Faculty member reacts to Rider University Tax Form 990 – The Rider News
By Professor Barbara Franz
President Dell’Omo received a nice raise from the board of directors as the university learned that we are living in difficult times and that we will have to implement austerity measures. Amid the coronavirus crisis, the president earned $ 532,400, plus $ 87,712 in additional compensation during the 2019-20 fiscal year. This is an increase of over $ 52,000 from his 2018-2019 salary of $ 480,018 (plus $ 85,399 in additional compensation). Other directors have also obtained increases. For example, while administration laments declining enrollment and smaller freshman classes, vice president of enrollment management Drew Aromando got a raise of $ 36,769, bringing his base salary to $ 239,708.
These salaries compare to an annual base salary of $ 68,210 for a lecturer, $ 74,000 for an assistant professor, $ 90,500 for an associate professor and $ 112,500 for a full professor at Rider University.
All teachers’ salaries have been frozen for almost a decade. As a higher education institution, Rider increased the number of administrators, many of whom are highly paid, by almost 20% and reduced the number of full-time faculty by more than 15% from 2016 to 2020. .
It could be argued that business leaders are entitled to much higher compensation because they make the key decisions that should keep institutions like ours solvent and financially sound. That’s not the case here; Dell’Omo administration has made several very bad decisions since its inception in 2015. For example, in July 2021, analysts at Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Rider University’s bond rating to “junk”, reporting that the agency Credit rating staff is increasingly concerned about the institution’s precarious finances. During Dell’Omo’s reign, Rider’s rating was downgraded once before in 2020. These cuts are in large part the result of the particularly catastrophic and misguided efforts to sell the Princeton land on which Westminster until recently resided. Choir College. The lawsuits and resulting consulting fees alone cost Rider several thousand dollars, overall, this administrative failure cost Rider millions of dollars.
Other bad management decisions will soon have an impact on our faculty and students: Rider recently hired consultancy firm Credo to help them with the current student recruitment and downsizing program. This company appears to underestimate the liberal arts curriculum and encourages administrations to promote expensive professional degrees and certificate programs, rather than well-rounded education, as these programs generate higher tuition income. Hiring this company could suggest that our highly paid directors are running out of ideas.
Rider has what renowned New School For Social Research economist Sanjay Reddy describes as “bloated administration,” with resources increasingly flowing to highly paid administrators rather than faculty and education. . Yet this administration does not make wise business decisions; it is an example of what prominent Johns Hopkins historian Francois Furstenberg has called “top nonsense” in higher education institutions.
Barbara franz, Professor of Political Science and President of the Rider Chapter of the American Association of University Teachers
Originally printed in issue of 9/8/21