Over the course of the past year, I have closely followed the news and opinions published in The Rider News regarding the Westminster Choir College process, and I appreciate the opportunity to provide readers with my thoughts before the semester ends.
First, I want to acknowledge both the feelings of concern and sense of understanding exhibited by our campus community this past year. The apprehension expressed about the uncertainty of this process is quite understandable. I would expect nothing less from important stakeholders like faculty, staff, students and alumni who have asked hard questions and anticipated swift answers.
Conversely, I am grateful to those who recognize our ultimate goal of this effort is to position both Rider University and Westminster Choir College for an even more successful future, where both institutions can survive and thrive independently. This support was clearly expressed by piano professor Ingrid Clarfield’s letter to the editor on March 28, “An optimistic voice for the WCC sale.” There have been many more members of our university community who have stated similar words of understanding and support to me and others throughout this process.
At times this past year, you may have felt that there were more questions than answers, and that is fair. As I have said before, this is an exceptionally complex process that is not just a simple transaction to be taken lightly, but rather a diligent and thoughtful attempt to safeguard the future of Westminster and Rider.
From the very beginning of this endeavor, we have not strayed from our Guiding Principles, which in part state the desire to find a partner with the potential to provide financial stability for Westminster and the university so both institutions are able to move forward with a high level of integrity. We have chosen Kaiwen Education as our partner because of its commitment to preserving and enhancing the ongoing integrity of the Westminster history, brand, mission, artistic standards, programs and the tremendous talent that exists, as well as its ability to see this transaction to a successful conclusion.
I remain confident that we have chosen the right partner and are undertaking the appropriate safeguards to assure Westminster continues to thrive. I assure you that the concern, support and thoughtful input expressed throughout the past year has helped to inform this process.
As I have asked before, I again request your continued patience. We have made great progress toward the completion of a binding contract with Kaiwen Education and I look forward to sharing more details soon.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
Printed in the 4/25/18 issue.