Office of the President
July 11, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

They say time flies when you are having fun, and two recent milestones served to remind me just how quickly time is going. First, I am about to turn 61. Second, as Trustee Bob Guarasci graciously reminded me, July 1st marked four years since I walked on to this beautiful, dynamic campus as the new President of William Paterson University. And what a time it has been!   
Together, we have weathered a pandemic and layoffs, as well as ongoing enrollment challenges and a budget crisis. You may be asking yourself, where is the fun part? Well, during my first four years, we have also worked together to achieve so many great things. We created WP Online, launched Will. Power. 101, achieved Middle States reaffirmation, closed out a scholarship campaign at $6.5 million over goal, launched the Doctor of Education in Leadership program, and renovated a building that is now enrolling youngsters in the new Child Development Center, housing the Cannabis Research Institute, the School for Continuing and Professional Education, and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. We are on track to have the largest Nursing Program in New Jersey, surpassing even Rutgers.  

We also opened the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Black Cultural Center, and the Center for Latinidad, and have undertaken substantive work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working with Faculty Senate, we strengthened promotion, tenure, and retention requirements, and launched a nationally recognized professional development program, as well as a Pre-Doctoral Fellows program. We also rebranded our Pioneer Athletics with a new mascot and the University’s first-ever spirit song. 

Now, we are working on a new branding and identity strategy, along with a new strategic plan, and just received new funding support at the state and federal levels. Most meaningfully, we graduated four classes of students who would not have earned a college degree without all of you, the dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators of William Paterson University
You all keep this institution operating, and your dedication to our students is clear in everything you do. I am extremely proud to call you colleagues. We should not minimize our challenges, but we must never lose site of the many great things being achieved here each and every day. I am reminded of something former President Bill Clinton said about America and I think it applies to William Paterson, too. To paraphrase: There is nothing wrong with William Paterson that cannot be cured by what is right with William Paterson. There is so much that is “right with William Paterson,” beginning with all of you. Together, we will continue to deliver on our mission of educating New Jersey’s new majority, and I look forward to another exciting new year here on campus. Together, we’ll do this. Thank you.

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
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