President’s Statement: FY11 State Budget Request




New Jersey families and businesses are struggling to cope with what many economists agree is the most profound economic downturn since the Great Depression. Home prices have fallen, credit is more difficult to obtain and the national unemployment rate has risen to its highest level since 1983 (9.8% as of October 2, 2009). Despite hopeful signs of recovery and a sharp uptick in the equity markets during spring and summer 2009, the cumulative effects of nearly two years of home foreclosures, job losses and growing state unemployment mirroring the national trend have greatly exacerbated a longstanding imbalance between recurring revenues and annual spending in the State. With unemployment predicted to rise further, and with job growth lagging recovery in the non-consumer sectors of the economy, FY 2011 State revenues will likely continue to fall.

Norman J. Glickman, University Professor at Rutgers University and Public Policy Fellow at the New Jersey Policy Perspective summed up this vicious circle in his Labor Day editorial in The Record: “The high levels of unemployment have also led to increased home foreclosures. Lost income from job loss leads very quickly to payment delinquencies and foreclosures. People who had good credit and standard mortgages can’t keep their houses when unemployment strikes. Also, tax revenues have dried up because of tight credit and joblessness … As people lose their homes, their tax payments dry up. Many families have also had to say bye-bye to their health insurance. No job, no coverage.”

It should be clear that creating and filling skilled jobs consistent with the 21st century economy is the key to a sustained economic recovery.  Supporting this thesis, in its fiscal 2010 budget statement, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education said “Our institutions of higher learning have the ability to improve our state's economic competitiveness by preparing new graduates, retooling dislocated workers, and conducting research and development. Colleges and universities provide workers with the necessary skills to increase human productivity, which in turn contributes to overall increases in economic growth. New jobs in a churning economy favor highly skilled workers, and skill requirements for existing jobs are increasing. Furthermore, university research and development cultivates technology and innovation that drives business improvement and growth.”

National recognition of the unique role of higher education in advancing the country’s agenda has taken on a new urgency. At the outset of his administration, President Obama set the ambitious goal that by 2020 America will “… once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”  In announcing his American Graduation Initiative, the President said that “… we seek to help an additional 5 million Americans earn degrees and certificates in the next decade.” Many students who take advantage of federal resources provided to community colleges under this initiative will ultimately seek four-year degrees. New Jersey’s State Colleges and Universities must have the capacity to receive and serve them.

Raymond Scheppach, Executive Director of the National Governors Association was quoted in a February, 2008 article (in as saying “A lot more governors now realize that their systems of higher education are really their major economic strategy for the future … that companies go to where you have highly skilled workers.”

Reinforcing that view, former Governor Kean was quoted last year as saying “If New Jersey is going to sustain high-quality public higher education into the future, if New Jersey is going to field a home-grown work force with the skills demanded by the future, then New Jersey families, government and business leaders must recognize the importance of our nine state colleges and universities and invest in them for the future."

As the State pursues the proper role of government to improve the lives of its citizens and create an environment attractive to business, the necessity of growing the capacity and effectiveness of New Jersey’s public higher education system is now even more compelling. Statewide economic growth requires a higher education system that produces first-rate applied research, undertakes widespread and impactful public service initiatives and creative, synergistic collaborations with businesses, and educates more of our citizens to be able to develop new ideas and produce goods and services that shape the technologically sophisticated and globally interrelated environment of the 21st century.  There is simply no other social institution outside of higher education capable of fulfilling these objectives.

New Jersey’s public colleges and universities clearly understand the vital importance of higher education to the economic well-being of the State and the personal development of its citizens. Even before the current financial crisis, the capacity of New Jersey higher education institutions to serve all those who would seek college education has been stretched. In the May, 2008 New Jersey Business magazine, contributing writer Tracey Regan wrote “New Jersey’s public colleges and universities are forced to turn away thousands of students each year because they don’t have the dorms, classrooms and other campus facilities to accommodate them.” The most current data confirm these concerns. The New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities estimates that the state colleges and universities received about 60,000 applications (representing about 25,000 individual students) for the full-time freshman class at the eight traditional institutions, where there are only about 11,000 slots. While William Paterson University’s fall 2009 student population is about 97 percent in-state residents, New Jersey students who are turned away at the State’s public colleges and universities due to lack of capacity represent a permanently lost opportunity. The September 4, 2009 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education reports that (using 2006 data) New Jersey suffered a net out-migration of nearly 30,000 students. That loss of potential talent representing the best and brightest New Jersey young men and women, the so-called “brain-drain,” may be irrevocable. Carl Van Horn, Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers said in the same New Jersey Business piece “Research shows that students who graduate from a particular institution are more likely to settle and work near it.”

Demographic data also show that our population grows more and more diverse. In addition, current workers are increasingly recognizing the need for lifelong learning to enhance professional skills and career development, at the same time that college attendance typically grows even faster as the unemployment rate rises. These realities, taken together, argue for increased capacity for New Jersey’s institutions of higher education and new programs delivered by faculty / staff prepared to meet the emerging needs of the state, its citizens and its business community.  Only a first-class higher education system can produce an appropriately and sufficiently skilled workforce and an informed and engaged citizenry necessary to meet these challenges.

Responsive to these concerns, William Paterson University has undertaken a carefully measured period of growth that has and will continue to enable it to respond effectively and efficiently to these challenges.  During academic year 2007-2008, the Board of Trustees began a strategic planning process to guide the institution’s development in both the short and long-term.  Using a scenario planning approach, the Board sought to identify key forces that might be reasonably predicted to shape various possible futures for the University. The planning process then seeks to develop what are termed “robust strategies,” or strategic options that would be effective in multiple potential futures. At a series of public retreats and incorporating input from a meeting at which 70 members of the University community actively participated, the Board considered strategies in the areas of enrollment goals and criteria, faculty and staff profiles, programs and courses, student experience and campus facilities, and development and public relations.

In academic year 2008-2009, the University completed the development of a comprehensive Academic Plan to complement our existing Student Success Plan.  This plan reviewed all of our existing academic programs, assessing their value, competitive advantage and needs, as well as suggesting new programs that we should create to respond to State priorities and University strengths.  In concert with our Student Success Plan, Facilities Master Plan and Information Technology Plan, the Academic Plan will integrate the University community’s vision for our near and long-term future.

In May, 2009 I announced my intention to retire from the presidency of William Paterson University upon the appointment of my successor. During academic year 2009-2010, William Paterson will conduct a national search for a new president to lead the University forward in refining and fulfilling its mission to serve the State and its citizens. The search process, the appointment and the transition to a new president represent a singular occasion for institutional reflection and renewal for William Paterson. I am confident that under the leadership of a strong and engaged Board of Trustees and thanks to the work of an expert and committed faculty and staff, the University will emerge stronger for the effort.

This budget request seeks resources required to support the programs and services that enable the University to carry out the goals and objectives of our planning work and that fulfill our mission in the areas of academic excellence, student success, diversity and community outreach.



Academic excellence exists when high quality faculty develop and deliver the appropriate array of challenging academic programs to a carefully selected cohort of properly motivated and intellectually and interpersonally engaged students.  Responsive to our obligation to serve greater numbers of students, the University had hoped to accelerate growth in the number and quality of students and the academic and student development programs available to them. The difficult decisions that the University was required to make to balance its recent budgets and to fund debt service for urgently needed capital projects have regrettably slowed that progress, although we were determined not to allow these challenges to adversely impact student learning programs. As a result of these budget constraints, the number of full-time faculty for fall 2009 decreased slightly to 371, from 378 in fall 2008. Cumulatively, however, in the decade since the fall of 1999, we have increased the full-time faculty from 352 to 371, an increase of 5.4 percent.  These steady increases over time permit a relatively low student-faculty ratio (15.4:1 in 2008-2009), enhanced academic advising, more faculty-student research collaboration, and course offerings more widely available in the summer sessions, winter session, evenings, and on Saturdays and Sundays.  For fall 2008, 84.2 percent of faculty hold doctoral degrees, and additional 6.3 percent hold the appropriate non-doctoral terminal degree in their field.

In spite of these budget constraints and the reduced number of full-time faculty from last year, we were able to offer 2,327 course sections in fall 2009, 19 more than offered in fall 2008.  In 2006-2007, the University inaugurated a winter session, offering selected courses, on-line only, during the period between the Christmas holiday and the beginning of spring classes. Enrolling about 660 students in 49 sections for winter 08-09 (up from about 540 students in 41 course sections the prior year), the Winter Session provides students with yet another opportunity to complete their degrees more quickly while making efficient use of campus resources.

In recent years, seven additional faculty members have been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, bringing the total number of William Paterson University faculty granted this honor to 31, among the largest cohort in the nation at comparable institutions.  The 26 who are currently active all teach and advise undergraduate and graduate students and share their global expertise with their students and colleagues.  Efforts are made to increase student participation in the various Fulbright initiatives. Two years ago, for example, one of our undergraduate degree recipients was awarded a Fulbright to explore women’s roles in Syria.

As well as being accomplished teachers, faculty are productive participants in their academic fields, writing books, articles, and chapters as well as supporting their research through grants and presenting their original research at conferences.  For example, this past year William Paterson faculty published 26 books and 216 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Our art, music, theatre, and communication faculty were particularly creative, participating in 151 performances, 32 productions, and 82 exhibits and recordings.

In accord with the new Academic Plan accepted by the Board of Trustees in May 2009, during academic year 2008-2009 the faculty brought forward for approval a number of academic initiatives that were implemented or are in the process of being implemented, including a B.A. in Art History, a Certificate Program in Assessment and Evaluation Research Skills, and a name change to reflect current trends of the B.A. in Women’s Studies to a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition, we have begun offering a degree completion program at Mercer County Community College and increasing other transfer programs. The University is currently seeking external approval or recognition of a number of other programs approved during this time, including an M.A. in Professional Communication, Doctor of  Nursing Practice (DNP), and B.A. in Chemistry, with others forthcoming (e.g., MFA in Writing).

