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August 6, 2012, volume 2, number 16 

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To the William Paterson University Community
 

The campus has been very busy throughout the summer with students enrolled in summer classes beginning May 21 and continuing through August 8. The Center for Continuing and Professional Education has hosted Summer Youth Programs for middle and high school students in a variety of pre-college academic experiences and sports camps. And the Music Department hosted the 19th annual Summer Jazz Week with evening performances July 23-27 at the Shea Center for the Performing Arts. All of these activities bring new faces to the campus, enhancing our visibility in the community and region.

Board Sets Low Tuition Increase for Academic Year 2012-2013

For the second year in a row, the Board of Trustees has set a two-percent tuition increase for 2012-2013, maintaining our lowest increase in 30 years.  Residence hall rates remain unchanged from last year, and board/meal plans will increase three percent. These modest increases reaffirm the University’s commitment to providing affordable public education in New Jersey.

Enrollment Projections for Fall 2012

We are on target to meet the enrollment projection of 11,575 students for Fall 2012, which is roughly equal to enrollment in Fall 2011. We based this projection on an unusually large graduating class last May, due in part to the decrease in graduation credits from 128 to 120, which in turn has decreased the number of overall students.   Early indications show that our retention of freshmen improved this year and we will see a better qualified freshman class as measured by higher high school GPA and higher SAT scores. Transfer applications remain strong. We will provide a complete analysis of enrollment once final numbers are set after the academic year begins.

Faculty and Staff Appointments

As of today, we are welcoming 28 faculty into tenure track appointments on September 1, 2012. Full time faculty are expected to increase from 389 to 401 as a result of new hiring across the disciplines.  Of the new tenure-track faculty this year, 12 are males and 16 are females. Twelve (43%) of the new faculty are minorities. We are very pleased with the quality and diversity of our new faculty.

We welcome Dr. Claudia Schrader as Associate Provost for Academic Development, replacing Dr. Nina Jemmott, who is returning to the faculty.  Dr. Schrader will oversee the services offered by the offices in the academic development area, including the Educational Opportunities Fund Program (EOF), first year experience, tutoring and academic support services, among others.  Dr. Schrader comes to  William Paterson from Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York. Dr. Schrader begins her duties August 6.

Mr. Eric Rosenberg is the University’s new Chief Information Officer, replacing Len Bogdon, who has retired.  Eric was Associate Vice President at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken.  Eric will oversee the areas of Information Systems and Information Technology. He began July 9.

Dr. Kenneth Wolf has been appointed Dean of the College of Science and Health, replacing Dean Sandra DeYoung, who has retired.  Dr. Wolf comes to William Paterson from the College of Medicine at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in California where he served as associate dean.  Dr. Wolf begins August 6.

Mr. Steve Michalek has been appointed Director of Major Gifts in Institutional Advancement on July 18, replacing Joanne Nigrelli who left the University to pursue doctoral work. Previously, he was the Senior Campaign Director for Lynch Development Associates and has coordinated capital and stewardship campaigns as well as feasibility studies for the past six years. Steve is a 2006 graduate of William Paterson University with a BA in Communication.

Deans Searches 

We will renew our search for the dean of the College of the Arts and Communication. We will begin the search for the dean of the Cotsakos College of Business in August and already had consultations with the department chairs and the business advisory council which will now be chaired by alumnus Stephen Collesano ‘74.  We thank Will Pesce for his leadership of the advisory council for the past several years. The Cotsakos College of Business remains an important focus of our strategy building upon the excellent programs in sales and financial planning and the growing reputation for the business concept competition.

Fundraising

This fall we will engage a consultant to conduct a professional wealth screening of our alumni base at a higher level of completeness and sophistication than we have done in the past, and in the spring we expect to begin a feasibility study for our next capital campaign. The feasibility study assists a university in establishing the amount of a campaign based upon a realistic assessment of potential donors and their likelihood to donate. During the past year, we raised approximately $4 million in cash, pledges and restricted stock similar to the amount raised last year. We are pleased to announce a new gift of $100,000 to the College of Education from Dr. Marjorie Heller to name the Heller Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership.

Budget Process

The Board of Trustees adopted the University’s budget for Fiscal Year 2013 on July 24, 2012.  The all funds budget shows revenues of $223 million and expenses and other obligations at $222 million, assuming current enrollment projections are actualized for Fall 2012. Information on the approved budget will soon be available on the website and the campus community will be notified when it is posted.

