To the editor:
I feel compelled to write this message in response to the letter to the editor my colleague, Thomas Simonet, published last week in The Rider News. In his piece, Simonet made a public condemnation of President Gregory Dell’Omo during a period of negotiations between the faculty union and administration.
Unlike Simonet, who will retire at the end of this year, I approve of Dell’Omo’s forward thinking and fully support his decisions to make Rider University a better place today and tomorrow.
All of those within Rider University who bleed cranberry, regardless of their position, would be best served by being realistic about the current marketplace. We must lend ideas, expertise and possible solutions to leadership when times are tough instead of being dogmatically antagonistic and sending passive-aggressive shots across the bow.
Rider, as a business, must make fiscal adjustments, examine new revenue streams and reduce spending, as do all colleges and universities during this time of economic upheaval within the higher education sector. The ways and means of the past are no longer viable; therefore, Rider needs to make difficult fiscal adjustments which will provide the school with a better financial standing.
I’m sure most people working within their own jobs that have had to recently make difficult cuts to stay afloat won’t feel too sympathetic towards Rider faculty members who contractually only work 10 months (and in practice 9 months).
Unfortunately, there are some within the faculty who want to continue to call upon the antiquated playbook of us-versus-them mentality when it comes to their relationship with the administration. Now is the time for all stakeholders to support each other, not send our school down the perilous path to become the next Detroit.
I see what Dell’Omo is doing and support his leadership that will make Rider a better place. I would have preferred to keep these disputes in-house. However, as someone who knows a little something about public relations, I can unequivocally say these vocal denunciations against the president provide no value and are disruptive to the school in countless ways.
I’ve made a long-term, professional commitment to Rider and want it to be a better place next year, five years from now, decades from now. I believe Dell’Omo will bring us to that point.
Professor of communications
Printed in the 3/29/17 issue.