POSTED BY RUDY FICHTENBAUM
The Rider University AAUP chapter is circulating a petition calling on the Rider board of trustees to stop the university’s proposed sale of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, to Kaiwen, a Chinese for-profit company with no experience in higher education. The costly negotiations for the deal, which is detrimental to the interests of the college’s faculty, students, and alumni, are an extreme example of the corporatization trends threatening higher education today. In making, without meaningful faculty input, a decision likely to destroy this illustrious music school—less valuable to Kaiwen than the prime real estate it occupies—the Rider administration has demonstrated a complete disregard for principles of shared governance. We urge you to sign the petition below and share it on social media.
Petition to Save Westminster Choir College
Westminster Choir College of Rider University (Westminster) is located in Princeton New Jersey. Westminster was founded in 1926 and moved to Princeton in 1934. In 1992, Westminster merged with the institution which would become Rider University.
Westminster Choir College is one of the world’s leading music schools and has been described by many as a cultural gem. Its choirs have performed with most of the world’s greatest orchestral conductors of the last 100 years and have have performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Its choirs have also performed with all major American orchestras. Additionally, its international reputation has led to performances with the world’s greatest international orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and others.
After the appointment of Greg Dell’Omo as President of Rider University in 2015, Rider’s Board of Trustees decided to sell Westminster Choir College, an unprecedented action in the world of American not for profit Higher Education. The Rider University administration is presently negotiating to sell Westminster Choir College to Kaiwen Educational, a Chinese for-profit company that owns two for profit high schools in China. Kaiwen has no experience in higher education or musical education and was until January of this year the Jiangsu Zhongtai Bridge Steel Structure Co. Ltd a company specializing in bridge fabrication.
It is clear from the terms of this attempted sale that Rider’s administration is determined on pursuing a path forward which will lead to the destruction of Westminster Choir College.
If you would like to send a message to Rider’s administration to stop this process please sign the petition at this link.
For more information on the efforts to save Westminster Choir College see these sites:
We encourage you to share this petition with others. A direct link to the petition is here.