September 24, 2020

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff:

I write today to inform you that after 15 years of service to William Paterson, Patrick DeDeo will be leaving his position as Associate Vice President for Government Relations and External Affairs, effective September 30th. As Pat continues his search for further employment, he hopes it leads him back to a group and mission similar to what he has found here.
During his tenure at William Paterson, Pat served under President Emeritus Speert, President Emerita Waldron, and me, while also serving the University through four different Gubernatorial administrations. Due to his success in his role, Pat’s work became critical to the operations of the University, and he was asked to join the President’s Cabinet. 
Among his many achievements, Pat was instrumental in bringing to William Paterson University three New Jersey gubernatorial debates. Working with the Office of Marketing and Public Relations, he secured these high-profile events in 2009, 2013, and 2017, and they were broadcast on FOX 5 New York (2009) and WCBS-TV and Radio (2013, 2017). He also taught for more than 10 years in both the Department of Political Science and the College of Arts and Communications. In Pat’s words, teaching “allowed me to get my feet wet in a classroom, meet outstanding students, some I still stay in touch with, and work with some tremendous faculty and staff.”
Speaking of Pat’s effectiveness in his role, President Emeritus Arnie Speert said: “In addition to knowing the staffs of every influential Democratic or Republican legislator and, in some cases, knowing those staff members extremely well, Pat was able to arrange for me to meet with anyone in the Legislature that I felt I needed to talk to.  He was helpful to me in engaging the Governor’s office for funding or board appointment discussions, and following up with senatorial courtesy issues.”
President Emerita Kathleen Waldron also commented on Pat’s service to the University: “Pat DeDeo and I worked together for 8 years representing the interests of William Paterson and improving the engagement of the University with its communities. We visited numerous elected officials throughout the State and attended meetings and events in Trenton, Paterson, Wayne, and Newark, including a memorable private lunch with Phil Murphy, then a candidate for governor. Everyone knew and liked Pat. He was always willing to help, participate in town fairs and catch that early morning Chamber of Commerce train ride. It was a pleasure working with him, and I wish him the very best.”
I, too, am very grateful for Pat’s service during my transition into the presidency at William Paterson. He made sure that I met key legislative officials early in my tenure, and he worked tirelessly to get me up to speed on the complex world of New Jersey politics. His wise counsel on how University decisions might play out in the political circles was always helpful. 
I will leave you with another quote from President Speert, which I think best sums up Pat’s approach to his work: “One can’t help but be bombarded by bluster within political circles; Pat remained respectful but unimpressed by anything but action.”
I hope you will reach out to Pat to thank him for his work and wish him well in future endeavors. We will hold an in-person celebration of Pat when conditions allow.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD