Retirees are taking memories and making plans

As part of last year’s negotiations, the university and the Rider Chapter of the AAUP came to an agreement in which certain faculty members were offered incentives to voluntarily separate.

The university offered up to 11 special voluntary incentive packages for the 2015-16 academic year. Next year, there will be six.

“[All potential candidates] must be at least 65 years of age and a full-time employee of the University for at least 10 years as of June 30, 2016,” the email from Robert Stoto, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action, and Jeffrey Halpern, AAUP chief negotiator.  “The voluntary incentive benefit shall be 125 percent of current base salary, paid in three equal installments in September of 2016, and the two succeeding years thereafter.”

In addition to the voluntary separation program, a phased voluntary separation program was also offered to those who have completed at least 10 years of full-time employment at the university, attained at least age 62 by June 30, 2016, for anyone choosing to phase over three years, or those who have attained at least age 63 by June 30, 2016 for anyone choosing to phase over two years.

“All such bargaining unit members shall receive contractual benefits, calculated using the actual salary earned, plus compensation at 75% of the full-time base salary that they would have received had they not selected phased retirement under this one time offer,” Stoto and Halpern said in the email.

List of official retirees

Retiring at the end of the 2015-16 academic year:

Deborah Rosenthal, professor, Fine Arts Department

Dr. Christine Lentz, associate professor, Management Department

Dr. Donald Wygal, associate professor, Accounting Department

Dr. Nancy Westburg, professor, Graduate Education

Dr. Richard Burgh, acting chairperson, Mathematics Department

Dr. Linda Materna, professor, Foreign Language & Literature

Dr. Ava Baron, professor, Sociology Department

Taking phased retirement of two or three years:

Dr. Tamar Jacobson, chairperson, Teacher Education

Dr. Charles Schwartz, professor, Mathematics Department

Dr. Susan Denbo, professor, Marketing, Advertising & Legal Studies Department

Dr. Radharao Chaganti, professor, Management Department

Dr. Anne Salvatore, professor, English Department

Dr. Maury Randall, chairperson, Finance & Economics Department

Dr. James Dickinson, professor, Sociology Department

Dr. Jerry Rife, chairperson, Fine Arts Department

Dr. Pamela Brown, chairperson, Communication/Journalism Department

Dr. Donald Ambrose, professor, Graduate Education

Dr. Richard Swain, associate professor, Fine Arts Department

unnamed-4Linda Materna, Spanish professor

I don’t have one [favorite memory], but many. Among them are being able to be the first director of the Rider University Theme Program (circa 1998-2002) and being the first director of the Center for International Education.

Because time brings institutional changes that one cannot even imagine in the present, it is difficult to identify my impact on Rider. I hope to have lasting impact upon the students I have taught. I always have sought to inspire them to see life as a journey of learning and self-discovery, and to take responsibility as an individual and as a citizen.

My plans [after retirement] are varied. One plan is to open myself to new horizons by inviting the unexpected. That is how I will grow. More concretely, I hope to develop further my watercolor skills, my yoga and Buddhist practices, research Spanish and Cuban theater, reconnect with old friends and make new ones, and travel. Living abroad and learning other languages is also appealing.


unnamed-7Tamar Jacobson, early childhood education program professor

I had been at Rider for about a year when Mort, the former president, stopped me on the path while I was walking to lunch. He said, “Hi, Tamar!” (he knew my name, I thought to myself!) and then he said he enjoyed reading my blog. I was amazed that the president of the university took the trouble to know even the newest of faculty.

I hope I will be remembered for working hard to promote the early childhood program at Rider.

After retirement I hope to work with teachers and directors of early childhood programs all over the country — presenting, consulting, and writing a couple more books. I have a lot to do. I will enjoy doing it all at my own pace!

unnamed-5Nancy Westburg, associate professor,         counseling services

My fond memories at Rider are many. I remember when I first arrived at Rider and how excited I was to begin my teaching career. The students and faculty were welcoming and made me feel at home. I was thrilled when I received tenure and when I was promoted to professor. Over the years, I loved working with our counseling students to help them develop into compassionate professional counselors. I am appreciative for wonderful colleagues who were supportive and committed. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served on the Rider Chapter of AAUP as president and on three negotiating teams. I feel honored to have received numerous awards for my service at Rider, to the counseling profession and in the community.

I hope I had a positive impact through mentoring and being a source of support for hundreds of our students and my colleagues. I hope my research on hope and laughter has a lasting influence on the wellness focus in our counseling curriculum and training. Furthermore, I hope my leadership as director has made the counseling program stronger so that it continues its mission of training outstanding professional counselors.

I have mixed feelings about leaving Rider. On one hand, I will miss the students and my colleagues. On the other hand, after I retire, I look forward to moving closer to my family so I can spend more time with my children and grandchildren. I will be able to do more of the activities I love: golf, bridge, acting, pilates, reading and volunteering. But Rider will always be in my heart.

Deborah Rosenthal
Deborah Rosenthal

Deborah Rosenthal, fine arts professor

Teaching is a way that serious painters support themselves, but teaching was always a privilege for me — a way that I could support myself spending my time thinking about painting, about art, and being involved in the world of the arts and humanities that was, is, the academy.

One of the courses that I think had the greatest impact on my students is a New York seminar for which students came every other week to spend a full day looking and drawing at the museums, mostly in New York — the Metropolitan, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim. For an artist, the museum is really the place where one goes to educate oneself — a lifelong activity for an artist.

I’ll miss being engaged regularly with young people who are just starting out in art, or who are just coming to their first artistic experiences. I’ll miss having the revelations I had myself as we talked about works of art.

I won’t miss the regular weekly interruption of my studio time. And I won’t miss the administrative duties of being a professor — which I take seriously, but which are much less significant, in the end, than one’s impact on students.

I’ve had many exceptional or extraordinary students. I’ve been very happy to witness (and participate in) the transformation of some of my students, the development of their critical sense, their taste, their sophistication, their imaginations, in fact. As one of the many who’ve written to me about my impact on them said, “You changed everything for me.”

Painters don’t retire, and I’m a painter first and foremost. I will paint! And as usual get ready for my next New York show at the gallery where I’ve had many shows over the years. And I write about art, and presumably will have a bit more leisure to do that as well.

Try to keep art going at Rider, threatened as it is — it belongs with the liberal arts and sciences, as one of the most important ways that we as human beings explore the world we are born into. And keep in touch!

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button