The development of a more transparent budget process proceeded this year with an online tool made available to units to outline their desired new expense requests. We received nearly $10 million in requests despite only having about $2.5 million for strategic investments. To date we allocated approximately $1 million as follows:

1. Added 10 new graduate assistantships to support the development of graduate programs. Tuition waivers and stipends total $212,000.

2. Supplemented the admissions budgets by $115,000 to purchase larger student prospect lists, raising our outreach from 45,000 to 100,000 high school students, and to provide an analysis of the distribution of financial aid funds.

3. Provided funding of about $62,000 to hire a second chemistry lab assistant to respond to growth in science course enrollments and to support our focus on undergraduate scientific research.

4. Provided $25,000 for a media production manager to support the investment of new television studio equipment in support of the broadcast journalism program, one of our strongest communication programs. This $2.4 million project will rehabilitate the television studio with new digital equipment.

5. Provided increases to the operating budgets of the Cheng Library and the five academic colleges, totaling $160,000.

6. Provided $100,000 to Human Resources for a new senior position, and $80,000 to Enrollment Management to support an Associate Registrar.  These are critical positions to the delivery of services to staff and students.

7. Provided $110,000 to advancement for wealth screening and for a campaign feasibility study.

8. Provided funding of about $100,000 for an additional advisor in the Career Development and Advisement Center and $100,000 for an additional position in campus life to enhance weekend and evening student activities.

Middle States Update

We received notification on June 28 that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accepted our progress report on the assessment of the University Core Curriculum (UCC).  At the time of their team visit, we were in the early phases of implementing the UCC and were unable to fully report on the assessment of the program.  Middle States required a progress report, which we submitted in April 2012. An additional status report is due April 1, 2013 on the implementation of our Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan Implementation Teams

Implementation teams were established in Spring 2012 for each goal of the Strategic Plan, and many of the teams have continued their work throughout the summer months.  Each team has kept minutes of its deliberations, which are posted on the Strategic Plan website. All campus constituents are encouraged to stay abreast of the progress of the implementation teams by reading the minutes as they are posted. Comments are welcomed at the Strategic Plan email address.

Alumni Events at William Paterson University

Our Office of Alumni Relations sponsors events throughout the year for our alumni, ranging from class reunions to social events on campus to trips to local ballgames.  Since April, Alumni Relations has sponsored a Greek Alumni Reunion, the Class of 1962 50th Anniversary celebration at Commencement, a young alumni “Staycation” at the University, a trip to see the Yankees play the Chicago White Sox, and a young alumni summer bash in Neptune, NJ.  All of these events strengthen the tie between the University and its alumni and provide opportunities for alumni to stay involved with their alma mater. I commend Janis Schwartz, Director of Alumni Relations, and her team for providing these important opportunities for our graduates.

William Paterson University Awards

The University has been awarded a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to improve the classroom instruction of K-12 English learners in the Paterson, Passaic, and Clifton schools. William Paterson was the only college or university in New Jersey to receive funding through this grant program. The College of Education and College of Humanities and Social Sciences will partner on the project to provide new and veteran teachers with additional skills to meet the growing needs of English learners in elementary and secondary school classrooms in New Jersey. The grant will pay tuition for selected math and science teachers to earn English as a second language certification at the graduate level, as well as for undergraduate teacher candidates—particularly those seeking certification in math and science—to pursue bilingual certification as an endorsement on their initial teaching certification. 

Visibility

The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, a national magazine serving the higher education community, featured WPU’s Financial Planning Program as its cover story for the June 25, 2012 edition. The magazine featured a picture of 1600 Valley Road on its cover, with a feature article on “Hispanic Financial Planning Majors in High Demand.”  Professor Lukas Dean was interviewed in the article.

Construction Update

During the summer, we have continued to move forward with a number of small capital projects. HVAC systems have been upgraded in both the Atrium and Library. Phase Two for the renovation of specific student services areas within Morrison and Raubinger have begun with much of the work to be completed by the beginning of the academic year. Additional Science Complex research and instructional labs as well as outdoor landscaping including new outdoor stairs from the Residence Halls to the Science Complex quad will be completed by the fall. Sections of College Road and several parking lots are being paved. The elevators in the Library and Overlook Residence Halls are being refurbished. Work has begun on the upgrade of TV studios in Hobart Hall and the two music performance rooms in Shea. Solar panels are being installed on the roofs of 1600 Valley Road, the Science Complex and Hobart Hall. Preparatory work continues on the 1,000 space parking garage.  At its meeting on July 24, 2012, the Board of Trustees approved the plan to proceed with the parking garage, which will be located behind the Science Complex, off Parking Lot 2.

