Office of the President

September 25, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

The semester is in full gear, and there are a lot of great events happening and achievements to celebrate. Congratulations to everyone for their good work as recognized in William Paterson’s continued progress in several of the latest U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, which were released last week. The highlights include:

  • WP is no. 69 of 166 institutions in the Best Regional Universities – North category, a climb of six spots from last year and our highest ranking in recent years.
  • WP moved up 5 places to no. 21 in our region for social mobility, a measure of how well we graduate students with exceptional financial need.
  • WP tied for no. 5 in our region for campus ethnic diversity, which looks at colleges where undergraduates are most likely to encounter students from different racial or ethnic groups than their own.
  • WP is listed among the “Best Colleges for Veterans,” coming in at no. 32 in our region.
  • WP has three nationally ranked undergraduate degree programs: nursing (no. 319 of 656 BSN programs); business (no. 353 of 522 schools); and psychology (no. 355 of 542 programs).

As I wrote in last week’s “Perspectives from the President” message, our main goal in admission marketing is connecting directly with students and families, but to the extent that third-party rankings matter to them, they must matter to us, so we should celebrate our progress in these important rankings.   

I am proud to have received another meaningful accolade last week when I was included on the NJBIZ Education Power 50 list of education leaders from across the State. While it was my name on the list, the honor really extends to everyone who works to make William Paterson the “Powerhouse of Progress” that it is for our students.

Turning to enrollment and retention, for Census I (Sept. 18, 2023 on the Dashboards), our total enrollment is currently 5.6% away from goal, versus 9.4% away last year at this time. Our main campus continuing enrollment is 3.3% from goal, compared to 2.4% behind goal last year. Continuing WP Online enrollment is 11.2% ahead of goal, versus 6.6% away from goal last year. First-year enrollment continues to trend well, with 883 students enrolled to date for the Fall semester, which is 8.5% ahead of goal. Main campus retention is currently 1.7% ahead of this time last year.

I am pleased to share that, since its July launch, the William Paterson Family Portal has registered a total of 1,196 users, 625 of whom are family members of first-generation students. Since its inception, 50% of users have actively engaged with the portal by opening, viewing, or clicking on content. The Office of Parent and Family Relations kicked off its first program of the semester on Sept. 20 with its inaugural Real Talk Series webinar, where parents and families came together with members of the WP community for conversations on various topics of interest and to discuss how they can best support their student’s success. Congratulations to Vice President Miki Cammarata, Director of Parent and Family Relations Eva Reyes, and everyone who had a hand in the successful launch of this important new resource. For more information about the portal, contact Eva Reyes.

Please don your black and orange and join us for “Communiversity Day” on Saturday, September 30 at 10:30 a.m., when all divisions and academic units are invited, as we bring together faculty, staff, alumni and current students for a pre-game tailgate and football game versus Kean University. This is a great opportunity for the entire University community to come together to socialize and celebrate Pioneer Pride. This will also serve as Student Worker Appreciation Day, when all student workers and graduate assistants will be celebrated and recognized for their contributions to the University. Please invite all student workers and graduate assistants that work in your department to join the tailgate and be recognized during a special halftime ceremony. Please let us know you’ll be there by registering here.

The William Paterson University Foundation’s Annual Golf Outing at Preakness Hills Country Club, which was postponed due to rain, has been rescheduled to Thursday, October 12. The event raise funds that provide direct scholarship support, so if you would like to take part in the event and further support our students, please click here.

A reminder that Vice President for Finance and Administration & CIO Kirsten Loewrigkeitand Vice President for Enrollment Management George Kacenga will host the Enrollment and Budget/Tuition & Fees Forum on Thursday, October 5 at 12:30 p.m. in the Cheng Library Auditorium.

A further reminder that Thursday and Friday, October 12-13, are Wellness Days, when the University will be open, but not classes will be held. In addition to dedicated wellness programming for students, faculty and staff can also take advantage of wellness activities to connect with colleagues and de-stress. Keep an eye on your email for the full schedule of activities to come.

Please join us next week for First Thursday, on October 5, 4:00-5:30 p.m., upstairs in Hobart Manor for the opportunity to catch up with colleagues over light refreshments. 

This week’s WP: We are Proud – As William Paterson celebrates Latinidad Heritage Month, I want to congratulate Interim Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion Myranda Barreau, Director of Development Roy Garcia, and everyone who played a part in last week’s wonderful kick-off event, where keynote speaker Luis Alamo, CEO of Alamo Insurance Group, shared an inspiring story of his and his family’s immigrant experience. Among the other special guests in attendance were Bob Medina, Carolos’s older brother and a member of WP’s College of Education Advancement Council, and Carlos Medina, Hon. ’22, CEO of the Statewide Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the event, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the diverse slate of programming scheduled over the coming week and beyond. 

Have a great start to the fall season.


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