Office of the President

August 28, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

With Welcome Day just two days away and our residential students in the midst of moving in, the campus has truly come alive. Thanks to everyone in Residential Life and across the Division of Student Development and everyone for helping to welcome – and welcome back – these and all our students for what promises to be a great semester.

For the Convocation ceremony that will kick off Welcome Day at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, please bear in mind that faculty and staff wearing their Pio shirts will be positioned front-and-center in the new-student welcome gauntlet and on stage in the Shea Auditorium for the purpose of photos. For the same reason, we ask that everyone pair their Pio shirts with beige/khaki shorts, pants, or skirts. We ask that you be in line for the gauntlet by 9:00 a.m., if you have not picked up your tee shirt, please allow time to do so. The table for T-shirt pick up will be open at 8:30 am in front of Shea or in the lobby in the case of rain. Also, please be sure to scan the QR code to register your attendance at the event. Staff will be available to direct participants to the gauntlet line. Thank you for helping to make this what I’m sure will be a memorable start to the semester for our new students.

Turning to enrollment and retention, our total enrollment is currently 8% away from goal, versus 11% away last year at this time. Our main campus continuing enrollment is 8.7% from goal, compared to 3.1% last year. Continuing WP Online enrollment is 13.4% ahead of goal, versus 6.1% away from goal last year. First-year enrollment continues to trend well with 966 deposits, which is 9.2% ahead of goal, and 915 students enrolled to date for the Fall semester. Main campus retention is only 0.2% ahead of this time last year, which is expected to improve as the students who were dropped from enrollment last week finalize their payment arrangements. We’ve already re-enrolled 47.4% of the affected students, and I want to thank everyone who is working hard and doing what it takes to ensure that the remaining students receive the necessary support and resources to successfully rejoin the University. Let’s keep up the great work!

The COVID Health and Safety page is being moved from the homepage, but related news and information can continue to be found at, and important updates will continue to come from me and the Counseling, Health & Wellness Center. As a case in point, there has been increase in COVID cases this summer and everyone should still remain vigilant. We encourage everyone to stay up to date with the COVID Vaccine. A new booster to deal with current and emerging variants is expected to be available in the coming weeks. Please report cases of COVID-19 in the WP COVID Testing Portal so we can continue to provide the WP community with the most informed guidance.

This week’s WP: We are Proud – William Paterson successfully hosted the Passaic County Career Resource Event & Job Fair at 1600 Valley Road on August 24 for the first time since 2019. There was tremendous energy, as more than 400 WP students, alumni, and other attendees interacted with more than 60 employers, including as NJ Transit, Johnson & Johnson, PSE&G, Old Dominion, and Hackensack Hospital, as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting our students, alumni, and the local community in their career development. Alongside the job fair, workshops and other resources provided guidance on topics including admissions, Credit for Prior Learning, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS), and veterans assistance. The event was the result of the successful collaboration among WP and partners from the State, Passaic County, and local municipalities. Special thanks to Erica Cashaw, Associate Director of Professional Certifications and Alternate Credentials, and Johanna Prado, Associate Director, Center for Degree Completion and Adult Learning, both of the School of Continuing and Professional Education, under the leadership of Associate Provost for Academic Initiatives Dr. Kara Rabbitt.

Thank you all for your good work over the summer, and here’s to a great Fall Semester! See you at Welcome Day, on Wednesday, August 30.


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