By Lauren Lavelle
Rider basketball coach Kevin Baggett took home a nearly $46,000 raise between 2015 and 2016, according to the university’s most recent IRS report, bringing him to $260,929, in annual salary and benefits — the university’s 4th highest-paid employee.
President Gregory Dell’Omo earned $560,164 in salary and benefits — the university’s highest-paid employee that same year. Eight administrators and two professors also earned over $200,000 in salary and benefits in 2016.
The Rider News acquired a copy of Rider’s 2016 IRS 990, which spans from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. Despite this, employee salaries and benefits included on the form are for the 2016 calendar year, according to Kristine Brown, Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Communications.
Baggett’s salary was $226,818 in 2016 plus $34,111 in additional benefits, according to the IRS form. In 2015, Baggett’s earned $181,183 with $29,912 in additional benefits. Baggett took on the role of Head Coach in 2012 and has led the team to 107 wins and 89 losses during his six-year run.
Baggett could not be reached for comment.
“Coach Baggett’s salary is reviewed in comparison to other coaches within our league and is comparable to other head coaching salaries,” said Brown on behalf of President Gregory Dell’Omo.
Compared to MAAC conference rival Quinnipiac University’s basketball coach, Thomas Moore, Baggett is receiving the short end of the stick when it comes to salary intake. According to a copy of Quinnipiac’s 2016 IRS 990 form, Moore earned $497,944 with $51,615 in additional benefits in 2016. Including benefits, that’s nearly $300,000 more than Baggett’s 2016 salary.
In contrast, Marist college basketball coach, Michael Maker, earned $233,519 with $48,409 in additional bonuses, according to Marist’s 2016 IRS 990 form. Including benefits, its a much smaller $21,000 difference from Baggett’s 2016 salary.
For the second year in a row, Julie Karns, vice president of finance, was the highest-paid cabinet member, clocking in with a salary of $268,653 and $77,401 in benefits. In 2015, her salary was $268,407, a small difference. Karns retired in July 2018.
Provost DonnaJean Fredeen earned $232,980 in 2016 with $52,387 in additional benefits, making her the second highest-paid cabinet member.
Dell’Omo’s base salary in 2016 was S481,372. According to Brown, he has not received a raise during his time at Rider. Because Dell’Omo arrived at the university midway through the 2015 annual report, this is the first time his full salary and benefit package has been publicly reported on IRS forms.
Last fall, Dell’Omo told The Rider News that his salary was $475,000. In response to the the additional $6,000 reported in the 2016 IRS form, Brown said, “President Dell’Omo has not received any increase to his base salary during his time here. The difference you are noticing on the 990 form is related to the impact of certain taxable benefits.”
Michael Brogan, a political science professor and AAUP president, reviewed the forms and was concerned with the lack of raises given to non-administrative faculty members. Rider faculty have not had an annual raise since 2014.
“It takes a very cynical person to publicly say that Rider University would not be able to pay its bills by 2019 and at the same time give, or offer, significant raises to a Head athletic Coach and Senior VP cabinet member at the institution,” Brogan said. “People took [Dell’Omo] at his word; perhaps as more information becomes available we should all look critically into what was being told to the university community and what actually happened.”
He also questioned Dell’Omo’s relationship with his faculty.
“His choices at Rider University in regards to his relationship with university faculty speak volumes as to how he perceives this group of employees and reviewing the 990s reinforces the following: President Dell’Omo is anti-faculty and anti-union,” Brogan said. “He should not be surprised the faculty have no confidence in his leadership and overall employee morale is at an all time low as a result of his leadership.”
Brown commented on the lack of faculty raises and said salaries would be negotiated within the next two years.
“Faculty salaries are determined through the collective bargaining process, and are negotiated by the AAUP for the term of the contract,” she said. “The current contract is in place until 2020. Faculty salaries will be negotiated at that time for the next collective bargaining contract.”