June 3, 2020

To William Paterson Faculty and Staff:

Given the enrollment and budget updates that I shared last week, it is important that we begin to tackle as a community what is likely to be a significant budget deficit.  Toward that end, I am forming the Post-Pandemic Budget Solutions Working Group, composed of representative stakeholders from across the University, who will meet to develop and deliver to me no later than June 30, 2020 a list of recommendations for potential solutions to reduce the deficit. 
Some of those potential solutions will undoubtedly require separate negotiations with our respective labor unions outside of the work of this group. However, I also want our unions to be part of the group developing those potential solutions from the start. Our goal should be to preserve as many jobs and programs as we can, while recognizing that we will have to balance the budget using some of the reserves. Expending the reserves is not a long term solution.  Difficult decisions will need to be made to keep the University fiscally viable. 
The group will be co-chaired by Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Bolyai and Chair of the Faculty Senate Dr. Balmurli Natrajan. 
Committee members:
  • Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. Joshua Powers
  • Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate Dr. Danielle Wallace
  • Faculty Representative for the Board of Trustees Finance Committee Dr. John Malindretos
  • AFT Local President Dr. Sue Tardi
  • CWA Local President Michael Milling
  • Vice President for Student Development Dr. Miki Cammarata 
  • Vice President for Enrollment Management Dr. Reginald Ross
  • Vice President for Human Resources Allison Boucher Jarvis
  • Chief of Staff Dr. Shelley Bannister
  • University General Counsel Laura Hertzog
Additionally, we have made requests to ITPDE and PBA leadership for representation but have not yet received their responses.
Given the number of unknowns at this time, the work ahead is dauting. I am grateful to the members who have agreed to serve on the committee and undertake this very difficult and very important job for the good of the entire University. I will be communicating more on this topic in the coming weeks and months, including at the point when I have had time to consider the committee’s recommendations.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD