Office of the President

January 9, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable winter break. As some of you may know, the State’s Joint Budget Oversight Committee (JBOC) met on December 30 to conduct some year-end business. While there was some hope that new allocations might be made during this meeting, no new monies were awarded for any higher education institutions or projects. Nonetheless, we are continuing to advocate on this front and remain cautiously optimistic that some new monies can be awarded to William Paterson in the coming months through JBOC from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) or New Jersey’s Debt Defeasance and Prevention Fund. I will keep you posted on any new developments.

As our search continues for a new Vice President for Enrollment Management, I am pleased to report that a promising candidate has been identified and will visit campus for interviews later this month. The campus visit will be followed by a virtual Town Hall on Friday, January 27, during which the WP community will have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of this individual. A Zoom link for the hour-long event will be sent out by email in the coming days.

As many of you have noted, we have had issues with data in the Fact Books, which caused problems with how tables were displayed and, at times, prevented tables from displaying at all. The issues have now been resolved and all the information is now updated and available. Thank you for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sue Gerber in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

We are looking forward to the 4th Annual Manhattan Bagel Scholarship fundraising event on Thursday, January 26, during which the store at 163 Hamburg Turnpike will once again generously donate 50% of the day’s proceeds to support students scholarships at William Paterson. This is a great opportunity to support a local business while also benefiting our students, so please consider enjoying breakfast, lunch, or both from Manhattan Bagel on January 26, from 6:00 a.m. to 3 p.m., with WP staff on hand starting at 7:30 a.m. to greet Pioneers and raffle off WP swag. Thank you in advance for your support.

Please also mark your calendars for Thursday, February 2, when I will deliver my Spring 2023 State of the University address in Shea Auditorium. There will not be a livestream available for this event, so I hope you can join me in person. I look forward to seeing you then. Keep an eye out for an email invitation with all the details in the coming days.

We recently learned of the passing of longtime William Paterson Foundation Board member and former Board of Trustee Chair Russell J. Hawkins at age 84. A graduate of Howard University and Temple University School of Law, Russ served in the U.S. Army Military Police before going on to build a successful corporate career, retiring as Vice President of Human Resources at AlliedSignal (now Honeywell) after 25 years with the firm. We remember Russ for his long record of service to the University, where he was Board of Trustees Chair in 1985 and spent more than 30 years on the foundation board, from being a founding member in 1992 to serving as secretary and a member of the Finance Committee at the time of his passing. A WP Honorary Doctorate degree recipient, Russ was a generous donor to the University and a member of the Heritage Society. He was also active in many community organizations in his hometown of Morristown and beyond. Our thoughts go out to his wife, Virginia, and their entire family.

In keeping with the previously announced new schedule for this communication, I will write again on Monday, January 23, which is also the first day of classes for the semester. A reminder that the University will be closed next Monday, January 16, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. In the meantime, be well.


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