Office of the President
January 31, 2022

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

This time last week, I welcomed you to the Spring 2022 semester at William Paterson. Now, I have the pleasure of welcoming you back for the start of another great on-campus experience for our students. This week also marks the resumption of our regular, in-person work schedule.

I want to again share an enrollment and retention update, so that everyone can see where we have made progress and where more remains to be done. As of Friday, Jan. 28th, we are at 8,928 students, which is 91.6% of our Spring ‘22 goal of 9,749 students. We continue to outpace goal in several areas: Graduate students +372 (+20.2%); New students +204 (+19.5%); Undergraduate, part-time +95 (+6.0%); WP Online, new +187 (+68.8%); and WP Online, overall +1,108 (+141%). We also continue to lag in other areas: University headcount (-273); University continuing (–208); and One-semester retention is 84.4%, compared to 87.7% last year-to-date. Approximately 425 students (WP Session 2 and Late-start Undergrads) will enroll following the first Spring census. Where we continue to struggle is in full time undergraduates, which currently stands at 5,065 821 students below goal. Full-time undergraduates have the biggest impact on our tuition revenue numbers. There are 771 candidates for January degree completion. 

Also, I am pleased to report that the Back-on-Track program to re-enroll students from previous semesters has reached its 30% overall goal. By class, the re-enroll rates for contacted students stands at 37% for seniors, 39% for juniors, 18% for sophomores, and 19% for freshmen. As always, thanks to everyone across campus. In many different departments, as well as in the Colleges, who is working to help get students enrolled and re-enrolled for the Spring semester.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Black History Month, and the Black Cultural Center and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion have once again scheduled a wonderful array of educational, professional, social, and cultural events for students, faculty, and staff. This year’s theme is “From Surviving to Thriving.” I have the honor of providing opening remarks for tomorrow’s virtual kickoff event, from 12:30-2:00 p.m., which features a panel discussion on Black health, self-care, mental health, and wellness. 

William Paterson is committed to ensuring that the voices and the experiences of the University’s Black students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are lifted up, heard, and given their full due. I hope that initiatives like the Black Cultural Center and the great schedule of BHM events serve to demonstrate that commitment to every member of our community, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the many great opportunities to celebrate and learn about the vital role that Black people and Black culture have played in the history of our world, our nation, and our University. Please check WP Connect and Pioneer Life for details and the full schedule of events. 

A reminder to please join me in Shea or online for my State of the University Address, including a Q&A session, this ThursdayFeb. 3rd from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Please check your email this afternoon for a reminder email with all the details and the Zoom link. Please also join me, along with your colleagues, later that day for light refreshments at First Thursday, upstairs in Hobart Manor, from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

I am also pleased to share that Provost Josh Powers and the Deans will present Charting the Academic Affairs Future on FridayFeb. 11th from 12:00-12:45 p.m. on Zoom, in which they will go into greater depth on what some of the themes that I will raise in my address will mean for Academic Affairs. Please check your email for an invitation with all the details and a Zoom link.

I look forward to seeing you around campus in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, please check out this brief “Welcome Back to Campus” message I recorded for the WP community.
Have a great week!


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