Rider Faculty Show Solidarity

The following is a media release issued today by the Rider University (New Jersey) AAUP:

The faculty of Rider University is standing in solidarity at the beginning of the fall as contract negotiations, which started in the summer and continue with little progress being made.

The administration has put forth draconian proposals that will negatively affect almost every aspect of the current effective contract. As a result, every faculty member is taking an active interest in the negotiations.

As the fall semester began, over 250 faculty members walked past President Mordechai Rozanski, who was to deliver his convocation speech. Each faculty member was wearing white shirts with the chapter’s logo and the statement “United We Stand.” The long single-file line of faculty entering the auditorium delayed the beginning of the president’s address by 10 minutes as each person passed Rozanski and other administrators.

The long, silent, uniform line, which included AAUP President Rudy Fichtenbaum, sent a clear message. Chapter President Gary Brosvic stated, “Before the president was to speak, he had to hear our message, we stand united and universally oppose their proposals.

Rider AAUP Chief Negotiator Jeff Halpern believes that the show of force will demonstrate that the faculty are willing to stand united even if a strike is called. Halpern hopes that a sensible agreement can be reached and a strike can be avoided.

While the administration has publicly echoed this last sentiment their actions suggest the opposite. They have placed ads seeking “possible part-time openings in all disciplines” in at least ten different online websites in order to try to replace the faculty with scab labor. This action has not only resulted in further unifying the bargaining unit, it has angered the student body. In a recent editorial, the staff of the student newspaper pointedly reminded the administration that “by placing hundreds of substitute teachers in the classrooms or online, this short-term solution would break momentum, change expectations, cause hard feelings and damage the university’s academic reputation.”

Students are also supporting the chapter’s efforts to maintain the current, effective contract. The student’s editorial ends, “there is one famous saying that can provide a solution to this conflict: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We feel that Rider is already an amazing institution that produces well-rounded students because they are educated by well-rounded professors.” The faculty could not agree more, and they are proud of the students’ show of support.

To read the student editorial in The Rider News go here.

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