Office of the President
December 13, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Congratulations to everyone on finishing the Fall semester! It has been an especially busy one with our full return to campus. I want to thank you all for your good work in making it a meaningful, productive, and fun experience for our students. 

Much of this semester’s success is due to how well the members of our campus community have done in taking care of themselves and each other by adhering to the COVID guidelines, including vaccination, masking, and social distancing. For example, I am glad to report that we currently have far fewer students with exemptions to the vaccine mandate than we did at the start of the semester. So, as we head off to our home communities or elsewhere to join with family and friends, let’s keep it up, and stay safe! 

One important way to do this, given the continuing pandemic and the emerging Omicron variant, is to get a COVID booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s booster recommendation was updated on November 29, specifically in response to the Omicron variant. The CDC now says that everyone 18 and older should get a booster dose of one of the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) six months after the primary series or the J&J vaccine at least two months after the initial single dose. As always, it’s a good idea to get a flu shot, too. 

With the close of the semester, it is also time to say goodbye to faculty and staff who will be leaving us at the end of the year. Unfortunately, this includes those employees who have been laid off, as well as those who have chosen to retire. Whatever the circumstances, I want to thank them all for their individual and collective contributions to William Paterson University and for everything they have done for our students. I wish them all the best in the next phase of their lives and careers. 
As this is a critical period for registering students for the Spring semester, I want to again update you on our enrollment situation. As of Dec. 6, we are currently at 66.4% of our Spring goal of 9,749 students – a 4.3% increase over the prior week. I want to again stress that we must take full advantage of this year’s wider registration window and register as many students as possible. We continue to lag in the areas of University Continuing (-366), University Main Campus Overall (-536), and Winter Session (-264). Like the prior week, however, we also continue outpacing goal in University Headcount (+170), New Students (+98), One-semester Retention (+29.6%), and WP Online (+706), as well as Graduate Students (+215). The Back on Track initiative to bring back students who have stopped out continues to lag its goal of registering 30% of contacted students, so we need to maintain a focus on this area. 

I also want to thank all the faculty members who have been contacting students and helping get them registered – both those who were registered in the fall and – through Back on Track – those who had stopped out. Helping fall students transition to spring and welcoming back others is the kind of effort that will continue to define the high-touch environment we need to provide for our students and the financial health of the University.

This week’s WPWe are Proud – Congratulations to Dr. Ana Cristina O. Siqueira, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Cotsakos College of Business, who was recently selected for the highly competitive Social Entrepreneurship SIG Award for Excellence in Practice and Service from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Social Entrepreneurship Special Interest Group (SIG)! The award, which is supported by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation and will be presented at next month’s 2022 USASBE Annual Conference, recognizes an individual who has served as a founder of a social impact organization or initiative to make a positive contribution to the world. Dr. Siqueira is also being recognized for her demonstrated commitment to social entrepreneurship education and her overall impact on the field of social entrepreneurship.

As we head into the winter break, I hope everyone makes time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. With that in mind, my Monday email update will go on hiatus for a few weeks. Barring any urgent or otherwise time-sensitive developments between now and then, I will write to you again on Monday, Jan. 10. All the best for a Happy and Healthy 2022!

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