Office of the President
March 7, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

As last week’s shift in mask status from red to orange attests, we are seeing a continued decline in COVID-19 cases, which is certainly good news. While the new status allows us to go without masks in more situations, masks are still required of everyone in academic instruction settings, regardless of vaccination status. 

As you are no doubt aware, New Jersey has ended mask mandates for K-12 schools starting today, and while this will likely have implications for us, we still don’t have specific guidance for higher education. So, while it’s reasonable to assume that our current masking policy will change sometime in the coming weeks, we are leaving it in place until at least after next week’s student Spring Break. I will update you about any changes as soon as we have more information. As always, our decisions and policies on this and all COVID-related matters will be driven by science and data and by the guidance of local, state, and federal health authorities. Please bear in mind that any shift in masking policy would continue to apply only to members of the campus community who are vaccinated. Anyone who isn’t will still be required to mask at all times indoors and in large outdoor groups.

Like all of you, I am pleased by our progress so far and excited by the prospect of further easing mask requirements and eliminating them altogether for those who are boosted. But we are not there yet. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, I encourage everyone who is eligible to get the booster.  

I am pleased to share with the campus community the names of those who are serving on the Strategic Planning & Branding and Identity Steering Group, which is being Co-chaired by Dr. Guillermo de Veyga, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and University Relations; Dr. David Fuentes, Professor of Teacher Education; and Dr. Eileen Lubeck, Dean of Students. Please click here for the full list, as well as the members and organization of the Strategic Planning and Branding & Identity working groups. I want to thank everyone who has agreed to serve in these very important capacities, and I look forward to the results of their great work, which is already underway. 

Our Pioneer Club Sports teams continue to compete at the highest level. Congratulations to the bowling team, which is currently ranked as the No. 1 club team, nationally, and the No. 9 team, overall. Congratulations, also, to our hockey team, which capped a 20-win season as runner-up of the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association playoff, where they reached the Championship Final against Navy. 
WPWe are Proud – Great students make great alumni, and William Paterson is fortunate to have so many dedicated alumni across the country and around the world, as well as here in New Jersey. Dan (’94) and Sally (’96) Cimmino, above, are two fine examples. They were instrumental in forming a WP Alumni chapter in Washington, D.C. during their time there, and then again in Southern California, after they moved west. I traveled to San Diego over the weekend to take part in the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE), where I served for the past year as Chair of the ACE Council of Fellows. While in town, I had the pleasure of meeting with Dan, Sally, and several other WP alumni making their homes and careers in the area. Thanks to Sally and Dan for their leadership and to all who came out to show their support for William Paterson on the West Coast! 

And thank you all for your continued good work and dedication. Have a great week.

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