Office of the President

September 12, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to share that there is a lot of great William Paterson news in the latest U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, which were released today. Our University made significant gains in several important categories:

  • In the “Best Regional Universities-North” category, we jumped 15 spots, to 75 from 90. This is our biggest one-year gain in recent memory! 
  • In the “Top Public Regional Universities-North” category, we improved to 19 from 26.
  • In Social Mobility, we improved to 21 from 26.
  • For the first time, we are listed as a “Best Value School”, ranked at 67 in our region.
  • Also for the first time, we are listed as a “Best College for Veterans”, ranked at 29 in our region.
  • In national rankings of undergraduate nursing programs, we rose to 247 from 388.

I am especially proud of our continued ascent on the Social Mobility list. Together with our position in the top 3% of schools nationally on CollegeNET’s Social Mobility Index, it is further proof of our success in one of the most important measures of any college – how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs. 


These rankings are an important source of information for prospective students and families, and our advances across several categories reflect the good work our faculty and staff are doing across campus and online every day. Thank you for all your important contributions to the success of our students.  

With the Fall semester now well underway, I want to share the enrollment update that was provided to Trustees during last week’s Board committee meetings, just before Census I was taken. The Census I numbers are being processed and will be included in next Monday’s weekly update email. For now, the data tell a mixed story. Of continuing concern is the current 15% decline in main campus enrollment, which is a result of the 15.3% drop in fulltime undergraduate enrollment on the main campus. Overall University headcount is currently down 3.3%.

On the positive side of the ledger, enrollment in WP Online continues to surge, up 56.8%. Graduate enrollment is up a healthy 14.5%. Importantly, the overall retention rate for first-time, fulltime students is up 3.9%, which includes increases in first-year retention for the resident, EOF, first-generation, male, female, Black, and Hispanic student populations. Another encouraging note – as the 2023 recruitment cycle begins, inquiries by prospective students are up 26% over this time last year. 

I was proud to represent William Paterson at yesterday’s Wayne Township 9/11 Ceremony , where those who were lost 21 years ago were remembered and first-responders, veterans, and active duty military – including so many members of our University community – were honored. 

Finally, a reminder that you can review all draft Strategic Planning documents on my website and provide feedback to

This week’s WPWe are Proud – Congratulations to Cotsakos College of Business Dean Anthony Bowrin (“Most Influential Deans and Directors”), Professor Ana Cristina Siqueira (“Best Leaders in Entrepreneurship”), and everyone associated with the B.S. in Professional Sales (“Most Unique/Innovative Class or Program”) and our Cybersecurity Research Lab (“Best Campus Improvement”), all recognized by the New Jersey business publication ROI-NJ for inclusion on its Higher Education Influencers list, which honors the people, programs, and facilities that have the greatest influence and impact at their institutions and within the business community. I am proud to have also been included as part of the “Most Influential Presidents” list, which is ultimately a recognition of all the good work being done by everyone across the University to help support the success of our students.

Have a great week!


Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.


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