By Cristina Rojas | For NJ.com
April 19, 2017
LAWRENCE — Rider University’s faculty members overwhelmingly voted “no confidence” in university president Gregory Dell’Omo, criticizing what they call his autocratic, top-down management style and a series of rash, unjustified actions.
The school’s American Association of University Professors chapter, which represents nearly 500 full- and part-time faculty, librarians, coaches and athletic trainers, approved a resolution this week by a tally of 305 to 100.
The vote, a first for the union, was against Dell’Omo, who assumed the top post Aug. 1, 2015, and Julie Karns, vice president for finance and treasurer.
The union says it has clashed with Dell’Omo over his decision to slash programs and eliminate more than 20 jobs just weeks into his new job. Those cuts were later spared by union concessions.
The union also cited his refusal to seriously negotiate with the faculty union and the decision to sell Westminster Choir College.
“We believe that in order for Rider to flourish, the professional faculty who have dedicated their careers to the institution must be partners in the process of running and building the institution,” said Art Taylor, union president and a professor of information systems.
The vote does not call for Dell’Omo’s resignation, but rather asks that he takes actions to regain the faculty’s confidence.
“We believe the president can begin this process by reaching out to faculty,” Taylor said. “We hope he will continue our longstanding tradition of a truly collaborative and inclusive approach to running the university, something we have long found serves our students best.”
Dell’Omo says he was “disappointed” in the vote, but remains committed to working with the union.
“I will continue to meet with academic departments and other groups across the university to discuss the challenges facing Rider and remain open to any and all ideas that will help us address these issues,” he said in a statement. “It’s important to remember that our goals here are the same — we are all committed to maintaining the vitality of this university and to providing a transformative educational experience.”
Cristina Rojas may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @CristinaRojasTT. Find NJ.com on Facebook.