Office of the President

July 22, 2020

To William Paterson Students:

Hello everyone! I hope you are all finding time to relax and enjoy the summer weather. With the start of the Fall semester just a month away, I want to update you on some important developments about how things will operate on campus when you return.

William Paterson has developed a Reopening Plan, based on guidance from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, which details our collective responsibilities that will allow us to offer face-to-face instruction, a residence life experience, and clubs and activities, while keeping the University community healthy and safe. The full Reopening Plan can be found here . Please do read it carefully, as we all will be held accountable for following the plan in the interest of protecting one another, our families, and our communities.

The plan covers the many ways that William Paterson has prepared for your return. The fundamental academic change is the hybrid way in which most of your classes will conducted through a combination of in-person and online teaching. Throughout campus, signs and other indicators will help ensure social distancing. Residence hall capacities have been reduced. The sanitization of all buildings will be increased, and hand sanitizer, plexiglass barriers, and other protective measures have been deployed across campus. The Reopening Plan will detail those for you, and again, I encourage you to read it.

These are all important measures to ensure that we can operate safely and effectively on campus for the Fall semester. The most important tool in this effort, however, is our shared obligation as a community to keep each other safe. This means wearing a mask at all times while on campus and in the presence of others, as well as adhering to all other social distancing guidelines.

To emphasize the importance of this mutual commitment we have to protect each other, we are requiring all students, faculty, and staff to sign on to the Pioneer Pledge, which spells out our obligations to adhere to all pandemic-related safety measures and the consequences of failing to comply. A copy of the Pioneer Pledge can be found here. In the coming days, you will receive an email asking you to read the Pledge carefully and agree to follow the protocols listed. You may not be allowed to return to campus unless you agree to follow the guidelines laid out in the Pledge. The detailed Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy can be found here

I want to be very clear about the facial coverings; you must wear one at all times when you are in the presence of others on our campus. In classes, walking across campus, anytime you are on our campus and not completely alone, a facial covering that covers your mouth and nose is required. Those who act recklessly by not wearing one properly and thus risk endangering our community will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension. 

I am so proud of the way that the entire William Paterson community has come together to make the best of challenging circumstances, and I know that we will continue to support each other and do what is necessary to resume learning and living on campus. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation. I look forward to seeing you all on campus again soon. Until then, enjoy the rest of your summer.

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