Office of the President
May 10, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

We did it! Congratulations to each and every one of you on the successful completion of the academic year. As the experiences of many other institutions, which have had to remain fully online or frequently pause in-person classes, make clear, this was a far from certain outcome. It is a credit to every member of the University community for keeping each other safe and to the great work of our faculty and staff to keep the campus safe and secure and to fulfill our ultimate mission to teach and support our students. Thank you all for everything you do on behalf of the University and our students.

I am happy to announce that Loretta Mc Laughlin Vignier, interim dean of the College of the Arts and Communication, will be joining my office in the role of Chief of Staff, beginning July 15. She will succeed Dr. Shelley Bannister, whose retirement was previously announced, and who will be on campus through August 15 to facilitate a smooth transition. 

Those of you who have had the pleasure of working with Dean Mc Laughlin Vignier know that she is an accomplished educator and administrator who is fully dedicated to our students and the William Paterson mission. Dean
Mc Laughlin Vignier joined William Paterson as a fulltime faculty member in the Department of Communication in 2009, after a successful career as a television journalist, directing and producing for ABC News and Court TV. She earned a BA in political science and an MS in TV programming, production, and management from CUNY Brooklyn College and a JD from Rutgers University, and has practiced law in corporate and consumer bankruptcy, as well as commercial and general litigation. 

I want to thank the members of the search committee, Dr. Robert Seal, Dr. Guillermo de Veyga, and Sherry Washington, for managing this process. I know that my office will benefit greatly from Dean Mc Laughlin Vignier’s experience and institutional knowledge, and I look forward to welcoming her this summer. Please join me in congratulating her on this new role.  

As COVID infection rates in the State continue to decline and vaccination rates increase, I want to again encourage everyone to get vaccinated through our partnership with Atlantic Health or any other way that may be most convenient for you. If you would like to participate in the Atlantic Health partnership, please email and provide your cell phone number and email. Atlantic Health will then contact you via email to schedule an appointment. Now that all of our students are eligible to receive the vaccine, as well, please take any opportunity you may have to encourage them to take advantage of its availability through Atlantic Health or elsewhere in their communities.

This week’s WPWe are Proud – During this National Nurses Week, let’s all celebrate the dedicated professionals who are always there for us, never more so than now. We should be especially proud of all the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of our own distinguished nursing program, many of whom are working and volunteering on the frontlines of the pandemic. Thank you, nurses!

Again, congratulations on the close of another successful academic year, and all the best for whatever the summer has in store for you. I look forward to seeing many of you at next week’s Commencement ceremonies.

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