During academic year 2008-2009, a committee of the Faculty Senate reviewed and brought forward recommendations for revision and renewal of the University’s General Education (GE) requirements. The current General Education requirements were instituted in the 1980s by a consensus of the faculty regarding the common core of liberal arts and science requirements to be drawn from the various disciplines of the University. Recent faculty judgment about the need to re-envision General Education has led to lively and extensive discussion on campus. Recommendations from the committee, based on those discussions, were presented to the Faculty Senate early in the spring semester. Following continued work during the spring and summer, the Faculty Senate will again consider the proposals for revision and renewal of General Education during fall 2009 with the aim of approving a program for implementation effective September, 2011.

Innovative and collaborative academic programming is also very much a part of academic excellence.

Civic education continues to be a distinguishing theme of our academic initiatives, across a variety of departments, colleges and programs.   Six years ago, the University joined with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the New York Times and, to date, about 220 campuses as part of the American Democracy Project (ADP). This national project seeks to “… produce graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities."  The ADP at William Paterson has tailored that mission by creating university-wide curricular and co-curricular opportunities for civic education and engagement. At the core of the civic education opportunities offered by ADP is the Civic Engagement Across the Curriculum (CEAC) program - a university-wide service learning program offering 11 courses across all five colleges.  CEAC courses all have all the following characteristics: 1) The courses feature readings and classroom activities that will prepare students for their community experiences. 2) A substantial portion of the course involves participating in some community activity. 3) The community participation is not just charitable work, but involves students in learning about and trying to solve real community problems. 4) The students are asked to reflect on their community participation and their roles as citizens in a democracy.  By working with important community partners like Paterson's Habitat for Humanity, or St. Paul's Community Development Corporation, both students and community partners benefit. Students gain key civic and practical skills and report great satisfaction with the unique learning opportunities provided by these courses. In the spring of 2009, ADP focused its curricular civic education efforts in the General Education Council of the Faculty Senate. Currently, a “Community and Civic Knowledge” area requirement is being considered as part of the General Education proposal before the Faculty Senate.

Each year, ADP hosts the federally mandated Constitution Day, bringing in nationally recognized scholars to speak on a related theme.  In academic year 2008-2009 this high profile event and student luncheon also served as the launch for the most significant voter registration drive on our campus in three decades.  ADP has long served as our campus center for voting education and registration, but youth voting trends and increased interest among the young in civic participation presented a unique opportunity for increasing student involvement.  In academic year 2008-2009, ADP set the stage with a student “Vote Poster Contest,” juried by art and ADP faculty. With over 35 impressive submissions, the jury’s first place winner’s design served as the logo for posters, banners, buttons and t-shirts. The university-wide campaign involved five student clubs representing hundreds of students. ADP continued its traditional collaboration with our First-Year Seminar program bringing on-line instructional and registration materials directly into the classroom through our on-line course management system Blackboard. ADP’s youth voter education and registration programs continue to be effective tools in reaching first-time voters on campus with a record 586 new voters registered and 136 absentee ballot applications processed. This adds to the 850 new voters registered since 2004.

 In addition to ADP’s curricular civic engagement efforts and voter education programming, ADP has begun a new initiative in technology and civic participation sponsored by AASCU. In the summer of 2009, William Paterson University was selected as one of eight institutions from among AASCU member campuses to participate in a three year “e-Citizenship” initiative led by the Center for the Study of Citizenship (CSC) at Wayne State University. ADP director Dr. Christine Kelly and Instruction and Research Technology (IRT) director Dr. Sandie Miller collaborated with Provost Edward Weil in crafting the proposal to participate. The research project aims to understand the capacity of technology, especially social networks, to engage and empower citizens. As one of the selected institutions, William Paterson will work with other campuses to study the relationship between social networks and the capacity for and participation in civic engagement. The project seeks to discover how these networks support and facilitate civic and political engagement. Our goal is to provide insights into and strategies for engagement with social networks and technology tools that can be used to prepare undergraduates for lives of engagement and participation. ADP looks forward to a fruitful application of the insights gained across the university curriculum.

Opportunities for high achieving students also serve to enhance academic excellence. The University Honors College was formed in 2005 by combining several discrete honors tracks with the goal of providing high achieving students a visible home on our campus.  In four years the Honors College has grown in the number of students involved and the range of their experiences. In fall 2009, 103 first-year students and 20 transfer students entered the Honors College.  The University awarded students accepted into the Honors College scholarships of $2,000 per year.  Over half of students offered acceptance into the Honors College chose to attend William Paterson University.  The College is also seeing growth in the number of upper-division students who are continuing their studies in Honors. While increasing the number of students enrolled in Honors courses is one goal of the College, a second goal is to increase the range of experiences offered to students.  Honors College students have the opportunity to reside in an Honors learning community in our High Mountain East residence hall, which purposefully links the students’ residential and academic experiences.  Faculty members and staff meet with students during bi-weekly “lunches in the lounge” to talk about topics of common interest.  Students run a film series in the community, and occasionally faculty members are invited to join the audience.  The organization of the students’ rooms around small lounges makes the learning community an ideal place for study groups.  Honors students have formed a club through which they organize social events.  The club also participates in community service projects like the annual coat drive (which yielded almost 100 coats a year for residents of Eva’s Village in Paterson), the Great American Bake Sale to combat hunger in the United States, and participated in events to raise funds for Saint Jude’s Hospital.  Honors students now enter the Honors College, form close friendships with other Honors students, participate in campus clubs and service projects, and see their Honors experience as one that transcends the classroom. The number of students enrolled in Honors tracks (interdisciplinary minors that conclude with students writing theses or completing final projects), is also increasing.  Tracks are available in Biopsychology, Cognitive Science, Humanities, Life Science and Environmental Ethics, Music, Performing and Literary Arts and Social Sciences. New tracks have been added in Management and Marketing for students in the College of Business, Nursing for students in the Nursing program, and there is an independent track for students whose interests are outside the existing programs.  More Honors students are engaging in research with faculty mentors, which is a fundamental component of an Honors experience.  The College continues to host Honors Week in April during which graduating seniors present their research to the campus community.  The Honors College is emerging as a dynamic place for high-achieving students. The Honors program adds to the diversity and challenge that all students experience in the classroom, laboratory and studio (because Honors students do not take only Honors courses) and further empowers faculty to have higher expectations for student success.

The Russ Berrie Institute (RBI) for Professional Sales in the Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business is a leader in sales education around the country and beyond. Its mission is to advance the field of professional sales through degree programs, as well as conducting research and training targeted to students and practicing professionals. The inaugural offering of the RBI National Sales Challenge, a national student sales competition, was held in November, 2007 and gathered some of the country’s best sales students to showcase the nation’s top sales talent, attract firms and generate donations to support the competition and RBI. Twenty schools from across the U.S. participated in the 2008 National Sales Challenge. The RBI Sales Triathlon internal sales competition is held in October each year. The event is a requirement of all majors, minors and any student taking sales courses and features industry executives playing the role of the buyer in role plays. Each spring an RBI sales job fair is held, bringing in local and national companies to recruit graduating seniors for full time employment as well as undergraduates for internship opportunities. In 2008 we marked the third year of the Sales Leader program. This program involves students selected via interview that demonstrate leadership and high academic performance to participate in two specially designed courses that focus on best practices of domestic sales forces and international sales forces. The students conducted business calls during their spring recess in San Francisco and in May with a trip to Qatar that extended RBI’s international network. Last year’s trips were conducted again in San Francisco and Montreal, Canada. In addition, we are a founding member of the University Sales Center Alliance (USCA), a group of 13 universities in the United States which offer sales programs and hosted the fall meeting of this organization in fall 2008.  The Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales jointly organized the 2008 Global Sales Science Conference. In collaboration with the University of Athens, the 2nd Annual Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI) Conference held in June was an interactive dialogue between scholars and sales practitioners where participants from five continents evaluate the progress of the sales field and strengthen the ties across the participating institutions around the world. These programs continue to grow, and thus extend the RBI name both domestically and internationally as a leader in the field of sales education.

Opportunities for international experience are an important part of undergraduate education in the 21st century. In academic year 2008-2009, 63 students participated in Study Abroad programs in summer, one semester and two semester programs. Four of the programs were developed and led by WPU faculty to Cambridge, Spain, Kenya, and China. Others went to 10 other countries, and included one “Semester at Sea,” which is a world-wide program. Ten international visiting scholars engaged in research and post doctoral training from China, France, India, Italy, Spain, and Turkey.  In 2008-2009 the University hosted four faculty as part of the Fulbright /  Institute for International Education program from Turkey, Tunisia, Austria, and Ukraine. Two new international agreements were made with Windesheim University in Holland and the University in Namibia, bringing the total international agreements to ten.

The University actively pursues outside resources to support and enhance its activities.  Last year (FY2009), funding for program activities totaling over $4.76 million was received through the University’s Office of Sponsored Programs.  In previous years, the amount received in total new awards (which included the total value of multi-year commitments) and the amounts available for that year were close to the same.  In FY2009, these amounts were dramatically different: the total new awards were $11,486,014 and represented an increase of 218% over FY2008.  The increased amount of total new awards was due to the general increase in the size and duration of the awards as well as the number of new awards that were received.  One result of this increase is that more funds will be available in subsequent years for projects. Another result is that our competitiveness for certain types of awards has been significantly improved.

