February 14, 2022
Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,
As I mentioned in my February 7th email, the first enrollment census was taken following the close of business on Friday, Feb. 5th. The resulting report shows that total enrollment stands at 9,094, which is 93.3% of our 9,749 goal for the semester. We are outpacing in the areas of: graduate students +367; undergraduate, part-time +149; new students +289; WP Online/overall +1,106; and WP Online/new 21% above goal. We are lagging in the areas of: University enrollment –148; continuing student enrollment –437; main campus –1,254; one-semester retention –0.2%; and winter session –167. We have 771 candidates for January degree completion
The second census will be taken after the close of business on March 25th and the final enrollment report issued on March 28th. We are short of our total enrollment goal, and while there are bright spots, it’s important to remember that fulltime undergraduate enrollment on campus has the biggest impact on our budget, and that segment is down by 846 students. As I’ve said before, we must redouble our efforts to enroll and retain as many students as we can. I am confident that the branding and identity and Strategic Plan work we are undertaking this semester will go a long way toward helping in the long-term, but the more immediate work must go on today and every day in classrooms and offices across campus. Thank you all for your continued dedication to this effort.
Our budget challenges have forced us to make some tough decisions, but I am pleased to report that they are having a positive impact in terms of how the University is able to operate in the important credit markets. Last week, we learned that Fitch Ratings affirmed our BBB+ credit rating and upgraded our outlook from negative to stable. This comes on the heels of Moody’s decision in December to hold steady our A3 credit rating (outlook negative). Taken together, these credit ratings, which determine our ability to borrow money for capital projects, are positive outcomes, given the University’s current structural budget deficit and recent enrollment declines. They offer external validation of the responsible financial stewardship of the University.
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Guillermo de Veyga, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and University Relations; Dr. Eileen Lubeck, Associate Vice President for Student Development; and Dr. David Fuentes, Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, have agreed to co-chair the Strategic Planning and Branding and Identity Planning Group. Invitations to join the Strategic Planning and Branding and Identity working groups are in the process of going out. Thank you to the more than 100 people who responded to the survey expressing interest. Look for more communication as appointments are firmed up soon.
A reminder that faculty and staff are invited to join me for Office Hours at 3:30 p.m. today at 1600 Valley Road, Room G021.
This week’s WP: We are Proud – Congratulations to Dean Amy Ginsberg, Nancy Norris-Bauer, Director of Professional Development and School/Community Partnerships, Dr. Betsy Golden, WP Professor in Residence at Paterson Public Schools, and everyone in the College of Education, which together with its partner Paterson Public School District has been recognized with a 2022 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award. The award was presented by the National Association of Professional Development Schools at a Feb. 11th ceremony. The College of Education has a large Professional Development School (PDS) network, which this year totals 64 schools in 23 districts, including 14 schools in Paterson.