,815 per course and can only teach up to two classes in a semester.

Cunningham said it was “almost guaranteed” that the $16,628 Goldberg raised was more than what he typically makes in a semester at Rider.

“We’re at the point where there’s faculty getting on GoFundMe to raise money,” said Cunningham. “I can certainly understand, particularly for our adjuncts, the struggle that they are facing, not having had any kind of substantial increase in over 10 years.”

In 2021, members of the AAUP’s bargaining unit, including adjuncts like Goldberg, received an average 3% increase in pay, amounting to a flat increase of about $3,000 for full-time faculty and less for adjuncts, according to Cunningham.

Because it was an increase based on the average salary, the impact varied from member to member; the $3,000 bump was around a 1% increase for some full-time business faculty, while liberal arts salaries went up almost 4%, Cunningham said.

“For some people, that may have qualified as cost of living, but I think for most people, that didn’t even technically reach a cost-of-living increase at that point,” said Cunningham, who is an associate professor of business management. 

Adjuncts had their 3% raise broken up into 1.6% and 1.4% increases in the fall and spring, respectively. Cunningham said this was “definitely not” a cost-of-living increase.

The current AAUP collective bargaining agreement includes plans for faculty raises in the next few years, with raises of 0.25% in fiscal 2025 and 2% in each of fiscal 2026 and 2027.

Related Articles

Back to top button