Office of the President
February 22, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty & Staff,

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend and managed to spend some time with family and friends. 

I know that many of you are aware of the truly disturbing incident last week in which symbols and language of hate were discovered scrawled in a hallway in Hillside Hall. Since my message about this awful act went out later on Friday afternoon, I want to reiterate – as strongly and clearly as possible – that I condemn this act of hate and that we, as a University community, must reaffirm our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice in the face of such offenses. University police are investigating the matter and our Bias Prevention and Education Team will continue to support any students who may have been impacted by it.

Sadly, such incidents, while rare on our campus, are all too common in the world. We must all commit to continuously working toward building a campus community and a society that are defined by the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, which requires actively working against ignorance and hate.

As part of this ongoing work, please save the date for the 2nd Annual President's Diversity Lecture, featuring Deborah A. Santiago, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Excelencia in Education, which is scheduled for ThursdayMarch 31st at 4 p.m. on Zoom. Please click here to register now and get it on your calendar. The lecture, “Codifying the ’S’ in HSIs: Serving Latino Students with Intentionality,” will speak directly to our need to go beyond being just a Hispanic enrolling institution to being a truly Hispanic Serving Institution. I hope you can join us.

You may have read that Governor Murphy intends to lift the mask mandate for K-12 schools. However, we don’t know what that will mean for higher education, and while cases are declining overall, the transmission rate in Passaic County remains high, according to the CDC. So, for now, we must all continue to follow the mask status posted on the WP website, which currently requires masks in all indoor settings, as well as outdoors for large groups, regardless of vaccination status. While we are not there yet, it does seem likely that sometime soon, following the science and guidance of local, state, and federal health officials, we will be able to lift the campus mask mandate for those who are fully vaccinated, which includes a booster shot. If you have not yet gotten your booster shot, I encourage you to do so. There will be another on-campus opportunity at a free booster clinic this Friday,February 25th, from 12-3 p.m. in the White Hall Lounge.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – Professor of Kinesiology Robb Rehberg, will be inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Hall of Fame—the highest honor in the Athletic Training profession—for his influence on and advancement of the profession within the State of New Jersey. Dr. Rehberg, who teaches courses in athletic training and sports medicine at WP, is a medical consultant and coordinator of the ATC (Athletic Training Certified) Spotter program for the National Football League, and recently worked his third Super Bowl in this capacity. He is also a subject matter expert for emergency care for the National Safety Council; President/CEO of Sport Safety International, which provides education and resources on head injury prevention and treatment; and co-founder of The Rehberg Konin Group, a consulting firm specializing in health care, sports, and academics. Congratulations, Dr. Rehberg!

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
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