Office of the President
May 3, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

As I have been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and promoting the vaccine’s availability to the entire University through our partnership with Atlantic Health, many people are wondering if we will require everyone to be vaccinated before returning to campus for the Fall semester. The answer is no, we will not require the vaccine, unless the State of New Jersey mandates that we do. 

Also bear in mind that we will no longer grant exemptions for students, faculty, or staff to study or work remotely, again, unless the State requires us to do so.  So, I do encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The more us who do, the more successful our Fall semester will be. You can still take advantage of the Atlantic Health partnership to access the vaccine. If you would like to participate, please email and provide your cell phone number and email. Atlantic Health will be contacting all employees via email to schedule an appointment. 

I have heard from many students who are concerned that faculty are not allowing them to see graded tests so that they can go over their answers and figure out what they got wrong and where they need to improve. I believe and AFT President Sue Tardi concurs – that students have a right to see their graded work (tests, quizzes, papers, etc.) and review the material with faculty, during either class or office hours. Students are not entitled to keep this work, but they do have the right to review it. They do have a right to keep their research papers and other original work (art work, etc.).

If you have the opportunity when interacting with students, please help reinforce several key messages that we are sharing with them: that now is the time for those who haven’t already registered for Fall courses to do so, in order to have the best choices available; that this is also the time for residence life students to apply and submit a deposit for a space in the fall, when we plan to return to normal operations to the fullest extent allowed at the time; and that the Pass/No Credit option ended with the Fall 2020 semester, so anyone with concerns about their status in a course should contact their professor and take advantage of the Academic Success Center

I am pleased to share with you that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, in collaboration with Montclair Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will host Honorable Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for a live Zoom event on Wednesday, May 12, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. With President Biden promoting extensive investment in infrastructure and urban development, I am sure Secretary Fudge will have lots of interesting things to say during the event. Please keep an eye out for an email invitation with the Zoom link coming soon.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. This year’s theme is “You are Not Alone,” a message intended to let everyone know that, now more than ever, staying connected to community is important for our mental health and that support is available for anyone dealing with mental health issues. As always, faculty and staff can find support through the Employee Assistance Program.
This Week’s WPWe are Proud – This is National Teacher Appreciation Week, so I’d like to take the opportunity to say how proud I am and how proud William Paterson is, of all our great faculty and academic support staff, whose work is at the heart of this University. Let’s all take a moment to thank the educators on campus and everywhere, including the many great teachers among our alumni and those who have made a difference in our lives and who help make a better society and a stronger America. Thank you, teachers!

This is always a busy and exciting time of year, and I hope that everyone finds some time each day to breath deeply of the fresh Spring air, enjoy the sights and smells of our beautiful campus in bloom, and reflect on all that we have achieved, individually and collectively, this year. Have a great week.

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