Rider University is cutting 13 majors and one minor and axing 20 jobs, including those of 14 professors. The cuts to business related programs include the elimination of business education, economics, and web design majors. The school is also eliminating the economics bachelor of arts program and the graduate program in organizational leadership. Business and entrepreneurial studies are being downgraded to minors.
Also on the chopping block are art and art history, American studies, French, geosciences, German, marine science, philosophy, and piano. The minor in Italian is being eliminated and the sociology major is being downgraded to a minor.
While the current plan eliminates the art department and faculty at Rider University, the fate of the university’s art gallery and programming are unclear. The gallery is recognized as one of the major art projects in the central New Jersey and has provided opportunities for audiences to view and meet many of the state and region’s most prominent artists, such as the late American architect and artist Michael Graves. Also of concern is the curatorial care for the university’s collection of art amassed over the several decades and the loan of work from the estate of internationally known sculptor Isaac Witkin.
The school said the cuts were aimed at saving $2 million year towards closing a $7.6 million budget gap in its $216 million budget. Rider has seen a drop in enrollment of 9 percent since 2009 to 3,712 students. This year the school reported a 14 percent drop in incoming freshmen while during the same period tuition and fees rose 4.2 percent to $38,360.
The school told reporters that juniors and seniors, but not sophomores and freshmen would be able to complete degrees in the affected subjects. About 272 students, including 123 freshmen and sophomores, are in the affected programs.
University president Gregory Dell’Omo blamed declining enrollment and rising costs for the cuts. A representative of the school’s faculty union said the cuts were not necessary and that it would oppose them.
One student, Kenny Dillon, started a petition opposing the cuts on the website change.org shortly after the announcement. The petition, which had 1,294 supporters as of press time, calls for telling Dell’Omo “This is not okay, and that we do not agree with the closed-door manner in which this decision was arrived at.”
Other students chimed in online to support the petition. A typical comment, signed Katharine Jaworski, said: “I am a Rider senior, environmental science major, and am very disappointed that my advisor and professor were fired. I am NOT proud to be a Bronc if this is how we are going to treat our faculty. Instead of updating buildings, let’s keep our academics strong. If I wasn’t a senior, I would be transferring out.”
#b#Heartland Buys Digital Dining#/b#
Heartland Payment Systems, the payment processing company based on Nassau Street, has bought Digital Dining, a Springfield, Virginia-based provider of restaurant point-of-sale and management systems.
Digital Dining makes tools that allow restaurants to use mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to accept payment alongside conventional terminals. Digital Dining is also used by restaurateurs for table management, delivery, reservations, labor scheduling, inventory, and loyalty programs.
The acquisition is Heartland’s third since 2014. Previously, the company acquired pcAmerica and Dinerware in February and XPIENT Solutions and LiquorPOS in February and November of 2014.
“Digital Dining strengthens Heartland’s obligation to provide our customers with one of the industry’s largest set of commerce solutions that are effective, transparent, and open to partners in all business segments who shun deceptive pricing tactics,” said Robert O. Carr, CEO of Heartland. “Integrating Digital Dining into the Heartland organization allows us to gain operational synergies, substantially grow our commerce footprint, and continue our leadership in exceeding our customers’ requirement of superior services and products including Heartland SecureT, Heartland Secure Out-of-Scope solution, and our comprehensive breach warranty.”
Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc., 6 Wheeling Road, Dayton 08810; 732-839-9400; fax, 732-355-9449. Robert G. Cunard, CEO. www.aurobindousa.com.
Aurobindo has received approval to build a 56,700-square-foot pharmaceutical manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution center facility on 90 acres of land on Windsor Center Drive across from Route 133. The company purchased the site earlier this year. Aurubindo says 400 to 500 people will work at the new building in addition to the employees who work at the company’s existing adjacent plant.
Aurobindo’s portfolio includes a wide array of products covering many therapeutic areas and disease states for both the retail and institutional markets.
Aurobindo USA CEO Robert Cunard said the company planned a long-term presence. “We at Aurobindo Pharma are very excited about our planned expansion into East Windsor,” he said. “East Windsor is a perfect location for Aurobindo’s goal of an expanded U.S. and New Jersey presence.”
The East Windsor location will be the company’s main distribution center and also will provide another site for manufacturing.
Systech One, One Research Way, Princeton 08540; 609-235-8404; Robert DeJean, CEO. www.sytechone.com.
Systech International, a maker of anti-counterfeiting technology, has appointed Mark Quinlan senior vice president of sales. “Mark is a great fit for our rapidly expanding organization,” said CEO Robert DeJean. “He’s aggressive, driven, and has the vision and experience we need to outpace the competition and amplify our position as the global security leader.”
The company said in a press release that it had rapid growth in 2014 and expected more of the same in the future, with the company’s life science business taking off.
Quinlan previously worked at Technicote, an Ohio based labelling company, and Esko, a Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based packaging company.
#b#New in Town#/b#
Brodegaard & Associates, 4390 Route 1, Suite 208, Princeton 08540; 732-400-5300; www.brodegaardlaw.com.
