Demonstration planned to protest sale of Choir College


Westminster Choir College

Phillip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
By Philip Sean Curran
Staff Writer
A demonstration is planned Monday afternoon at Rider University’s Westminster Choir College to protest the proposed sale of the music school.
Rider’s faculty union announced the planned protest in a news release, in which a union leader said the university should reverse course.
“We urge the board of trustees to rescind this decision and to begin the long, hard task of rebuilding trust with all of Rider’s stakeholders,” Jeffrey Halpern, an associate professor who is the chief negotiating officer for the Rider chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

“We are aware of the rally planned on the Princeton campus, and respect the right of our faculty members to participate in such activities,” said Rider spokeswoman Kristine A. Brown. “The Administration is deeply committed to working the AAUP leadership towards solutions that will ensure Rider University’s long-term stability and competitiveness.”

In March, university President Gregory G. Dell’Omo announced that Rider would end its relationship with Westminster by looking for a buyer. With the two sides headed in opposite directions, Rider is interested in finding an entity to keep the school in Princeton.
Another alternative is for Rider to identify a buyer interested in only the music school, which would leave the university to find a different suitor for the more than 20-acre-campus.
While the university has been in touch with the town, there have been no recent talks, the municipality said this week. Current zoning of the campus would allow for one- and two-family homes and in some sections, town homes and multiple dwellings.
The Princeton School Board has expressed interest in acquiring the property, but is waiting for Rider’s process to play out to find a new owner for the Choir College.