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Faculty Union at Rider U. Votes No Confidence in University’s President

Updated (4/19/2017, 7:07 p.m.) with a statement by President Dell’Omo.

Members of Rider University’s faculty union have voted no confidence in the New Jersey institution’s president, Gregory G. Dell’Omo, with 75 percent of the votes against him.

“A series of rash actions by President Dell’Omo and a decade of dubious financial management by his financial team has compelled Rider’s faculty to pass the motion,” the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors said in a statement.

Specific complaints about Mr. Dell’Omo included his decision, just weeks after he took office, to announce layoffs; his “refusal to negotiate”; and the decision to close the university’s Westminster Choir College, which had merged with Rider in 1992, after 2018.

“The university is facing continued deficits over the next several years which cannot be sustained without adversely impacting the university as a whole,” Mr. Dell’Omo and the chair of the Board of Trustees, Michael B. Kennedy, said last year in announcing that they were considering selling the 23-acre Westminster campus, in nearby Princeton, N.J., in order to consolidate the campus.

Mr. Dell’Omo took office in August 2015 during a challenging period at Rider. Last year enrollment dropped to its lowest level in the last two decades, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Aaron Moore, a communications professor at Rider, last month defended Mr. Dell’Omo. “It’s someone coming in making changes, and by nature these changes are going to alter the way these people have worked the past 25, 30 years, so they’re going to be upset with the president,” he said.

In a written statement quoted by the Inquirer, Mr. Dell’Omo said he was disappointed by the vote but was “deeply committed” to working with the union. “I will continue to meet with academic departments and other groups across the university to discuss the challenges facing Rider,” he went on, “and remain open to any and all ideas that will help us address these issues.”

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