The largest new awards were for pre-service and in-service teacher professional development and/or scholarship support: (US Department of Education [3], National Science Foundation, New Jersey Department of Education [5]), nursing education (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), comprehensive job training (US Department of Labor through the Newark Alliance) and alcohol and other drug abuse education and treatment (New Jersey Department of Human Services).  The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education (NJCHE) made three new awards focused on increasing enrollment in higher education through education of students and families concerning the FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), the development of dual-enrollment programs with urban high schools, and re-engaging students who had completed two years of college before discontinuing their education.  New and ongoing awards supported research in education and the sciences, business development, art and cultural programming, school-based student programs, the development of a statewide streaming video resource for educational institutions and other activities.   In addition to those noted above, grants from federal agencies included support from the National Institutes of Health, the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences, among others, and support from New Jersey agencies also included the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the NJCHE.

Specific notable FY2009 awards included: $3,043,413 from the US Department of Education for the New Vistas Transition to Teaching project with Kean University to recruit college graduates into teaching careers; $2,500,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the New Jersey Nursing Collaborative Grant in partnership with The College of New Jersey, Richard Stockton College and Kean University to increase the number of nurse educators in New Jersey; $1,065,889 from the US Department of Education for the Math and Science Teachers (MAST) Project to recruit undergraduates into careers as math and science teachers; $899,469 from the National Science Foundation for Robert Noyce Scholarship Program for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students pursuing careers as math and science teachers; and, $200,483 from the US Department of Education for the establishment of the Center for Critical Languages.  For FY2010, the University was recently notified of two major new awards: $1,120,000 from the NJ Board of Public Utilities for a project that will improve energy use in several campus buildings, and a five-year, $10,810,856 award from the US Department of Education for the Garden State Partnership for Teacher Quality project that is a partnership with Kean University, Rowan University and at least eight urban school districts that will focus on improvements at the undergraduate, graduate and school leadership levels. 

Faculty excellence goes hand in hand with programmatic excellence. The University has experienced longstanding recognition of its programmatic excellence through accreditation. Following our decennial Middle States review in 2001, our institutional accreditation was reaffirmed without condition. In academic year 2005-2006, half-way to our next 10-year review, we completed our Periodic Review Report. This report allowed us to reflect critically on the state of the University as well as to examine thoroughly our progress toward addressing the recommendations made by the Middle States Visiting Team in 2001. In November, 2006 we were formally notified that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education had accepted our Periodic Review Report and reaffirmed our accreditation. Their affirmation was accompanied by a request for a letter to inform the Commission by October 1, 2008, of the University’s progress toward implementing “a sustained and comprehensive process for the assessment of student learning outcomes including evidence that student learning assessment is used to improve teaching and learning.” The University complied with that request by describing, in its letter of October 1 to the Commission, our process for the assessment of student learning outcomes and the use of assessment data for program improvement. We are now entering into a new cycle of self-study for our next 10-year review leading to our hosting a Visiting Team from Middle States in February/March of 2011. Last spring, a Steering Committee was named and convened to begin the work of selecting a design for the self-study. In September, our Middles States Commission liaison, Vice President Dr. Barbara Loftus, visited the campus to meet with the Steering Committee and members of the administration. Later, she spoke with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees. This fall, working groups will be organizing and undertaking the task of self-study and engaging the University community in the process.

In addition to regional accreditation activities, we urge departments and programs to pursue specialized accreditation wherever possible. These external reviews, beginning with a thorough self-study, provide the opportunity for both external feedback and internal renewal and reflection, and provide unbiased outside evaluations and evidence of program quality for program improvement and public accountability.

Looking backward, a 10-year reverse chronology reveals a succession of program accreditations, including:

  • In 2008 the computer science program successfully underwent review by the Computer Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and was awarded accreditation retroactive to November 2007.
  • In November 2006 the University hosted an accreditation visit by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) that resulted in the award of formal accreditation for the period 2007-2017.
  • In November 2006, the National Association of Schools of Music issued an affirmation of “continuation in good standing” in the accreditation of the Department of Music. 
  • In October 2006, the University’s program in Athletic Training was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) in addition to a previous accreditation. 
  • In the spring of 2006 we were notified by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Accreditation (NCATE) of the continued accreditation of our programs in teacher education. Further, the University’s Child Development Center, which serves the University community and where students in early childhood education programs may complete a practicum, was reviewed and achieved accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 2008.
  •  In the spring of 2006, as well, we were notified of an eight-year renewed accreditation of our Master’s program in Communication Disorders by the Council on Academic Accreditation of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • The Cotsakos College of Business received accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in spring 2005, with special commendation for the Russ Berrie Professional Sales Laboratory, the Global Financial Services Institute and its overall emphasis on programs that provide students with real-world business experiences. By achieving accreditation, the Cotsakos College of Business joined an elite group that comprises less than 15 percent of business schools around the world who have completed the demanding AACSB International process.
  • Also in the spring of 2005, our Masters in Clinical and Counseling Psychology program received accreditation from the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC).
  • During academic year 2002-2003 our programs in Community Counseling and School Counseling were accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • During academic year 2001-2002 the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded continuing accreditation to our Athletic Training Education program.
  • During academic year 1999-2000, the Nursing Department was visited and favorably reviewed by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The cycle of professional accreditations begins anew in academic year 2009-2010 for our programs in Computer Science, Public Health, Nursing, Professional Counseling, and Business. In addition, in an accreditation project that reaches across the campus from the College of Education to programs in the arts and sciences, and includes physical education, we begin preparations for the spring 2012 visit from the accreditation team from NCATE.

Responsive to the growing demand for advanced study and professional training, the University’s Graduate Programs have also grown significantly in recent years.  New graduate programs have been added in Fine Arts, Music, Clinical and Counseling Psychology, History, Sociology, Educational Leadership and Public Policy / International Affairs, Exercise and Sports Studies and the Executive Master of Science in Sales Leadership. In addition, concentrations in Accounting, Finance and Music Business have been added to the MBA program. Overall enrollment in graduate programs (1,636) has grown about 10 percent in the decade from fall 1999 to fall 2009.

A carefully selected cohort of well-prepared students is another condition that supports academic excellence.  The University enrolled 1,435 full-time, first-time freshmen for fall 2009, up about 16.5 percent from a decade earlier in fall 1999. The mean combined SAT of regularly admitted full-time freshmen was 1,035, down from 1,046 in fall 2008.  The proportion of this cohort with Verbal SAT scores of 600 or more, 10.2 percent, is down from 12.3 percent from fall 2008.  The proportion of this cohort with Math SAT scores of 600, 14.4 percent, is also down from 15.9 percent from fall of 2008.  The University felt that its obligation to serve more qualified students in this economic downturn outweighed the benefits of a class with higher entering test scores.

While we know that high achieving students enhance the University’s overall academic environment by elevating the quality of discussion in class for all students and by challenging the faculty to strengthen their teaching and scholarship, the competition for these students grows more intense each year.  We are very concerned about the potential adverse impact, statewide, that growing public awareness among parents, high school guidance counselors and prospective new students of longstanding capacity, capital and operating funding shortfalls to New Jersey public higher education may continue to have on the willingness of students, and in particular high achieving students, to select public colleges and universities in New Jersey. This concern is particularly acute at a time when, given the impact of the world financial crisis, some cash-strapped New Jersey families may be inclined to give greater consideration to the cost benefits of sending strong students to in-state institutions. New Jersey desperately needs to capitalize on this opportunity to further reduce the out-migration of the best and brightest students by proclaiming and demonstrating that its public higher education institutions are capable of giving these students and their families everything they seek in undergraduate, residential education.

In the 21st century, information technology is an essential component of academic excellence.   It is vital that a University provide the most current and robust infrastructure, hardware, software and data security to students and faculty, since the future economic development of the State and our country requires an expert work force informed by state-of-the-art applied research. This goal is unattainable when students are forced to learn and faculty are forced to teach and conduct research using outdated technology. When students graduate to employment in the “high-tech” economy, they must arrive ready to do business using the most current information technology tools. Providing and maintaining this environment is unusually costly because the University cannot wait until “cutting-edge” technologies have reached the price-discounted mainstream.  In spite of this high cost, the University has made, and will continue to make, significant strides in meeting this challenge. Among the most important such strides is our new Information Technology (IT) Strategic Plan, 2007-2010. This plan outlines the directions we will follow in the areas of instructional technology, administrative information systems and infrastructure.

With regard to support for instruction, the David and Lorraine Cheng Library continues to build upon its essential mission of providing access to, and instruction in, the use of information resources supporting the academic research and curriculum goals of the University.  While technology plays an integral role in the ongoing development of both the physical and virtual Cheng Library, listening to Library patrons remains a key element in planning and enhancing services. A survey conducted jointly with Instruction and Research Technology (IRT) on services at our 1600 Valley Road location indicated a clear need for better, more frequent communication about the availability of Library services. A newly formed “Above and Beyond Committee” (ABC) has developed a series of messages and posters to increase student and faculty awareness of Library services both at the Valley Road facility and on the main campus.  These messages are posted throughout campus, on the Library webpage and as promotional panels on several video monitors located in the Cheng Library. The main Library webpage now includes a daily calendar of events listing programs, meetings and course-related instruction scheduled in the Library.

An “Extra Quiet” reading room has been established on the second floor of the Library in response to student requests for such a space. With over 410,000 visits to the Library in FY09, an increase of 5 percent over FY08, the Library is constantly balancing the need for students working in groups with the demands of students who need quiet areas for study. Additional power outlets are being added in selected areas as the budget allows, accommodating the ever-growing use of personal laptops. Library-owned laptops circulated over 8,900 times despite some problems with wireless access and equipment. The growing use of laptops and other devices in addition to enhancements in the wireless network infrastructure in the Library will no doubt lead to more demand for technology-enhanced spaces for both individual and group activities. Planning is underway to transition a reading room on the first floor to an area where students can work collaboratively with appropriate technology to support their group projects.

