Rider President Extended Through 2024

October 27, 2020

Rider University extended the term of its president, Gregory Dell’Omo, by two years, it announced Monday.

The move means Dell’Omo, who started at the private nonprofit university in August 2015, now has an appointment lasting to July 31, 2024. Dell’Omo’s tenure has been controversial in large part because of battles over the future of Westminster Choir College, which was located in Princeton, N.J., about seven miles away from Rider’s main campus in Lawrenceville, N.J.

At the end of 2016, Rider leaders considered relocating Westminster to the university’s main campus because of budget pressures. Students and alumni fought that idea, and Rider instead tried to sell the nonprofit choir college. The sale in turn drew massive pushback when Rider in 2018 named as buyer a for-profit company based in China, Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co. Rider scrapped the sale last year, instead returning to plans to relocate the choir college.

Along the way, members of Rider’s American Association of University Professors chapter voted no confidence in Dell’Omo in 2017. They cited “a series of rash actions” and criticized his leadership style.

A Monday news release announcing Dell’Omo’s extension cited “the successful transition of Westminster Choir College from Princeton to Lawrenceville, a process which concluded in the summer of 2020. This effort to create one strong, resilient and cohesive university represents another investment in the future of Rider.”

That news release also pointed to new academic programs, an engaged learning program, a master facilities plan and growing donor support as accomplishments during the president’s tenure.

“In addition to his unwavering resolve to transform Rider into a fiscally strong institution committed to its mission of student growth, transformation and leadership, the trustees are confident in President Dell’Omo’s future vision and plan to ensure the successful growth and development of Rider University,” said the chair of Rider’s board, Robert S. Schimek, in a statement. “I am certain his leadership will continue to propel our university forward.”

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