Office of the President

August 29, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 academic year! The first day of classes, last Thursday, was a beautiful day to see everyone back on campus. There is always a special energy that marks the start of the semester, and it was obvious as I walked around that afternoon, saying hello and checking in with some of our student-facing departments and offices. It always provides me with fresh inspiration to do all I can on behalf of our students and their success, and I hope it does the same for you.

It has been some time since I have provided you with an enrollment update, and the start of the semester is a good time for one. As of Friday, we have 8,933 students enrolled for Fall 2022, 197 (or –2.2%) below where we were last year-to-date. Full-time undergraduates are 523 students (or –9.3%) below where we were last year-to-date. Remember that this population is the biggest single factor in terms of the impact of enrollment and retention on our budget. Enrollment of the continuing student population is 6,025 students, -1.4%, or 83 students fewer than last year-to-date. Main campus enrollment is trending lower by -14.7%, while WP Online is trending higher at +64.7%. Summer enrollment is trending higher (+8%) on the strength of WP Online.  Our first-year retention rate is trending positively at 71.1% (+4.3%), with 7 of 10 categories of students exceeding last year-to-date.  My next enrollment update will occur after the first Census is taken on September 9.

I am pleased to share news of the launch of our new Institutional Equity and Diversity pages on These pages pull together in one, central location, information on all the important equity and diversity work happening at William Paterson under the direction of Chief Diversity Officer Dr. David E. Jones, along with the Council for Equity and Justice, as well as the many great things being done by departments and offices across campus, such as the Office for Student Diversity and Inclusion and many others. The University’s new land acknowledgement, relevant policies, and news of various campus equity and diversity initiatives are just a few examples of resources you will find here. Thanks to Dr. Jones, as well as Vice President Stuart Goldstein and his Marketing & Public Relations team for developing these useful web pages.

This week’s WPWe are Proud – Congratulations to College of Science and Health Dean Venkat Sharma and everyone who hosted a group of new WP students over the summer to help them acclimate to the University and their STEM majors through the ASPIRE Summer Bridge Program. The program is made possible through a $4.99 million U.S. Department of Education Grant received last year. The ASPIRE (Access to STEM Pathways through Integrated Research and Engagement) Summer Bridge Program supports Hispanic students and low-income students pursuing degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Incoming freshmen spent two weeks on campus in July, exploring such topics as DNA extraction and purity, mitosis and meiosis, and climate change. Transfer students from community colleges, who already have an Associate’s degree in a STEM field, took part in a four-week summer research experience.

Thanks, and have a great first full week of the semester!


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