In addition to facilities-related projects, the Library continues several initiatives to insure a robust environment for online access to resources, instructional content and services. Reference services now include “ChatLive,” a locally-based instant messaging reference service to complement the Library’s ongoing participation in the statewide “Q and A NJ” virtual reference service. The Library’s various online forms such as requests for interlibrary loans and microform-to-digital copy requests now use an authentication process to automatically fill in patron information thus saving time for the user. Notices to borrowers and interlibrary loan articles are now sent through University email accounts. In coordination with several academic departments, the Library provided access to our first set of digital master’s theses.

William Paterson continues its founding and leadership roles in VALE (Virtual Academic Library Environment). A primary benefit of the VALE initiative is its ability to negotiate, license and deliver online databases to its 53 members across the state at prices lower than any single library could possibly attain on its own. An assessment conducted in FY07 found that overall, VALE member libraries saved nearly $3.5 million on their database purchases.  Our library purchases 33, or roughly 28 percent, of its databases through VALE or other library consortiums in order to obtain the lowest possible prices.

With only seven percent of the Library’s 41,000 magazines, journals and newspapers in non-electronic format, our online serials collection continues to provide convenient access from anywhere. Almost 200 streaming videos, available from the Library webpage, is indicative of a growing collection supported in part through an ongoing collaboration with Instruction and Research Technology and NJVid, a statewide portal for archiving digital materials including videos.   A similar effort to enhance our e-books collection has slowed due primarily to lack of funds. Although the University’s students and faculty now have access to approximately 116 databases, most of which are available from off-campus, some databases have been canceled due to fiscal constraints. With access to the full text of journal articles tied closely to our database subscriptions, any reduction in databases is a major concern. The Cheng Library continues to work closely with various consortia, including VALE, to maintain access to these resources during this time of budgetary constraints.

Our Information Technology Strategic Plan called for providing our students with the computers they need. In 2007-2008 the University began a new leasing program to provide the most cost-effective way to assure that students and faculty are provided appropriately current computer hardware to do their work. Both in the 19 “public” (all students) labs and 21 departmental labs, 183 new computers were distributed the first year of the leasing cycle, 309 computers were distributed this year, and more will be distributed next year, the last year of the leasing cycle. Through leasing, all labs will regularly provide students with up-to-date equipment. Open lab access is available in the Atrium, the Cheng Library, Valley Road, and the Science Building from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight during the academic year. 

The Student Technology Consultant (STC) program (supported by the student technology fee), continues to serve as a “win-win” for students and the University. It provides students with paid on-campus jobs that grow their skills while further engaging them with faculty and campus life (promoting retention) and, at the same time, providing additional technology support to faculty, staff and student users. STCs currently offer a wide range of totally free software training workshops to all students and students can just drop by Atrium 121 to take a class.

Since we serve nearly 8,000 commuter students, access to connectivity on campus is also important. Wireless expansion continues as the new Science Building comes online. Although today’s students expect wireless connectivity everywhere, we have assured that we maintain a secure environment by requiring that all students authenticate in order to logon to use our wireless network.

IRT has worked hard to enhance all main campus classrooms with multimedia capabilities similar to those available at the Valley Road campus. Last year, we installed eight new multimedia classrooms and this year, we installed 11 more. State-of-the-art classrooms enhance the learning experience for our students. In addition, IRT helped design a new film lab in Hobart Hall.

Students are well served by the 19 wireless laptops that they can sign out from IRT’s Media Services in the Library.  The laptops can be used for three hours at a time and only in the Library, but they are constantly checked out because of their popularity. Last year, they were checked out 4,037 times. This fall, we will have 20 more laptops for independent sign-out usage in the newly renovated “Laptop Lounge” in the Science Building. The wireless Laptop Lounge provides an area for students to work separately or in groups. Students will be able to work on group projects while projecting their work on a large flat panel to their fellow collaborators. In addition, students can work with STCs to create digital materials in a digital media lab newly housed in the renovated area.

Use of our on-line course management system increased as 20 percent more faculty are now using Blackboard for either their online or traditional courses. In fall, 2008, we offered 109 online Blackboard course sections and 973 face-to-face course sections that actively use Blackboard. The total number of Blackboard integrated course sections represents almost half of the number of course sections offered. In fall 2009, we upgraded Blackboard to the latest version offering students blogs and journal capability as well as a new grade center.

Blackboard now includes both the Content Management System providing our students with ePortfolios and the Community Management System providing our students with access to Library and academic support within their Blackboard homepage. Both the College of Education and the Communication Department are using ePortfolios extensively in their introductory courses.

New technologies introduced this past year that students have benefited from in their coursework are “lecture capture” and blogging. “Lecture capture” uses a software program called Tegrity. This application records instructors’ lectures and posts them to the web. This enables students to review the lecture they just attended by clicking on a link on the web. They can focus in on difficult material or specific points that they missed during class since the lecture is indexed and searchable. In addition, for online courses, this gives the students a chance to see and hear their professor even though they are not in the same room at the same time. Although the web-based version of the lecture does not provide for interactive questions, the students really benefit from its review capabilities. Blogs are web logs that serve as online collections of personal commentary and links. They are great tools for collection, collaboration, and reflection.

Consistent with the goals set out in our Information Technology Strategic Plan we continue to leverage our administrative Enterprise Resource System (ERS) Banner to provide more and improved services to students.  New web-based support services for student advisement complement students’ online access to course registration, financial aid awards and transcript information. Utilizing the Banner system, faculty advisement and Early Alert systems have been developed for faculty and students to identify and address academic needs, and connect to support or tutoring services where needed.  Administrative offices have implemented more timely, efficient and cost effective electronic delivery of services saving tens of thousands of dollars each year in mailing costs alone.  Similar business process changes in the areas of finance, human resources, payroll and other administrative functions have leveraged technology to improve access to information and in many cases reduce direct and indirect costs to the University.

In order to transform our business practices, provide timely and efficient student services and most importantly maintain a 21st century learning environment, it is imperative to maintain a continuous investment in the University’s technology infrastructure.  Driven by the increased growth in instructional and classroom technologies, the use of the Internet for research and database services and student use of laptop computers and hand held PDA technology, the University now invests more than $2 million per year for the supporting technology infrastructure.  The University’s IT Strategic Plan establishes renewal and replacement of technology as a key objective that ensures keeping pace with technology advances as well as enabling cost effective planning and budgeting strategies.  Over the past two years we have replaced all the computers in instructional areas including computer labs, classrooms and faculty offices.  We continue to expand wireless across all areas of the campus, upgraded the core network capacity and continually increase Internet bandwidth capacity.  These infrastructure costs, once funded by the state, are now solely supported by institutional revenue.  The requirements to maintain data and network security in an age of ever growing cyber-threats create increased costs for auditing, hardware and software for intrusion protection and frequent campus communication.



Student success involves purposeful student development programming, intellectual challenges, career preparation and meaningful engagement by resident and commuter students.  It also includes support programs that contribute directly to student retention.

Student leadership development begins at the freshmen level with a program entitled “Pioneer Leadership Institute” for entry-level leaders and progresses to more advanced programs such as “Collaborations for Change” that seek to engage students in service learning.  All new and continuing student leaders attend a Leadership Academy as part of fall opening.  In early October, recently elected student leaders attend a leadership retreat that involves team building and goal setting for the academic year.  Beginning with new student summer orientation, students are asked to voluntarily donate, upon arrival, non-perishable food items for a local food pantry.  This year, over 1,500 items were donated over the course of the summer.  This sets the tone for greater on and off-campus engagement.

Our student leaders demonstrate their ongoing commitment to community building both on and off campus by supporting a variety of efforts including, but not limited to the annual assistance with move-in of freshmen and upper-class students (over 200 volunteers) and special causes like Breast Cancer Awareness, which over the past three years has involved over 1,200 students, faculty and staff, and has raised over $25,000.  Last year, our students raised over $25,000 for St. Jude’s Hospital, the largest amount of any state or private institution in New Jersey.

William Paterson University now has a comprehensive alcohol initiative that employs “Social Norming,” a specialist psychologist who provides direct intervention for students with drinking problems and a “recovery residence hall,” one of only two in the State and one of 11 in the nation.  Two evening and weekend programming staff members have been hired as a result of a grant from the State of New Jersey to offer additional programming that, as with all of our student programming, is alcohol free.

Four years ago, a web-based product was purchased entitled, “Alcohol Edu” and a pilot program began with groups at potentially high risk, i.e., athletes, students in fraternities and sororities, and freshmen.  In the fall 2006, this program was made mandatory for all incoming freshmen.  To date, over 5,000 first-time students have taken the program.  Students who participate in this program, which has been adopted by over 400 campuses, have been found to reduce high-risk behavior.  Most importantly, it changes the pattern of drinking during the critical first six weeks of the semester for new students.  Alcohol Edu has had significant, documented success nationally in dealing with alcohol abuse and misuse.  The alcohol initiative has grown by incorporating extensive community collaboration that involves working with mayors, police chiefs and school superintendents.  This has resulted in peer health advocates (specially trained undergraduate students) presenting in local high schools and a formal agreement approved by the Attorney General’s office with bar and package store owners to help prevent underage drinking.  This year our Dean of Students was nationally recognized for his alcohol prevention efforts by his peers.

