By Lauren Lavelle
As a result of an unanimous decision from Rider’s Board of Trustees on Nov. 9, President Gregory Dell’Omo will return for a second term through July 31, 2022.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Robert Schimek announced the decision in a campus-wide email detailing Dell’Omo’s various accomplishments since taking on the role of president in August 2015.
“In addition to his unwavering resolve to transform Rider into a fiscally strong institution committed to its mission of student growth, transformation and leadership, the trustees are confident in President Dell’Omo’s future vision and plan to ensure the successful growth and development of Rider University,” Schimek said in the statement. “I am certain his leadership will continue to propel our university forward.”
The statement also highlighted Dell’Omo’s work with the university’s new strategic plan and his efforts to create “the most ambitious capital campaign in university history,” according to Schimek.
Kristine Brown, associate vice president for university marketing and communications, said the Board of Trustees completed a thorough evaluation before deciding to grant Dell’Omo a second term.
“The board of trustees completed a thorough evaluation of President Dell’Omo’s performance, taking into account the many achievements he has realized since his arrival at Rider in 2015,” Brown said. “The trustees wholeheartedly believe President Dell’Omo has been an exceptional leader of our institution over the past three years, and collectively, they are extremely pleased he will continue to lead our university.”
Micheal Brogan, a political science professor and AAUP president, expressed his concerns about Dell’Omo’s second term as president and deemed him unfit for the position.
“Based on actual outcome data, most indicators point in the opposite direction of Chairman Schimek’s claims as to why he and the board of trustees ‘unanimously’ extended Dell’Omo’s contract,” Brogan said. “The U.S. News and World Report has downgraded Rider’s ranking every year Dell’Omo has been president, faculty and staff morale was at all time lows during his tenure and Dell’Omo is currently being sued by [Westminster Choir College] students, alumni, former board of trustee members and donors over the illegitimate sale of Westminster Choir College.”
Brogan hopes the board of trustees will reassess its decision in the near future.
“I hope the board of trustees reconsiders its position and takes a long hard look at Dell’Omo’s track record at Rider,” he said. “This is not ‘A’ level work.”
Associate Professor of Voice Thomas Faracco was also taken back by the statement when it was released.
“I think the timing of this announcement is very odd,” said Faracco. “It seems like a ploy to counter all of the negative publicity his presidency has caused for the university.”
Overall though, Faracco said the decision lays in the hands of the board of trustees.
“The board of trustees is responsible for hiring the president and if they are pleased with his work, it’s certainly makes sense to renew him for another term, whatever that term may be,” he said.