Office of the President
January 10, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

I hope everyone had a good winter break and returned to work last week rested and ready to prepare for a great Spring semester. I want to remind everyone that, as of Jan. 1st, William Paterson is a smoke-free campus – another important step in our efforts to create a healthier environment for our entire community.

As this is a critical period for registering students for the Spring semester, I want to again update you on our enrollment situation. As of Jan. 7, we are currently at 84.7% of our Spring goal of 9,749 students – a 3.9% increase over the prior week. I want to once again stress that we must take full advantage of this year’s wider registration window and register as many students as possible. We lag in the areas of University Headcount (-231), University Continuing (-245), and Winter Session (-167). However, we continue to outpace in areas of New Students (+100), WP Online (+981), and Graduate Students (+329). One-semester Retention is within 0.14% of the prior year. The Back on Track initiative to bring back students who have stopped out has succeeded in registering 23% of contacted students to date, but the goal is 30% of contacted students, so we need to maintain our focus on this area. 

Given the spike in cases of COVID due to the Omicron variant,  staff will remain on the Black and Orange schedule until Monday, January 31st.  Additionally, William Paterson will hold all classes remotely the week of January 24th-30th and return to a regular schedule on January 31st. While COVID vaccine boosters are not being required at this time, they are strongly encouraged for everyone who is eligible to receive them. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the one constant since vaccines first became available is that people who are fully vaccinated fare best in terms of avoiding the disease and, should they contract it, avoiding hospitalization and death.

We continue to follow the data and the science. As such, we need to recognize the fact that the virus is now endemic, and we should all take reasonable steps in the interest of protecting ourselves, our families, and our communities, including getting vaccinated or boosted and wearing masks. By learning to manage the variable risk, we can safely engage in the kind of in-person experiences that enrich our own lives and allow us to provide our students with the kind of on-campus experience that we know serves them best.

I am excited to see you all back on campus soon for what promises to be a busy and dynamic semester. Until then, have a great week.

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