The Counseling, Health and Wellness Center continues its individual counseling and medical service, but has expanded its outreach through Peer Health Advocates.  This center has also become a registered site for HIV testing and counseling.  We believe it is the only such site within the State of New Jersey on a college or university campus.  Due to extensive outreach programs to athletic teams at health fairs, and during welcome week activities, the individual appointments have increased dramatically. There were over 8,000 appointments in the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center last year.  In June, 2008, an all electronic medical records program, “Point and Click,” was initiated.  It provides our health care professionals with state-of-the-art medical records and permits further development of targeted outreach programs through identification of students with similar health issues, e.g., asthma.  Additionally, the Counseling staff completed a suicide prevention program.  They are now training other campus members, e.g., Campus Police, Career Development and Advisement, in this prevention effort.  The Counseling, Health and Wellness Center is due to move into a renovated residence hall location to further enhance the residence program and consolidate the services which have become “destination offices” and to further enhance our “healthy choices” program and the quality of our outreach.  This area will also include a fitness center.

Counseling, Health and Wellness has been working since Summer ’08 on H1N1 flue prevention and preparedness.  Convening an all campus committee, the Center has been working on an all campus media plan, scenario planning for different population groups and a detailed plan to vaccinate students using current staff, nursing students and other professionals in the University population.  Counseling, Health and Wellness Center staff have also been working with our neighboring communities to ensure we are prepared.  Guidelines and information from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health are monitored daily.

Fall 2006 saw the opening of new residence halls that include learning communities centered on Honors and Wellness.  This includes courses taught by faculty in the residence halls and programs that promote meaningful interaction between students, faculty and staff.  Now in its fourth year, these learning communities include first-year students that opt into the program.

The Career Development and Gloria S. William Advisement Center continues to provide developmental academic advisement for approximately 1,000 undeclared students, undeclared transfer students, students pursuing second majors, visiting students and students in between majors each semester.  Career counseling is available to the entire student body.  Most of the staff are now certified as Global Career Development Facilitators.  The student satisfaction surveys developed and administered through Student Voice reported overwhelming student satisfaction in all areas by those serviced in the Center.

The Advisement Center also actively cultivates relationships with local and national employers by encouraging their participation in a variety of campus activities and in the placement of our students.  Currently we hold three job fairs during the year: a Part-time Employment and Internship Fair in the fall, the Nursing Job Fair, and our major recruitment event, “Opportunity Fest,” held during the spring semester.  This is the largest job fair in northern New Jersey, with employer demand for participation last year nearly equaling the preceding year despite the deep recession.  Employers also list their full-time, part-time and internship positions with the Center on a regular basis utilizing our internet-based job search engine eRecruiting.  This tool is also used to facilitate our on-campus recruiting program.  Employers will post their listings and students are able to sign up for interview appointments directly on the site.  Several major college-based on-campus recruiting events are held each year.  In the spring, the Center hosts on-campus interviews for the College of Education students.  School districts are invited to conduct their interviews in the Center during the months of April and May.  During the fall and spring, the Center hosts employers with a variety of employment opportunities.  Employers are invited to the campus on a regular basis to conduct workshops and class presentations.  They have also presented workshops for the College of Business Enrichment Series and also sponsored events including job fairs and a “Dress for Success” program.  During the summer of 2007 this unit moved into its new space in the University Commons.  Student stop-in traffic has increased tremendously as expected.  Once again, the student satisfaction survey noted location, quality of advisement, and ability to schedule an appointment as exceeding expectations.

To make the campus attractive to resident students seven days a week, the Department of Residence Life has increased programming along with the Office of Commuter Student Services.  Recreational Services has increased programming as well. “Friday Night at the Rec” and Saturday and Sunday weekend hikes have attracted residents, commuters, undergraduate and graduate students.  The intramural program continues to grow with games starting as late as 10 pm.  All space in the Recreation Center is utilized to capacity daily.  We have also seen a large increase in attendance at intercollegiate events this year.

This year, the Student Government Association (SGA) launched a new mascot, the Black Bear, also known as “Billy the Bear,” which has generated considerable student enthusiasm and an increased level of Pioneer Pride.

Student Volunteerism and Service Learning Opportunities have increased in all areas.  Last year’s efforts to become engaged in our on and off-campus community increased.  Every department within Student Development, i.e., Athletics, Campus Activities and Student Leadership, Commuter Services, fraternities and sororities, SGA clubs and Peer Health Advocates saw a large increase in student volunteerism and community outreach.  As noted earlier, the goal for the St. Jude’s Hospital campaign was set for $10,000.  Over $25,000 was raised and an even higher goal was set for 2009-10.

Consistent with our responsibility for continuous quality improvement and public accountability, the University conducts systematic research to assess the student learning and student development outcomes of our programs and services.  As recommended in the assessment literature, our offices and programs use multiple measures to assess learning outcomes, student satisfaction, and other benchmarks.  The Student Development division began an in-depth assessment effort four years ago.  An all-divisional assessment team was created that meets regularly with the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment.  Two of the most recent retreats included the Executive Vice President of Middle States (our regional accreditation body) and a consultant from the company known as Student Voice.  This past year, utilizing the Student Voice technology, we have been able to ascertain student satisfaction with programs and services very quickly, enabling us to make any changes in a timely fashion to better serve our students. 

The Center for Student Services was established last year and is continuing to evolve.  The Center provides students with a single location to address their student records, financial aid, billing and payment needs. The Center has begun an in-depth assessment of student satisfaction.  We expect that during the spring semester 2010, it will be fully operational. 

We currently offer various programs to assist with tuition and fees for veterans attending school.  The University waives tuition (but not required fees) for students who are members of the New Jersey National Guard. This is a program mandated by the State of New Jersey. In addition, the University offers other programs to assist student veterans.  All students who served overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan have their tuition waived (but not required fees).  All students who are using their Montgomery benefits (Veteran’s Educational Benefits) are permitted to defer payment of their tuition and fees (if applicable) for the semester until their benefits are paid to them.  This program allows the deferral of up to one year of tuition and fees.  Room and board are not included in these programs.

In 2007, the University’s Board of Trustees developed “dashboard indicators” in the areas of students, admissions, faculty, learning outcomes / learning environment and finance. These measures are used to monitor the institution’s progress toward attainment of the goals and objectives derived from the Mission Statement, the Student Success Plan and the Academic Plan.

The accomplishments of our graduates are also an important measure of institutional outcomes. Our most recent Alumni Survey of the Class of 2008, conducted one year after graduation, found that 80.2 percent of respondents were employed full or part-time and 19.3 percent are pursuing additional education. Both figures are down from the 2006 survey (93.1% employed, 23.6% pursuing additional education) confirming the difficult employment and economic environment our graduates face.  Most respondents (75.8.%) found their jobs “very” or “somewhat” related to their WP major and the great majority (86%) were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their current jobs. 84.4 percent of respondents are employed in New Jersey, thus reinforcing other data that demonstrate that students who stay in New Jersey for college subsequently attain employment here and thus contribute positively to the State’s economy.

Retention and graduation rates are also significant evidence of student success.  Current data show that our most recent one-year retention rate (those first-time, full-time freshman from fall 2008 who re-enrolled for fall 2009) is 77.5 percent, up from 76.8 percent of the fall 2007 cohort. This compares favorably with a recent national study that reported a mean one-year retention rate for fall 2007 of 73.5 percent at moderately selective public colleges.  Consistent with the national norm for comparable institutions, we look at the graduation rate after six (6) years.  Of the first-time, full-time freshman cohort who entered in fall 2003, data for fall 2009 show that 50.2 percent had graduated six years after entry.  This rate is slightly below the 52.4 percent mean six-year graduation rate for institutions similar to ours in the report from the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE), based on the 2002 entering cohorts at “moderately selective” institutions.  For the August, 2008, January, 2009 and May, 2009 graduation periods, 1,534 undergraduates and 304 graduate students received baccalaureate and master’s degrees. 

Our Academic Development unit provides programs and services that are designed to increase student retention and student success. Many initiatives support the effort. The “Early Alert” program encourages faculty to identify students who may be experiencing difficulty in their courses between the first and tenth weeks of the semester and refers them to the appropriate academic support office. Students are then counseled to seek additional tutoring, writing assistance, join a study group, seek personal or academic counseling or advisement, or get assistance with financial aid concerns. Students receive follow-up from academic support or other appropriate staff persons.

The Academic Support Center offers a Supplemental Instruction program. Supplemental Instruction is a proven method of improving student performance by identifying “high risk” courses (i.e., courses in which students frequently have difficulty) and providing students with honor’s level peer assistants.  The peer assistants attend class, maintain contact with the faculty, and provide outside academic support to develop and/or clarify concepts to students.  Tutorial assistance was increased in the Academic Support Center for general education “gatekeeper” courses (courses that serve as prerequisites for core major courses). In addition, “intrusive” advisement (i.e., individual advising sessions, follow up phone calls, e-mails, personal counseling and referrals) for undeclared sponsored students, athletes, and special admits was put in place to increase the chances of success for these at-risk populations.

To facilitate the transition from high school to college, the Education Enrichment Center (EEC) offers a pre-college Alchemy Summer Bridge Program to students in need of academic and personal development to ensure their readiness for the first year. In addition, the EEC provides enrichment activities such as workshops on critical thinking and goal setting. The EEC also created and administers the “Achiever’s Circle” to provide at-risk students who possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better the opportunity to participate in leadership activities that promote their continued academic and personal success. The area also coordinates the University Mentoring Network to provide underrepresented students with mentors and role models for engaging in university life and for connecting with faculty outside the classroom in meaningful and supportive collaborations that will enhance their professional and career development.

The Student Undergraduate Research Program, now in its eleventh year, funds student research through a competitive program. Students are supported by their faculty mentors in long-term research projects. The outcomes are often co-authored scholarly papers and research presentations at disciplinary meetings and conferences. These students thereby acquire a strong advantage in competing for positions in the field or for graduate study.



