Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Featured in Interview Regarding Rider University Divestment of Westminster Choir College

I recently participated in a radio interview on WWFM The Classical Network (New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and portions of Delaware and Maryland) regarding the announced divestment of Westminster Choir College by Rider University. Rider announced a 12-month process whereby it is working with PricewaterhouseCoopers to identify a potential buyer for WCC. I spoke about the challenges ahead for the institutions, especially in finding a potential new home for WCC. The issue has been an emotional one, with supporters of WCC concerned that Rider would assimilate the WCC programs on Rider's main campus, thus abandoning the WCC campus in Princeton, or simply eliminate the WCC programs altogether and sell off the WCC assets on the Princeton campus. WCC supporters were given a reprieve when Rider announced that officials would work to identify a new home for WCC, but identification of a new home is not guaranteed by any means. In the interview, I highlight the challenges of finding a suitor for WCC, including one that fits within the mission/scope, financial and geographic criteria. The process will be a difficult one, and WCC leadership and supporters should be prepared to be open-minded and flexible throughout the process to ensure the continued existence of the college. Options for keeping the doors open could include merging with an institution that is geographically far away, relocating its campus (which it did twice in its history) or becoming independent again, which would entail a retool of its business model. The portion of the audio recording including my remarks begins at the 18:20 mark of the interview.