By Stephen Neukam
Rider will extend the pay cuts taken by top officials at the school that are set to expire at the end of October, a move that continues the university’s quest of cutting costs after the “devastating” effects of the coronavirus on its finances, according to a top university official.
The university is weeks away from a public announcement on the salary reductions, but according to Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown, the cuts are expected to extend to the president, his cabinet, deans and the associate provost.
Brown did not provide specifics on the extent or length of the reductions.
In May, as part of its early response to the pandemic, key members of the administration took salary reductions that were slated to last for six months. President Gregory Dell’Omo took a 25% reduction, while the cabinet and deans accepted a 10% cut.
Brown refused to disclose the projected savings from the move, saying the university intends to report its total financial savings this fiscal year “very soon.”
“At this time we are not going to report publicly the individual cost savings of any one action taken as part of this comprehensive strategy, but rather, we will be reporting out to our university community very soon on the total financial savings we expect to achieve this fiscal year,” said Brown.
President of Rider’s Chapter of the American Association of University Professors Arthur Taylor, a professor in the Information Systems, Analytics and Supply Chain Management Department, pointed out that the university’s faculty had not received a pay raise in over six years.
“A one-year pay freeze for Rider’s top administrators and a 25% pay cut for what is already outsized pay for a college president is a welcomed start in reigning in Rider’s bloated administrative budget,” said Taylor.
Brown pointed out that the decision was part of the university’s larger plan to cut costs in the face of the coronavirus. Last month, the school decided to lay off the dean of the College of Continuing Studies and attempt to consolidate its programs into other areas of the university and in the process eliminate a total of five positions. The cut was expected to save the university $500,000 annually, according to administrators.
However, in an Sept. 30 email to faculty, the union disputed the university’s ability to unilaterally close a college that is part of the collective bargaining agreement, and vowed to take steps to “defend academic governance.”
Brown also said that the administration is working closely with the Board of Trustees to monitor its financial situation.
“The university’s administration works closely with the board of trustees, particularly regarding important strategic issues, including financial decisions and plans,” said Brown