The Board of Trustees takes a strong leadership role in establishing and communicating the University’s commitment to diversity.  Its February 21, 1998 statement on diversity asserts our conviction that diversity is essential to academic excellence and student success because it makes possible an environment in which varied ideas, beliefs and perspectives encourage critical thinking and more effective interactions among individuals of varied backgrounds. Thus, diversity in the student body, among employees, in the curriculum and in our selection of vendors and suppliers is critical to shaping that environment.

Data for our fall 2009 new students continue to be encouraging and responsive to our mission in this area.  Of 1,435 full-time, first-time freshmen, 614 (42.8%) are African-American, Asian, Latino/a or Native American.  Of 1,030 new transfer students, 358 (34.8%) are African-American, Asian, Latino/a or Native American.  Among 10,819 total headcount enrollees for fall 2009, 3,865 (35.7%) are African-American, Asian, Latino/a or Native American, up from 35.3 percent in fall 2008 and 25.5 percent for fall 1999. (Totals include students who have declined to report ethnicity and are based on the fall 2009 frozen file.)

Efforts to improve employee diversity have been successful as well. University wide, among all regular, full-time faculty for fall 2009, 47.1 percent are female and 33.7 percent are African-American, Asian or Latino/a.  For fall 2009, taking into account all full-time employees, our workforce is 52.8 percent female and 37 percent African-American, Asian, Latino/a or Native American (HR data as of 10/7/09).

In its academic programs, the University continues to support its pioneering “Race and Gender Program,” facilitating the incorporation of race and gender issues into the curriculum.   Similarly, our general education requirement has long included the requirement that students take one course focusing on issues surrounding racism and sexism.  An additional requirement for a course on a non-Western culture further contributes to students’ appreciation of diversity.  Student organizations and cultural programming further enrich this environment.  Among our new degree programs, our Masters in Public Policy and International Affairs, Masters in Sociology (with its Diversity Studies track) and Bachelor’s degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies, Asian Studies and Latin-American Studies further these ends as well.  The Asian Studies program is funded in part by two separate grants totaling $380,000 from the U.S. Department of Education.

In support of the State and University’s goal of creating a more diverse vendor base and enhancing the economic position of traditionally disadvantaged businesses, as reflected in Governor’s Executive Order #34, the Purchasing Department has expanded its data collection and retention activities to incorporate more definitive information on the ownership of firms in the University’s vendor database.  In collaboration with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), staff participated in a number of events to attract minority and women owned businesses to enhance the diversity of the vendor pool. We have integrated into the purchasing web page a listing of our advertised bids.  Additionally, all of our advertised bids are posted on a State of New Jersey website that can be viewed by any company.  The website lists all advertised bids by all State agencies and departments in New Jersey and we encourage MBE/WBE/SBE companies to monitor that site for potential sources of business. The Purchasing Director continues to focus attention on this issue through presentations to various campus constituencies to encourage academic departments and administrative units to be mindful of the University’s commitment to utilizing small, minority and women-owned companies.  We encourage departments to seek out businesses owned by underrepresented groups and our Purchasing Office includes them in our bidding process whenever possible.  In addition, our Capital Planning, Design and Construction Department agreements with general contractors who win bids for construction projects stipulate that they must seek out small, women and minority-owned subcontractors.  At the New Jersey Higher Education Purchasing Association (NJHEPA) meetings, the public and private members of this group share information regarding qualified vendors, outreach and upcoming contracts.   NJHEPA held its Vendor Fair in June.  One hundred and seventy-one companies registered for the Fair and 79 attended.  Of those 79, 20 were MBE, 11 MWBE, 27 WBE, 19 SBE and two did not indicate their status.  In October, Purchasing and the SBDC will be attending the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual EverythingJersey: Business Statewide Conference & Expo in Edison. As a sign of our continuing commitment in this area, 70.6 percent of FY09 purchase orders issued (less allowable State exclusions) were awarded to SBE/MBE/WBE firms.  This percentage includes a $51,000,000 construction purchase order issued to a SBE firm. 



Community service is a long-standing obligation of public comprehensive universities and one that is integral to our mission.  We believe that William Paterson must provide programs and services that make the University essential to the well-being of our region.  These programs and services involve providing the extensive expertise of our faculty and staff to local schools, businesses and citizens, creating and cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with regional and national businesses for student recruitment and internships as well as offering cultural opportunities for the benefit of our extended community.  

Consistent with State regulations (although an unfunded mandate), in FY09 the University waived tuition totaling about $248,000 for unemployed New Jersey citizens pursuing undergraduate study at William Paterson University, over $61,000 for unemployed New Jersey citizens pursuing graduate study, almost $3,000 for senior citizens taking undergraduate courses, over $124,000 for members of the New Jersey National Guard and about $51,000 for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This waiver of $487,000 of tuition revenue ultimately contributes positively to the New Jersey economy by advancing the career skills of the participants who, upon attaining more lucrative and/or productive employment, pay taxes and buy goods and services in the private sector. We anticipate that this number will grow as unemployment increases in 2009 and 2010.

The Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) expanded its non-credit program offerings and significantly increased enrollment in every discipline with innovative certificate programs, workshops and conferences that drew regional and national participation. Strong partnerships with leading business organizations and chambers of commerce generated monthly corporate-sponsored programs offered at no cost to the regional business community, bringing hundreds of business owners and leaders to the campus for major events throughout the year. Enrollment in all business certificate programs steadily increased. The Non-Profit Management Certificate program and Annual Non-Profit and Faith-Based Community Conference, co-sponsored by the Passaic Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and Small Business Development Center, grew in scope and attendance again this year. Educational administrators and over 1,000 teachers participated in programs that included 43 innovative Professional Development Workshops, the 28th Annual Bilingual Conference, Lesson Study Conference, and AccessAbilities (a conference on new technology to enhance the lives of moderate to severely disabled individuals), in collaboration with faculty in the College of Education and College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Collaboration with St. Joseph’s Hospital resulted in an enlightening new series of three children’s health workshops attended by over 100 teachers and parents. In April, CPE was awarded a $240,000 grant funded in part by North Jersey Partners and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration for job training for unemployed and under-employed individuals. The grant provided funding for free job training beginning in May 2009 and continuing into FY10 for up to 200 participants in eight New Jersey counties. Seven career tracks are included in areas of high demand: medical assistants, medical billing and coding, QuickBooks, office management skills, web design, digital graphics, and supervision, management and leadership.  CPE served as the training provider for New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development grants for over $1.5 million for over 30 corporations, training over 3,000 of their employees throughout the state in literacy, basic communication skills, computer skills, and management development.  Companies involved in this program included Crestron Electronics, CorePharma, Doherty Enterprises, Briad, Liberty Health, and Summit Medical Group.  In addition, Workforce Development Centers from 12 counties throughout the state continued to refer individuals to CPE for individual grant-funded training in computer, healthcare and business certificate programs, with subsequent job placement rates averaging over 81 percent.  Finally, Summer Youth Programs again increased exponentially in 2009, with almost 500 high school and middle school youth experiencing a taste of college life in cutting-edge programs.  Before-and-after care options for youth continued to grow to assist working parents.  In April 2009 CPE was awarded a $325,000 contract from the Paterson Public School District to provide middle school academic and enrichment summer programs for 1,500 to 2,000 youths beginning July 1, 2009.  Summer Youth Programs 2009 will prove to be the turning point for CPE to build major new partnerships with school districts to expand the vision and potential of our future leaders at an early age, both in the summer and throughout the year.

The William Paterson University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), located  in downtown Paterson, serves the residents of Paterson and Passaic County by providing educational and technical assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs.  The Small Business Development Center has satellite offices in Passaic, Wanaque and Wayne, and also offers counseling and training at various financial institutions throughout the County. The SBDC, established as part of the University’s active engagement in the economic development of the region, provides coordinated and integrated assistance to the small business community in order to promote economic growth and development in Northern New Jersey.  The Center’s Director and counselors (University adjunct faculty) assess the needs of small businesses and help them develop business plans, marketing plans, and offer a wide range of training (in English and Spanish) that will enable them to successfully start and maintain viable and productive business ventures.   During calendar year 2009, the Center staff assisted 1,569 clients, trained 1,706 individuals in 109 business classes, and helped the clients obtain seven loans in the amount of $2,397,980.  This year brought about an increased number of partnerships within Passaic County by continual outreach to the business community. The SBDC has taken a very proactive role in bilingual counseling and training for the Hispanic community by offering almost 30 classes per year, and offering counseling in Spanish 20 hours per week.  The SBDC has also focused on New Jersey business certification and training in securing government procurement opportunities, as well as on credit counseling and repair for business owners.  As a result of this focus, the SBDC Director also serves as liaison with the State of New Jersey Division of Minority & Women Business Development for Executive Order #34.  During this reporting year, Governor Jon Corzine signed a Proclamation recognizing and commending Dr. Arnold Speert and the William Paterson University SBDC for consistently ranking in the top ten agencies for MWBE procurement opportunities, and for its critical leadership role in supporting minority and women-owned businesses in New Jersey. The Director of the SBDC has been named Vice-Chair of the City of Paterson Urban Enterprise Zone Board, a member of the Passaic County Brownfields Commission, a board member of the Passaic County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), and has taken an active role with the Wayne Board of Education in the development of their "Business Academy" to be offered in the high schools.  The SBDC is a joint venture of the William Paterson University Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business, with grants from the Small Business Administration, the State of New Jersey, and the City of Paterson’s Urban Enterprise Zone. The SBDC has received an increase in the number of grants in support of the Center, and most recently received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from Passaic County. 