Proposed Capital Bond Issue for Higher Education

For the first time in 25 years, there is the possibility of a capital bond issue for higher education being placed on the November 2012 ballot. The proposed $750 million bond would be shared among all institutions of higher education in the state. If this bond referendum is approved by the voters, it will be the first time since 1988 that New Jersey citizens will support facilities projects at colleges and universities. Prior to 1988, the state did provide funding for large construction and building maintenance projects but since 1988, it has ceased to do so, making New Jersey one of the few states in the country without facilities support.

For our most critical project, we have identified the need to build a new academic building in the main academic corridor to provide additional classrooms and faculty offices.  A preliminary estimate would plan for constructing a four-story building with 83,000 square feet for approximately $50 million.  The building would yield general purpose and program specific classrooms with the appropriate number of faculty offices and allow us to plan for eventual renovation of the other academic buildings nearby. We believe this new building should house degree programs in the health professions, including undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing, communication disorders, public health, and kinesiology.  Moving these programs into the new building would allow us to begin the renovation of Hunziker Wing followed by renovations to all the buildings within the core academic zone.   Please keep in mind that the academic zone plan is part of a long-term strategy for our facilities and funding sources have not yet been identified.  The selection of a new academic building supporting the health professions is consistent with the future needs of New Jersey for professionals in these fields.  We have strong programs in these disciplines and we have plans for enrollment growth in many of the programs. We hope that by making a strong case for this building and demonstrating its importance to key programs, our project will be selected for funding from the bond issuance.

New Board Bylaws and Updated Board Policies

The Board of Trustees has completed a year-long review of its Bylaws and policies that govern the institution.  Throughout the year, the Board has reduced its policies from 36 to 15, rescinding policies that were outdated or no longer appropriate. The culmination of the review was the adoption of new Bylaws for the Board of Trustees, adopted at the July 24, 2012 Board Meeting. The new Bylaws are found on the Board of Trustees webpage.

New Board Policy on Minors Adopted

The Board of Trustees adopted two new policies pertaining to minors on campus at its meeting on July 24, 2012.  These policies refer to minors engaged in not-for-credit courses at the University and apply to all University-sponsored activities.  The policies will be disseminated widely on campus.

New Emergency Operations Plan Adopted

State law requires all institutions of higher education to have a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan in place.  Our plan, based on a self-assessment of our emergency response systems, has been approved by the Campus Safety and Security Committee of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council.  Following state law, we have submitted our plan for review to the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, the State Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Health and Senior Services, and the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  The Board of Trustees formally adopted the Plan at its meeting on July 24, 2012.

Retirement of Trustee Robert Taylor

Mr. Robert Taylor retired as a member of the Board of Trustees on June 30, 2012 after 22 years. Bob joined the Board in 1990, serving as its Chair from 2004-2008 and Vice Chair from 1998-2000.  During his tenure, he also provided leadership as chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, Nominations and Governance Committee, and member of the former Student Affairs Committee.  Bob chaired the Search Committee for the new president of William Paterson in 2010 and was instrumental in the decision to expand the University’s residential population with the addition of new residence halls.  A former chair of the Board of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, he played a critical role in the efforts which led to the passage of the New Jersey Higher Education Restructuring Act of 1994. On behalf of the University, we heartily thank Robert Taylor for his service to this University and to higher education in New Jersey, and we wish Bob and his wife Eleanor an enjoyable and productive retirement.

Trustee Dr. Henry Pruitt Elected to Teaneck Council

Dr. Henry Pruitt, the longest-serving member of our Board of Trustees, has been elected to the Teaneck City Council.  Dr. Pruit most recently served on the Teaneck Board of Education.  We wish him well as he represents the citizens of Teaneck.

I look forward to keeping you posted on future developments via email and during my upcoming address to faculty and staff on Tuesday, September 4, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the University Commons Ballroom.  I hope that you are enjoying your summer.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Waldron
President

William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road, Wayne, New Jersey 07470     973-720-2222     president@wpunj.edu