Office of the President
November 22, 2021 

Dear William Paterson Community,

I want to start by wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone has plans for some down time with loved ones, doing the things that bring you joy, whether it is a game of tag football, lots of great food, watching the parade, or getting a jump on holiday shopping. When I was a student, I used this time to get an early start on end of semester assignments, which eased my stress level during finals; but now, I am looking forward to a few days with family, friends, and my dogs, enjoying some great food. And maybe, a little theatre. 

While getting together with our various circles of support, it is my hope that we remain committed to keeping everyone safe. If you are not vaccinated, we ask that you consider doing so before you gather inside, unmasked with others. Even partial vaccination offers some level of protection. If you are feeling unwell or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, please refrain from social gatherings, monitor your symptoms, and get tested, if possible. If you are eligible for the booster, based on the science and the data, we encourage you to do so. Additionally, with flu season upon us, we ask that you get the flu vaccine, as well. You can receive both the COVID and flu vaccines simultaneously. I received my COVID booster and flu shots at the same time! 

It is hard to believe there are only a few more weeks left of the Fall semester. Soon, we will be into Winter session, and before you know it the Spring semester will begin. I want to thank all the faculty and staff who are working hard to get students registered and reaching out to students who did not re-enroll this fall, encouraging them to “get back on track.” I appreciate your help in this area, as the enrollment of full-time, main campus undergraduates will provide the largest impact on the budget. 

I remain aware of and sensitive to the hardships that the proposed layoffs are causing our community in many ways, especially at the holidays. Please know that we are working with our unions and externally to finds ways to reduce the impact going forward. Again, the enrollment of full-time main campus undergraduates is one of our biggest opportunities.
This week's WP: We are Proud It was wonderful to meet Mrs. Triny Agudelo and Mr. Wilson Vasquez recently at our annual Scholarship Dinner. They endowed the first and only WP donor scholarship that gives preference to New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA)-approved Dreamers. The Vasquez Agudelo Family Scholarship was funded for a full-time undergraduate student, or full-time or part-time graduate student, who has a minimum GPA of 3.0 and who demonstrates financial need (not necessarily as defined by the federal government), with preference given to: a student who transferred to William Paterson from the County College of Morris, a HESAA-approved Dreamer, and/or a first-generation college student. We are grateful for their support!

My next communication to the campus will be on Monday, December 6. Again, have a pleasant and relaxing holiday.

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
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