The William Paterson University Institute for Creative Aging (ICA) serves the region by offering programs to enhance the well-being of older adults through public education, professional development, involvement of older adults in the University community and public policy.  Two of the Institute’s primary programs are the “Grandparents as Parents” (GAP) Program and the “Students of Life” (SOL) volunteers. The “Grandparents as Parents” program continues to represent the standard of community outreach and the involvement of  faculty, students, and staff in providing service, research opportunities and connecting the classroom with real life experiences.  This past July, under the leadership of Dr. Daphne Joslin, the program received recognition in the form of citations from the New Jersey State Senate, Congressman Pascrell in the US Senate, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Office of the Mayor, City of Paterson, for their efforts and responses to issues of aging. The “Students of Life” is an intergenerational program in which older adults serve as mentors and resources to William Paterson undergraduate students. Another program offered by the Institute is the “Health Educators for Senior Concerns” (HESC), also a community outreach group that provides information on the many health issues and concerns of older people. Information is provided through role playing and small skits, using program participants as actors. The Institute for Creative Aging partners with and works collaboratively with over 30 local and state agencies that are concerned with and provide community services. Partner agencies include the Catholic Family Services, Paterson Education Council, Passaic County Housing Authority, Paterson Housing Authority, Passaic County Council on Aging, AARP of New Jersey, New Jersey Division of Youth Services, the Concerned Parents of Head Start, and Chilton Memorial Hospital. The Institute also offers short term programs as well as on-going programs at the undergraduate level, such as “Real Money 101,” financial counseling in our Global Financial Services Institute in partnership with the Cotsakos College of Business, writing workshops in collaboration with the Department of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and with several student support offices, such as the Office of the First-Year Experience and  the Office of International Student Services.

The University recognizes the renewal of state and national focus on the vital importance of teacher education to our current and future economic well-being and commitment to civic responsibility.  Our College of Education plays a leadership role in addressing the key issues of teacher capacity and teacher quality.  It continues to revise teacher preparation programs to assure the most well prepared teachers and develop partnerships and collaborations with K-12 school districts.  The College of Education is currently working with several school districts identified by the State as “high need” districts and sharing its expertise within the region to improve the effectiveness of public education. Eight such collaborations are illustrative: 

  • College of Education Professional Development School (PDS) Network

The William Paterson University Professional Development School Network consists of forty-two schools from both urban and suburban public school districts in New Jersey.  Fifty-seven Professors-In-Residence are working in these PDSs supporting professional development for pre-service, novice and veteran teachers. The focus of work is specific to the goals in each school and changes from year to year.

  • The Garden State Partnership for Teacher Quality

The Garden State Partnership for Teacher Quality (GSPTQ) will improve the academic achievement of K-12 students in high-need urban schools through the recruitment, preparation and retention of highly qualified teachers in New Jersey.  The Colleges of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences and Science and Health at William Paterson University (lead), Kean University and Rowan University in collaboration with high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) of Bridgeton, Camden, Jersey City, Leap Academy Charter School, Passaic, Paterson, Union City and the New Jersey State Department of Education will reform the Pre-Baccalaureate programs at partnering universities and establish the Garden State Urban Teacher Residency Program which will culminate in dual certification and a master’s degree.  This will ensure both “highly qualified” teacher status and expertise in areas of critical shortage including special education, ESL and bilingual education.  Through the establishment of 15 PDSs, the partnership will support pre-service and in-service teachers as well as recruit, prepare and retain educational leaders in New Jersey’s most challenging urban  communities. 

  • The New Vistas Transition to Teaching Project

This project is intended to create a sustainable design for dual certification and induction support for recent college graduates and mid-career change professionals turned teacher candidates in the areas of Special Education, ESL, Bilingual, in addition to initial licensure in Elementary and all Secondary subject areas with emphasis on Mathematics and Science.  Preparation in teaching English Language Learners and special needs students in an online format will allow flexibility of scheduling coursework, and offer the opportunity for candidates to build a technological community of sharing.

  • MAST – Math and Science Teachers – Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow

This program is a partnership between William Paterson University’s College of Science and Health and College of Education and the school districts of Paterson and Passaic to prepare math and science teachers for urban areas.  The goal of the grant is to increase academic achievement of low income K-12 students by providing them with high quality mathematics and science teachers and retaining those teachers in high need LEA schools for at least two years.

  • Reclaiming Education Foundations of Rigorous Math and Science (REFORMS) Grant

REFORMS is a partnership between the William Paterson University College of Science and Health, the College of Education, and the Paterson Public Schools.  It is designed to strengthen the content knowledge of in-service teachers currently teaching math and science.  The goal is to improve the success of their students through a scientifically-based intervention that addresses professional development, support for teachers, and recruitment of elementary and middle school math and science teachers. 

  • Teacher Professional Development in Sheltered English Instruction

This program will enable participants to acquire the knowledge and skills to work more effectively with their linguistically and culturally diverse students.  It will consist of a four-day seminar, classroom observations, follow-up workshops, and provide an electronic listserv to support a sharing community.  William Paterson University will serve as the Northern Regional Training Center for New Jersey.

  • Early Learning Improvement Consortium (ELIC Grant)

This is a partnership between the New Jersey State Department of Education Office of Early Childhood Education and William Paterson University, Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey.  The initiative involves professional development in 31 identified Abbott Districts, and the collection of assessment data and analysis to inform the districts of their progress related to Pre-K and Kindergarten.

  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Gear-UP) “College Knowledge Passaic”

William Paterson University provides professional development in the content areas to district faculty teaching grades 7 through 12.  In addition, the University hosts summer enrichment programs for students in grades 7-12, and offers workshops for their parents on applying to colleges and financing a college education.

The University provides many other services relying on the expertise and community engagement of our faculty and professional staff.  They take an active role in community organizations, including service on local school boards, leadership in Chambers of Commerce, membership on hospital and other non-profit agency boards, and leadership roles in national organizations such as the Special Olympics and the National Lung Association. In addition, direct aid to community residents is provided in the form of health fairs, breast cancer screening, HIV testing, eldercare, sexual harassment and alcohol awareness programs. We continue to operate our four long-standing and low cost clinics - Speech and Hearing, Reading, Math, and Learning Disabilities for area residents with children in need of these services.

William Paterson University has established itself as a center for the arts with artistic programming for the local and extended community. The College of the Arts and Communication presents the Vistas Series, Jazz Room Series, Summer Jazz Week, Mid-Day Artists Series, New Music Series, New Jersey Playwright Contest, theater productions and many art exhibitions at Ben Shahn Galleries. The College also houses the University Radio Station WP 88.7 Brave New Radio (with over 50,000 listeners), the WPTV-6 Television and the Pioneer Times newspaper.

Beginning its 30th year, our Distinguished Lecturer Series has presented world renowned leaders from politics, the arts, athletics, the sciences and the media to inform and entertain audiences with the discussion of timely issues.  The spring 2010 season is currently in development.



In academic year 2008-2009, the division continued raising philanthropic dollars to support University needs.  Although corporate and foundation relations were impacted by the economic crisis as companies downsized and private foundations suffered losses or diminishing returns, there was a 25 percent increase in new endowments as well as a 37 percent increase in scholarship dollars versus the prior year.

The Annual Fund had a banner year raising just under $517,000 in gifts and pledges to support scholarships, academic and alumni programming, student development, faculty grants and research, athletics, and areas of greatest need, representing an increase of 11.33 percent from the prior year. 

Alumni Relations hosted 14 events designed to reconnect various alumni constituencies with the University.  These new as well as ongoing alumni engagement activities and alumni reunions, were held locally and regionally throughout the year.  Through these efforts, new Annual Fund prospects were secured and several alumni were identified as potential volunteer leaders and major donors.  A new focus in social networking to expand alumni engagement has led to an official alumni page on Facebook attracting close to 1,500 fans and a newly created Linkedin page which has approximately 750 members.  These sites enable alumni to reconnect with past and present colleagues as well as network in support of their careers.

A new integrated marketing campaign built upon brand strategy was successfully launched this year.  This included the development of an advertising campaign strategy for undergraduate and graduate creative concepts, all designed to improve the positioning of the University and prospective students, alumni, members of the community and potential donors.



The University’s capital planning is guided by our Facilities Master Plan, approved by the Board of Trustees at its September, 2003 meeting. At that time, the Board set priorities for infrastructure projects going forward. These projects include a major expansion and renovation of our Science Building, and, pending identification of funding, the renovation and expansion of the Recreation Center and the Shea Center for the Performing Arts.  Additional deferred maintenance will be addressed by use of internal funds and available external funding.

Implementation of the Master Plan moved forward in 2008-2009 with the recent completion of the second phase of a landscaped pedestrian way including plantings, pavers and outdoor seating that now spans from just east of Morrison Hall to the Shea Center connecting the Raubinger-Hunziker Plaza.  Summer work included the annual road repaving, with this year’s focus on the heavily used parking lot 5, the entrance road to the student apartments, and College Hall lots. Other summer work included the installation of new electronic scoreboards on the softball and soccer fields, new flooring in the Recreation Center Multipurpose Room and in the Locker Facility, and a campus wide exterior signage program

Current projects under construction and nearing completion in fall 2009 include renovations for the upgrade of the Computer Server area in College Hall, and interiors and furnishings for the Global Financial Services Institute in the College of Business.  The final phase of the heating decentralization project will take the remaining lower campus buildings off the central steam plant and heat them with energy efficient gas boilers. This will eliminate the need for the central steam plant and the full time staff devoted to its operation.

The Science Building addition and renovation project is now under construction. Funded through the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, (the University issued Series 2008C bonds) the first phase of this project, two newly renovated lecture theaters, two computer labs, a classroom, media lab and student lounge, opened this academic year, with the 74,000 square foot addition to open next academic year, followed by the renovation of the 142,000 square foot building the following academic year.  This project will enable faculty and students to teach, learn and engage in scholarship together in a modern facility conducive to 21st century science.

