Office of the President

Oct. 9, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Today is Indigenous People’s Day and Columbus Day, a day to honor and celebrate our respective and common heritages, while also committing ourselves to a better understanding our shared history and the work that remains to right historical injustices, so that we can realize our nation’s promise of liberty and equality for all. One opportunity to do so takes place later this morning, when Tyrone “Dancing Wolf” Ellis of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation participates in an 11:00 a.m. Zoom conversation. Click here for details. 

I am pleased to share that after working with AFT and CWA leadership, bargaining unit members, as well as non-aligned Higher Education Managers and confidential titles, are now eligible to apply for a new round of voluntary separation agreements. While William Paterson is making progress on many enrollment and retention measures, we must continue to pay close attention to our fiscal health and pursue all reasonable opportunities for cost savings. Eligible employees can apply for the program, and approvals will be contingent upon both operational need of -- and fiscal impact to -- the University. An email with all the details and a link to the application will follow soon to eligible employees from Vice President for Human Resources Allison Boucher-Jarvis

A reminder that Thursday and Friday of this week, October 12 and 13, are Wellness Days, when no classes will take place so that our students can have a break and take advantage of available resources to focus on their physical, mental, and emotional health. The rest of our campus community will similarly take a wellness break on Thursday, October 12, when several health and wellness activities are scheduled, some in collaboration with St. Joseph’s Hospital, such as lawn games, healthy cooking demonstrations, and campus walks. See this website for details. On a related note, please join members of the WP community tomorrow for the Second Annual Mental Health Wellness Walk, beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Zanfino Plaza.

It's almost time to put on your favorite orange and black or other WP gear and join us on Saturday, October 21 for Homecoming and Family Day, beginning with a pre-game tailgate from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. before our Pioneers take on Montclair State in football in Wightman Stadium. Later, at 5:00 p.m., men’s soccer will host Rowan University on the Soccer Field. There will be games and other attractions at the Pioneer Carnival, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the Practice Field. We will also hold a special groundbreaking ceremony for the Fieldhouse renovation outside Ben Shahn at 10:00 a.m. Click here for all the details, and I look forward to seeing you and celebrating our Pioneer spirit. 

Please join me in welcoming Safiya Lochan as Coordinator to the Office of the President after stints in both Institutional Advancement, where she served as Development and Donor Event Coordinator, and Campus Activities, Service & Leadership, where she worked part-time as a Senior Clerk Typist. A 2018 graduate of Rowan University, Safiya earned her MBA from William Paterson in May after completing the accelerated program.

Our Fall Open House for prospective students is scheduled for this Saturday, October 14. There are currently 573 students registered, a 24% increase over this time ahead of last year’s event. We are looking forward to hosting these prospective students and their families for the opportunity to learn more about WP by engaging with our faculty, staff, and current students as well as touring our beautiful campus. This is an especially important event, so thanks to everyone in Admissions and across campus who is involved in readying our campus and hosting these important guests. 

Thanks to Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO Kirsten Loewrigkeit and Vice President for Enrollment Management George Kacenga for their thorough, frank, and informative presentation at last week’s Enrollment and Budget Forum. While there is still work to be done to fix our long-standing structural deficit, the work they and their teams are doing, along with important work being done all across campus, are making a difference in improving enrollment and retention and our overall fiscal health. I am confident that the fresh approaches they are bringing to their leadership roles will continue to move the University forward. Their combined slide presentations can be found here, and they will again be discussing them at tomorrow’s Faculty Senate meeting. 

This week’s WP: We are Proud – Congratulations to everyone who was involved in planning and hosting last month’s SHINE: Pharmaceutical Alumni Panel. SHINE, a strategic initiative to engage leaders to join a network of excellent in four specific industries to support WP student success and career readiness, was created by the College of Science and Health Advancement Advisory Council, with this inaugural event focusing on New Jersey's dynamic pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical panel brought 150 WP alumni who are leaders in the industry, including representatives of Merck, Sanofi, Gilead, and other top companies and organizations together with current students and faculty for career discussions and networking opportunities. Thanks, in particular, to Director of Development Roy Garcia; Career Development Center Assistant Director Alma Diaz; Senior Associate Director of Alumni Relations Linda Kavan, and other members of the Institutional Advancement, Career Development, and College of Science and Health teams for their good work on this successful event for our students and alumni.

Have a great week, and be well.


Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
Office of the President | 973.720.2222 |