Rider University’s faculty union advanced a proposal to save $5.5 million over three years, which would avoid the need for layoffs and program cutbacks, according Diane Campbell, president of the New Jersey American Association of University Professors and a faculty member at Rider. “The state AAUP urges Rider management to accept the local’s proposal and preserve academic continuity for students,” she said. “Work in good faith with the faculty to try to resolve the budget problem without resorting to unnecessary layoffs and cutbacks which will hurt students.”
The Higher Education Leadership Council (HELC) is calling on Rider management to work collaboratively with the faculty and listen to the calls from students to maintain academic standards, according to New Jersey state AAUP vice president Joe Doria, of St. Peter’s. He said that constructive problem-solving is critical because students could lose access to their intended majors and transferable credits if programs are eliminated and faculty support is lessened.
Doria was the first chair of the Assembly higher education committee when it was created in 1985 and is critical of the decline in state aid for higher education under Governor Chris Christie and the elimination of per pupil funding for private institutions. “The state money cut from Rider’s budget might have been enough to avoid many of the proposed cuts there,” said Doria.
The American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ) is the largest higher education union federation in the state. “Rider management should listen to the faculty and students to avoid hurting the academic mission of the school,” said AFTNJ president Donna M. Chiera. “A school is a community that needs all of its members working together to be effective and that is especially true when times are tough.”
— Nat T. Bender
American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFTNJ)
Printed in the 11/11/15 issue.