The Student Services zone will consolidate the departments where students conduct the business of being a student. This project will relocate and renovate space in Raubinger Hall, reinforcing that building’s role as a location for academic support functions. Design work has started on the renovation of Morrison Hall, one of the first buildings built on campus which is to become a centralized Student Services and Admissions Center as outlined in the Master Plan. The renovation will provide handicapped access for the building, and upgrade the restrooms with disability access, as well as refurbish offices for registrar, financial aid, admissions, and student financial services’ functions. Associated with this project is the renovation of the north wing of Raubinger Hall and some additional spaces on the upper floors.  In addition to redistributing space in Raubinger for more efficient student access, this project will accommodate academic support departments relocated from Morrison Hall. Raubinger Hall will, through this renovation, be reinforced as an academic building providing instruction, administration and student academic services.

The next step of the University’s Master Plan housing zone development is the renovation of the pavilion separating residence halls Overlook North and Overlook South into a Fitness Center, and the relocation of the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center into a floor in the South Wing of Overlook. Relocating these activities achieves master plan objectives of providing more central place functions in the residential zone.

The University continues to follow procedures that adhere to the standards recommended by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) relating to Sarbanes-Oxley. The Board’s “dashboard indicators” have proven to be an effective analytical tool to monitor University outcomes, and the establishment of an institutional debt policy is indicative of active engagement and attentive fiscal oversight by the University Board of Trustees. In fulfilling their responsibilities as custodians of the public trust, the Board and management utilize various methods for assessing accomplishments and progress toward achievement of goals and fulfillment of the University mission. The financial planning strategies implemented to fund the Science Hall and other capital projects and ongoing operations are regularly evaluated using the targets of the financial dashboard indicators and competitive positioning consistent with the requirements, standards and objectives prescribed in the University debt policy.

Although the University continues to experience reductions in state support coupled with increased costs resulting from debt service and contractual salary obligations for faculty and staff, it will continue to meet the goals of its mission statement by reviewing opportunities for revenue growth or cost reductions. The University has increased external grant funding and expanded fund-raising efforts of the William Paterson University Foundation as a means to supplement revenue from tuition and state support. The University has expanded and improved its capital facilities to meet growing needs and maintain current standards, while continuing to monitor the increasing operating costs and the increasing need for institutional scholarships to attract highly competitive students. The University continues to increase its total net assets and maintain operating margins and liquidity, while monitoring its budget strategies to maintain its financial health and stability.

Energy Conservation

The University continues its commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and energy conservation.  Our actions to reduce energy consumption and resulting emissions have been recognized by NJDEP, NJBPU, and the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS).  Perhaps even more significant has been the ensuing reduction in the impact of utilities expenses on tuition. Since FY2002, the University reduced energy consumption substantially, and the associated savings surpassed $12 million by the end of FY2009, an average saving of $1.5M per year.  The trend in energy costs leads us to anticipate continued escalation that reinforces the urgency of conservation. 

Staff submitted our Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report and prepared our Climate Action Plan (CAP) continuing efforts in the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.  In the CAP, we share our progress and methods to shrink the University’s carbon footprint with an ultimate goal of climate neutrality.  Recent actions include pursuit of a Power Purchase Agreement to provide more than 12 percent of the campus’ electricity via photovoltaic (PV) panel arrays to be installed on some building roofs and over various parking areas.  We will also take advantage of two grants that total more than $1.3 million to improve energy efficiency even further.



Research has irrefutably demonstrated the pivotal role of public higher education in driving job, human and economic development. The New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and the New Jersey Presidents’ Council have  repeatedly noted the challenges facing New Jersey higher education in connection with increased demand for capacity, the need to grow and improve infrastructure and the critical importance of linking advanced research and development with private sector businesses. While we recognize the deepening fiscal challenges facing the State, William Paterson University’s mission requires that we continue to vigorously advocate for the potential of public higher education to be part of the solution to the State’s fiscal challenges, not part of its budget problem.

In its August 8, 2009 report Education at a Glance: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Indicators, author Andreas Schleicher, head of the OECD unit that produces the Education at a Glance series concludes:

  • The average net public return across OECD countries from providing a male student with a university education, after factoring in all the direct and indirect costs, is almost USD 52,000, nearly twice the average amount of money originally invested. 
  • For female students, the average net public return is lower because of their lower subsequent earnings. But overall the figures provide a powerful incentive to expand higher education in most countries through both public and private financing.

Mr. Schleicher concludes “In virtually every country, the public benefits of higher education outweigh the costs. … The traditional wisdom was that higher education benefits individuals most, but this was the first time we looked at public costs and public benefits in conjunction.”

The headline of the October 9 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, “As U.S. Retrenches, Asia Drives Growth Through Higher Education,” previews a story that begins “Across East Asia, governments are funneling resources into elite universities, financing basic research, and expanding access to vocational and junior colleges, all with the goal of driving economic growth.”

As long as the United States, and New Jersey in particular, continue to view higher education solely as an expense rather than an essential catalyst to economic growth, we face the prospects of falling further behind in educational and economic competitiveness. The implications to the State’s economy of the current financial crisis, combined with the capacity challenges facing New Jersey public higher education, and these threats to economic growth and educational competitiveness of under-funding higher education, further reinforce the urgency of a thoughtful, long-term public policy agenda for higher education. These concerns are even further exacerbated by the study by Rutgers’ Professors James Hughes and Joseph Seneca who concluded that New Jersey’s “net internal migration losses” have grown dramatically and negatively affect the economy. They estimate that “… the cumulative effect of continued net migration losses in 2006 reduced income by more than $10 billion and state tax revenues by $680 million.” Hughes et al. also concluded that “New Jersey has an advanced leading-edge, knowledge-based economy, with above-average concentrations of jobs in information, financial activities, and professional and business services. However, other states have been adding equivalent jobs at a much faster pace and are becoming stronger economic competitors.” Our research, and that of other colleges and universities, shows conclusively that students who stay in-state for college are more likely to be employed here when they graduate and thus positively impact on economic and civic prosperity and participation. These jobs added by competitor states are being filled, at least in part, by students who leave New Jersey to pursue higher education elsewhere due to a lack of capacity and an inadequately funded public higher education system.

These direct economic outcomes are further increased by indirect outcomes. Many scholars have shown that individuals who complete higher education make choices that conserve rapidly escalating health care costs down the road. They eat better, they smoke less, they exercise more, they are more likely to engage in a variety of preventative health care behaviors and, because they are more likely to be employed, they are more likely to have health insurance coverage and make less uncompensated demands on the health care system. Perhaps the most potent and undervalued long term economic outcome of higher education is the so-called intergenerational effect – namely, that the offspring of college educated individuals are themselves more likely to pursue higher education, thus multiplying all the economic and indirect benefits into the future.

New Jersey’s institutions have been diligent, frugal and efficient in using the scarce resources we receive. In a 2005 report by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), New Jersey’s State Colleges and Universities were found to be among the most efficient of their kind in the nation. William Paterson has long had in place the fiscal systems and controls recommended in the State Commission of Investigation report and the governance legislation sponsored by Senator Lesniak and recently approved by the State Senate (S1609).

Our most recent bond ratings (Fitch A+, Moody’s A2 stable, June 2008) reflect conservative, prudent and externally well respected fiscal management. Yet, while William Paterson University’s independent auditors, as well as the Middle States visiting team that reaffirmed our accreditation without conditions when they visited in April, 2001, have documented that we continue to scrupulously manage the public’s resources, our capacity to be as effective as we would like continues to be impeded by forces over which we have little control.  In spite of budget constraints, capital facilities must be added and improved in order to meet growing capacity demands and to assure that faculty and students are provided with the contemporary infrastructure required for excellence in teaching, research and student learning. The debt service cost for these essential projects is currently borne entirely by the University and its students through tuition and fees.

The costs to secure, install, maintain and upgrade the high-technology equipment and related infrastructure needed to provide our students and faculty with the essential tools they require to serve both professional and economic development continues to increase significantly faster than the consumer price index.  Further, high labor costs continue to be dictated by negotiations directed on the State level.  It is critical that the University is allocated funds to meet its contractual salary obligations to its employees.  It is also critical that the University receive a suitable allocation for capital projects and for capital renewal and replacement. Reserve funds, intended to protect the institution from some calamity we can’t possibly foresee, are at unacceptably low levels, and well below what is recommended by external auditors. Without these funds, for example, William Paterson University would have been unable to respond to the fire safety legislation so promptly and so far in advance of the legislative deadline.

The University is also acutely aware of the importance of access and affordability for students and families, particularly during a sharp economic downturn.  In spite of our urgent and ongoing capital and operating budget needs,  the University’s FY10 increase in tuition and education and general fees of three (3) per cent was in-line with the guidelines of the appropriations act.

In its plan for higher education, Looking to the Millennium, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education recommended that the State provide “… adequate and predictable funding for higher education to ensure the quality of its colleges and universities.”  The budget we submit requests full funding of our salary program, a modest increase for non-salary inflation and sufficient capital renewal and replacement funds to maintain and grow our physical plant.  These resources are critical if William Paterson University is to maintain its high quality programs and services while meeting the increased capacity needs.  Under these conditions, the University would commit to holding tuition at or below the level of the consumer price index.

It is a given that our future as a society, in terms of economic competitiveness, public service and active citizenship rests on the potential accomplishments of the students who emerge from our higher education institutions. It is truly regrettable that New Jersey depends increasingly on institutions of higher education for human and intellectual capital at the same time that it devotes a declining share of its resources to those institutions.  As we look ahead, we strongly believe that the work we do for our students, our community and our State justifies a strong William Paterson University and the resources necessary to preserve and enhance that strength.