Letter from Joe Gowaskie, Professor of History, Emeritus
Dear Emeritus Faculty, Many of you know me; some may not. For 43 years (1971-2014) I had the privilege of serving in the Department of History at Rider University (then College). I participated in the strike of 1974 and served for several years on the AAUP Executive Council and as president in 1981. Like many private colleges and universities today Rider is facing some serious financial problems which the institution must come together to resolve. Only four months after the new president Dr. Gregory Dell'Omo took over, he announced the lay-off of 14 faculty (most tenured) and the cutting of some 13 programs. To avoid a long drawn out and nasty arbitration fight, the AAUP offered a number of concessions including no wage increases for the last two years of the current contract (the first year had no wage increase). During the next school year, the administration insisted that the previous faculty concessions were not enough, deficits were continuing and more faculty give-backs were necessary. In January 2017, the AAUP proposed a five-year contract with no wage increases for the first three years (this would mean 6 consecutive years without a wage increase) and serious cuts in other areas totaling $11.5 million by year 2020. The administration countered with a huge increase in workload of 4 & 4 and major reductions in starting salary, adjunct pay, and pension benefits. They also threatened to not continue negotiations beyond the current contract's ending date of Aug. 31, 2017. My purpose in contacting you is to urge you to become knowledgeable with the crisis at Rider, if you haven't done so. The AAUP's website is rideraaup.net, the Rider News is online at firstname.lastname@example.org.Of course, there is the university's website. Other sites include nj.com and philly.com. Lastly your former colleagues and friends would love your support. In all my years at Rider I have never seen such low morale and such fear for the future. All that we have worked so hard to build is in real jeopardy.
In solidarity, Joe Gowaskie Professor of History, Emeritus