Brodegaard & Associates, a New York-based law firm, has opened an office on Route 1.
Dedicated Senior Advisors (DSA), 3560 Quakerbridge Road, Trenton 08619; 609-588-8704. www.dedicatedsenioradvisors.com.
Dedicated Seniors Advisors has moved from 3673 Quakerbridge Road. The company, whose main office is at 707 Alexander Road, is an independent financial services firm specializing in retirement income planning and long-term care crisis/asset protection planning.
ELITech Group, 707 Alexander Road, Suite 208, Princeton 08540; 609-275-0274; Chandan Chakrabarti, recruiter. www.elitechinc.com.
Tech recruiting firm Elitech has moved from 101 College Road to shared office space on Alexander Road.
Gear 3 Technologies LLC, 31 Airpark Road, Suite 2-1, Princeton 08540; 609-252-1155; fax, 609-252-9660. Bill Mavracic, CEO. www.gear3.com.
Gear3 Technologies, an IT services company, has moved from 600 Alexander Road to 31 Airpark Road. The company provides server hosting, data backup, and other IT services.
MP Engineers, 3700 Route 27, Suite 101, Kingston; 732-274-1400; fax, 866-923-3693. Anjali Shah, assistant manager. www.mpengs.com.
MP Engineers, a construction management firm, has moved from Jefferson Plaza to 3700 Route 27 in Kingston. The firm, headquartered in New York, has done many projects in the city and New Jersey, including an inspection of the Lincoln Tunnel.
Telesto Group LLC, 1 North Johnston Avenue, Suite 116, Hamilton 08609; 609-375-2748; fax, 609-375-2001. Soren Hastrup, CEO. www.telestogroup.com.
Computer consulting firm Telesto Group has moved from State Road to North Johnston Avenue in Hamilton.
F-Squared Investments, 100 Princeton South, Ewing.
F-Squared Investments, an investment management company, has left its office in the Princeton South Corporate Center.
The company reportedly declared bankruptcy this summer. Last December, F-Squared agreed to pay a $35 million settlement to the SEC, which accused the firm of making false claims about the performance of its AlphaSector index.
According to news reports, the settlement was the beginning of a flood of lawsuits for the company including one by a former executive, most of them alleging misrepresentation of its $28.5 billion AlphaSector strategy.
According to the SEC settlement, the AlphaSector strategy was supposed to use “sector rotation” to invest in nine different Exchange Traded Funds based on “signals” that indicated whether to buy or sell the different funds. Starting in 2008, F-Squared advertised that the strategy had been used successfully to manage money since 2001. However, the SEC alleged that the performance since 2001 had been hypothetical and “back-tested.” In other words, the company had created a formula that would have hypothetically worked if it had been applied in the past, but which had not been used in real investing before.
The company never used a sector rotation strategy as advertised, the SEC said, calling the trades were ad hoc, client-by-client, non-discretionary, and not uniform across clients.
The SEC said the company traded the ETFs that form the basis of AlphaSector only infrequently, and it did not trade some of the ETFs at all. To the extent that one of the firm’s private wealth advisors attempted to use moving average data to make trades, the trades were not consistent with the trend data F-Squared used to create AlphaSector’s performance, the SEC said.
Compass Healthcare Marketers, 200 American Metro Boulevard, Hamilton.
Compass Healthcare Marketers, an ad agency focused on pharmaceuticals, has closed its American Metro Boulevard office. The 35-person firm had been on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for the past five years. (U.S. 1, May 28, 2014.) Company founder Peter Nalen wrote in an E-mail that the company is out of business.
Marsh USA Inc., 1060 State Road, Princeton.
Marsh USA, a global construction consulting firm, has left its State Road office. Its listed phone number was disconnected.
Eleanor W. Angoff, 91, on October 27. Angoff was a trustee of Princeton Community Housing and spearheaded the campaign for senior housing in Princeton.
James Peter Costello, 27, on October 31. He worked for Tri State Paint. Services will be Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m. at the Brenna Funeral Home, 340 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton.
William J. Brennan Jr., 70, on October 30. He was deputy director of the division of risk management in the state Department of the Treasury.
Sheila Bloom Engelbach, 72, on October 27. She taught English in Ewing public schools and after retirement was a consultant for the state of New Jersey.
Arnold M. Gordon, 87, on October 27. He was a dentist and president of the Greenacres Country Club.
Cynthia Ann Krempke, 67, on October 29. She worked at St. Francis Hospital in Trenton and later was a home care pediatric nurse.
Deborah Marks Lake, 43, on October 25. She worked at Johnson & Johnson for 21 years and was director of health care compliance at Janssen Pharmaceutical. Marks was also an all-state soccer and softball player at Ewing High School and later a youth sports coach.
Donald Lewis, 85, on October 26. He worked at Acme and was a member of the Lewis Fishery in Lambertville, where he continued a family tradition, begun in 1888, of netting shad in the Delaware River — an activity that led to the annual Lambertville Shad Festival.