November 16, 2020

Dear William Paterson Faculty & Staff,

As we enter the last full week of the Fall semester, I want to update you on our plans for the period between Thanksgiving and the start of the Spring semester on January 21st. With COVID cases growing across the country and in New Jersey, in interest for the health and safety of our community, beginning Monday, November 30, all non-essential staff not otherwise identified as critical will go fully remote and return to the Black & Orange schedule on Monday, January 11. Essential employees will continue with their current schedules.
Employees identified as critical to the operations of their areas will continue to come to campus on the Black & Orange schedule or schedules worked out with their supervisors and approved by the appropriate vice president. Recognizing that we have important communities to serve with on campus needs over the break, I’ve asked the Vice Presidents to aim to reduce staffing appropriately to continue our emphasis on safety while ensuring needed coverages. If conditions warrant any changes to these schedules, I will communicate them by Monday, January 4. 
You can expect to hear more details on these shifts from Vice President Boucher-Jarvis by tomorrow. Faculty advisors and professional advisors have already heard from me and Provost Powers about expectations for being available to students over the extended break.
These past eight months have been trying ones for us all. Our success in giving some of our students an on-campus experience this semester, something many other colleges have not managed to do, is a testament to our collective dedication to the William Paterson mission. I know that, between the disruption of the Spring semester and the planning for fall that occupied much of our summer, many of you have not been able to take proper vacations or breaks of your own. In recognition of the extra effort and as a thank you to all, this year, the University will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 24th.
Looking ahead to the New Year, I want to clarify my recent announcement that Dr. Guillermo “Will” de Veyga will begin his role as our Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and University Relations on January 1st. While this is a new position at William Paterson, it is not a new employee line, as some people are hearing. Rather, it is a reconfiguration of the Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations and External Affairs position, which became vacant in September .
On Tuesday night, William Paterson hosted a virtual Scholarship Celebration, where, in addition to a series of wonderful testimonials from donors and the student scholarship recipients, I announced the successful close of the scholarship campaign, which raised more than $16 million – 60 percent above the $10 million goal! This incredible level of support will go a long way toward helping our students enroll, succeed, and graduate. Thanks to all who supported the campaign, and congratulations to Institutional Advancement and IRT for hosting this great event! A recording of the event can be viewed here.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – On Wednesday, November 11, we observed Veterans Day in gratitude to all those at William Paterson and beyond who have served our country. Of course, the work of supporting our veterans goes on year-round, and a William Paterson student, Tom Tice ’20, is doing his part through Warrior Strong, Inc., a charitable organization he founded to help improve the physical and mental health of returning service members and their families by providing them with free fitness classes. You can read more about Tom and Warrior Strong here.  Thank you to Tom, and to all who assist our Veterans here at WP.  
Thank you all, and have a great week.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD