As students, we’re supposed to major in what we love to do, make enough money to offset the cost to learn from a respected institution and then ride off into the sunset, right?
No, the understanding of colleges and the business world is to major in what’s practical. For seniors in high school deciding on where to go to college, it seems dinner talk revolves around finding a field that will provide income to pay off the exorbant amount of loans students have. Because of the state of education and Rider’s $7.6 million deficit, it’s time for the university to reevaluate its program offerings.
This past week, President Gregory Dell’Omo did just that — he cut 14 programs and laid off 14 professors. Unfortunate, we know. However, Rider is simply not in a strong enough financial state to support underperforming programs.
The cuts hurt, and they happened in a horrible, campus-shattering fashion, but they needed to happen. Rider University cannot continue to face this deficit and expect to be an upstanding institution.
Our university will never reclaim or surpass its former glory unless the students understand that we need to find the economic power to invest in its growth.
Attracting students with dorms that have not received attention since Marty McFly traveled through time back in 1985 will not mean a brighter future for the Broncs.
As counterintuitive as it may seem for an academic institution to focus its economic resources on anything other than education, Dell’Omo had a point when he said at the Town Hall meeting on Oct. 29 that he would have built more West Villages. It’s the campus atmosphere that needs the attention.
Unfortunately, every university can pretend its academics are impeccable. What wows prospective students is the physical campus. So, when tour guides are encouraged to avoid those old, broken-down dorms we’re all forced to live in until we become old enough to select a decent home, it doesn’t help our enrollment problem.
And for those who love to say Rider has no social life? News flash: Cosmo and Wanda can’t wave their magic wands and bring Kanye West in on Aladdin’s magic carpet. That costs money.
The happiness level at Rider has not been high, as evidenced by The Rider News’ survey conducted last spring. In that poll, 30 percent of Rider’s students defined themselves as “not too happy.” How can the university fix that problem? Solutions require money and money requires program cuts.
The sliced programs were not going to bring in enough students to pull their own weight. Not enough students go to college saying they want to go into these majors. It’s not always because these programs are useless, but it can happen because many of them seem “impractical” to parents.
As a result, the university needs to reassess its offerings and begin to follow the trends within education.
While students within those majors and minors may find it difficult to adapt, they must realize that we asked for a change, we asked for a better Rider, and a better Rider we shall receive. No, it may not happen immediately, but at least if our school grabs some extra spending money now, we’ll be able to salvage the remainder of our Bronc careers.
That being said, the administration could have handled these cuts much better. In fact, let me take this time to conclude by addressing the president.
Dear President Dell’Omo,
We’d like to know where you think this university is headed because, right now, your supporters are investing faith in you based on the assumption that you have a long-term vision. Please speak to the entire student body to inspire confidence in the course of Rider by expressing some kind of mission statement. Get the students excited for the future rather than upset with the present cuts. Assure them that these cuts make sense and that cuts now will help Rider. Promise them that we are not going to break down every program until the university has nowhere else to turn.
Concerned college students
This weekly editorial expresses the minority opinion of The Rider News. This editorial was written by the executive editor, Thomas Regan.
Printed in the 11/04/15 issue.