Taken from NJ.com
By Saleena Ghanny
February 25, 2023
A 2020 Rutgers magazine profile about Jonathan Holloway shares an anecdote about the advice the elder Wendell Holloway gave to his son: come from the right family, be in a solid marriage, develop a golden resume and a trove of sterling achievements.
Saleena Ghanny is a research scientist at Rutgers. She says the Holloway she and her fellow HPAE workers are beginning to know is a hollow man, a master at saying sweet-sounding words that speak to high ideals but almost certainly not with any substantive meaning, or action. Andrew Mills | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
And, the elder Holloway stressed that you had to look the part — be tall with broad shoulders as part of a complete package. Jonathan, certainly aware of his father’s love for him, realized that his dad saw him as a figure sent straight from Central Casting.
At age 14, I emigrated from Trinidad with my family to live in Irvington. The possibility of attending Rutgers became a beacon of hope — a place where I could better myself and build community. I earned my degree in 2001 and a month later I started working at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark as a research scientist and have worked there ever since. Now, I am currently pursuing a master’s degree at Rutgers so, as they say, I bleed scarlet.
By the time Holloway arrived as the new president of Rutgers, he had done the things his father exhorted him to do. Besides being a scholar of American history, he seems to be a talented man.
What I have not seen in the nearly three years of his tenure as Rutgers president is how Holloway’s immense talent is being used to better serve Rutgers’ community.
I am a member of HPAE Local 5094, which represents approximately 2,709 health care professionals, 2,060 of whom work for Rutgers in mental health, health care, corrections, child protection and permanency, biomedical research, information technology, and education, among other professionals. HPAE Local 5089 represents an additional 1,569 health care workers, mostly nurses, 632 of whom also work for Rutgers.
Members at both HPAE locals have been working on expired contracts since June 30, 2022.
Rather than bargaining with us in good faith, Rutgers has been trying to bust our union by subcontracting bargaining unit work at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to RWJBarnabas Health, a private corporation. After continuously denying they were doing this, Rutgers admitted they intend to continue to take our jobs and give them to this private corporation.
I am frustrated that Rutgers is not reciprocating the dedication I have shown the university. I risked my life and the lives of my husband and children to continue to come in to work during those scary early pandemic lockdown days when there were no vaccines, nor mask protocols.
My colleagues and I worked in these dangerous conditions so researchers could develop one of the very first tests for COVID-19. Today, sitting across from Rutgers officials trying to renew our contract, all I get back is a lack of respect.
We all see that Rutgers values some of its employees more than others. As reported, Rutgers is giving its men’s basketball coach a lifetime multi-million dollar contract and football coach Greg Schiano is already the highest-paid state employee to the tune of $32 million over eight years, Then there are Rutgers’ harebrained efforts to achieve gridiron glory, including outspending many Big Ten schools on athletics, while remaining a decided minnow in the conference.
While some of these schemes preceded Holloway, all of this and more continue to happen as he ethereally watches, his Central Casting visage unruffled. On Sept. 25, 2020, Holloway told the Rutgers community the touchstones of his presidency would be “the relentless pursuit of academic excellence; the need to develop strategic institutional clarity; and the achievement of a beloved community.’”
There’s no evidence whatsoever that any of this is being achieved. The Holloway we are beginning to know is a hollow man, a master at saying sweet-sounding words that speak to high ideals but almost certainly not with any substantive meaning, or action, which is Holloway’s greatest disappointment.
Saleena Ghanny is a research scientist at Rutgers.