Office of the President
April 19, 2021
Dear William Paterson Faculty & Staff,
It is hard to believe that we are less than a month away from celebrating our graduates at Commencement 2021 during a May 14th virtual ceremony and a series of in-person events during the week of May 17th, if state guidance allows for increased capacity for outdoor events by that time. This is always a busy and exciting time of year for our entire community, so I hope everyone took the time to relax over the weekend.
Here in the President’s Office, as a result of an internal search, we recently welcomed Maira Padula in the role of Administrative Assistant. Maira joins us from Undergraduate Admissions, where she worked for two years as a Senior Clerk. She has quickly settled in as part of our team, and we are glad to have her with us. If you are contacting our office and have the chance, please say hello and congratulations to Maira!
I am pleased to report that, to date, 413 members of our faculty and staff have taken advantage of our partnership with Atlantic Health to access the COVID vaccine, which accounts for more than one in every five of our employees. The program is still active, so 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 want to thank everyone who participated in last week’s Staff Town Hall and asked so many thoughtful questions. Although some of the most frequently-asked questions about the pending layoffs (How many? Which departments?) cannot yet be answered, I appreciate everything that Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Steve Bolyai and Vice President for Human Resources Allison Boucher-Jarvis did to provide the community with as much information as possible. For those who weren’t’t able to join the event, another one has been scheduled for next Monday, April 26th at 4:30 p.m. Check your email this week for the email invitation.

Some have asked why are we posting jobs for hire while we are in the process of laying off current employees. First, I want you to know that we are posting all jobs for internal hire first before we post them externally. We are doing this with the hope that if you are concerned that you might be impacted and/or are looking for a new opportunity and have the skill set for the posted job, you will consider applying. This will allow us to keep as many of our current employees with us as possible. These posted jobs have been deemed mission critical and, therefore, our current plan is that these roles will not be impacted. I have continued to say this process, however painful, is a re-set for growth so that we are aligning our job postings to meet current need. You will see a few more of these postings in the coming months, so please keep checking, if you are interested.

I will host another session of virtual Office Hours for faculty and staff on Wednesday, April 21st at 3 p.m. Please join me if there are any William Paterson matters that you would like to discuss.
I want to join Provost Powers in congratulating this year’s Faculty Excellence Award winners: Psychology Professor Kate Makarec won the Exemplary Service Award, which recognizes on-going and significant service to the University and/or the external community at any level; Biology Professor Emmanuel Onaivi won the Research/Scholarship/Creative Expression Award, which recognizes publications, creative activities, or external recognition that make significant contributions to a discipline or profession; and Nursing Professor Brenda Marshall won the Teaching Award, which recognizes the nurturing  of student success through teaching. These individuals were nominated by their faculty peers and chosen by last year’s winners. Great faculty are at the heart of student success at William Paterson. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you for your great work in support of our students!
This week’s WPWe are Proud – Chemistry Professor Jonathan "Jay" Foley has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for research in using computers to design materials for sustainable energy. Professor Foley received the award for his research in the emerging field called polaritonic chemistry. As part of the five-year grant, a research seminar course, INNOVATION 1000, will be developed for first-year undergraduate students. An annual event called "The Future Pioneer Fest" will also be launched to facilitate exchanges between future scientists, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, creators, and communicators. Congratulations, Jay!
Thank you all for your continued good work. Have a great week.

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