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July 24, 2013, volume 3, number 21

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To the William Paterson University Community

The sweltering heat and humidity we have endured for the last few weeks have not hampered the progress of ongoing summer session classes or capital projects being completed around the campus. The site for the new parking garage is being readied for construction, and we anticipate the demolition of the Coach House in the next few weeks, in preparation for the new academic building.

We were just recently notified that we have been chosen to host one of the upcoming New Jersey Gubernatorial Debates. The University submitted a proposal to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, and we were awarded one of the three debates, which will be held in Shea Center in early October.  We are partnering with CBS TV and radio news in New York and Philadelphia, and The Record and Gannett New Jersey newspapers.  This is a great opportunity for the campus community to engage in the election process, and our thanks to Pat DeDeo and Stuart Goldstein for their work on our behalf.  Additional information will be forthcoming.

A very successful Commencement ceremony was held on May 15 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford.  A record crowd of almost 14,000 attended and cheered on our graduates who numbered more than 2,600.  Former Governor Thomas Kean delivered the keynote address and was awarded the President’s Medal.  The Board of Trustees also presented honorary doctorates to honored long-time supporter and philanthropist David Bolger and entrepreneur Spyros Lenas. 

We also held a recognition ceremony at Mercer County Community College for students participating in the William Paterson University at Mercer program. This partnership, begun just four years ago, now enrolls 181 students pursuing degrees in education, psychology, liberal studies, and business.  Thanks to Patrick Noonan, director of transfer programs and special sessions, for coordinating this program and arranging the event to acknowledge this important initiative.

Provost Warren Sandmann joined the University community on July 1 and a welcome reception for the campus was held on July 8.  Another welcome event for the faculty is planned for September 11, 2013, cosponsored by the Faculty Senate. We are pleased that Dr. Sandmann has joined us, and look forward to his contributions to the University.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education notified us that our monitoring report of April 1, 2013 was accepted.  This report documents implementation of a comprehensive institutional strategic plan that links long-range planning to decision-making, budgeting, and resource allocation at the departmental and university-wide levels. It also addresses implementation of a comprehensive, systemic, and sustainable process for the assessment of institutional effectiveness, and steps taken to align the strategic and academic plans with the institution’s mission and goals to guide the ongoing and future program review, planning, and resource allocation.  This is the second of two reports required by Middle States and we are pleased that both monitoring reports were accepted.  Special thanks to Steve Hahn for his work to complete the follow-up reports and to the team for making progress on areas of concern noted by the Middle States review team.

Since our last Middle States review, we have made two substantive change requests to include online programs: a Master of Education in Literacy and a Certificate in Learning Technologies, both in the College of Education. Our five-year review report is due in November 2016 and we will document the implementation of the online programs, including support services, student success, and the financial impact on the institution.

We congratulate the College of Education alumni and student teachers who have been recognized as outstanding educators.  Each year, school districts around the state honor teachers who display outstanding teaching skills in the classroom. This year, 38 alumni from William Paterson University’s College of Education have been recognized by their own school districts for the 2012-13 school year as outstanding teachers for their dedication to their students and creativity in the classroom. They represent school districts in Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, Newark, Paterson, West Milford, and Woodland Park. Additionally, 32 College of Education students have been named distinguished student teachers by the College in the following programs: Early Childhood; Early Childhood and Elementary; Elementary and Middle School; Elementary and Teacher of Students with Disabilities; Secondary Education; and Nursing.

Three William Paterson University professors—Payton MacDonald, associate professor of music; Emmanuel Onaivi, professor of biology; and Mahmoud Watad, professor of marketing and management—have been named Fulbright Scholars for the academic year 2013-14. William Paterson’s faculty currently includes 41 members who have received the prestigious awards, and we are particularly honored that three of our faculty members have been chosen this year. Congratulations to Professors MacDonald, Onaivi, and Watad, and to all of our Fulbright Scholars.

Psychology professor Neil Kressel was recently honored with the Book of the Year Award from the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism for his work, The Sons of Pigs and Apes: Muslim Anti-Semitism and the Conspiracy of Silence, released in 2012.  Specializing in the areas of psychology of religion, political psychology, and forensic psychology, Professor Kressel has been on the faculty at William Paterson for more than 20 years.

Martin Williams, director, Office of Sponsored Programs, was awarded the National Council of University Research Administrator’s Region II Distinguished Service Award at its 2013 spring meeting held in Buffalo, New York.  Martin was nominated by his peers in NCURA and we are delighted he received this most deserved award. 

William Paterson University and the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park have formalized a partnership to generate greater use of the Park’s historical, cultural, and natural resources for educational purposes.  We signed the agreement at the Great Falls with Park Superintendent Darren Boch on June 25. We are the first university to sign such an agreement.

New Jersey National History Day was held on campus on May 4. William Paterson has been the sponsor of New Jersey National History Day since 1988, and this program brings more than 450 students from 45 schools in 42 districts, as well as their teachers and parents, to our campus.

On May 18, I received on behalf of the University the 2013 Garden State Green Award for the University's strong commitment to sustainability.  The awards, sponsored by Prudential and the Star-Ledger, were presented at the seventh annual Garden State Greenfest at Kean University.  Earlier, on May 6, I was honored by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey along with other “Women of Influence” at a reception and awards ceremony.  And, on May 29, I delivered the keynote address at the first statewide conference of the New Jersey Campus Compact. The conference was dedicated to the scholarship and pedagogy of engagement.

During the 2012-13 academic year, Institutional Advancement raised $3.1 million in new cash and commitments.  This included a $442,000 estate gift to establish an endowed scholarship in education, a $400,000 commitment from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the College of Education, a $100,000 gift to the Jazz Studies Program from Peter Vosshall in memory of his father, three new endowed scholarships of $25,000 each, a $25,000 gift to support the sculpture and digital media curriculum, and $236,000 worth of consumables and equipment for the College of Science and Health from Roche Pharmaceuticals.

I wish you a productive and enjoyable end of summer, and look forward to seeing you at the annual president’s address to the campus community on Wednesday, September 4, 2013, during common hour.


Kathleen Waldron

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