November 23, 2020

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

We did it! Thanks to the efforts of our entire community, William Paterson has come to the safe and successful conclusion of a Fall 2020 semester that included an on-campus experience for many of our students – most critically, our freshmen. This is no small achievement, given the ever-changing circumstances around the pandemic. It is a testament to our collective commitment; the commitment of our faculty and staff to our students, of our students to their studies, and of everyone to keeping each other safe.
Of course, as the Fall semester draws to a close, the work of the University continues. Campus offices remain open, and Winter Session courses begin next month. Except for days the University is closed for holidays, students should be able to contact their advisors, register for courses, and conduct any other business. However, I am mindful that all our good work over the past several months has come at a cost. In short, many of us are worn out. So, I hope that the coming weeks provide everyone with opportunities to take a well-deserved break, spend time – safely – with loved ones, and enjoy some good food and relaxation.
With coronavirus cases spiking in New Jersey and across the country, however, I want to encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant in taking the necessary precautions of regular handwashing, social distancing, and mask wearing. Public health officials say the biggest contributor to the current spread of the virus is relatively small gatherings in private homes, so please keep in mind New Jersey’s rule capping private gatherings at a maximum of 10 people. Also, if you plan to travel at all, remember that New Jersey expects a 14-day quarantine period after returning here from virtually every other state and country.  The State updates its travel and quarantine list every Tuesday.
So, with the safety of your families and home communities in mind, we are encouraging all residential students to be tested for the coronavirus before heading home this week. To help the Spring semester go as smoothly as the Fall, we also encourage all students, faculty, and staff to be tested before returning to campus in January and to stay home for at least 14 days in the event of a positive test. 
On a separate topic, I want you all to know that the University administration is aware of the issue that some have raised regarding online fees that were charged for courses that were not initially intended to be online, but shifted there due to changing circumstances. We are working to address this matter quickly and fairly, and will update the community when it has been resolved.
Also, we are now in the process of rolling out a refreshed University brand, which demonstrates that we understand what students need and we know how to guide them to successful careers and lives. We believe that this refreshed brand will help further build our reputation through a more distinctive identity – one that stands out against our competition.
The brand communicates our students' grit and the extensive support they receive from faculty and staff and through distinctive programs, particularly Will. Power. 101. A recently launched ad campaign promoting the refreshed brand depicts the sense of empowerment and transformation that characterizes the William Paterson experience. The ad placement strategy is heavily digital with social media ads, targeted web banners, search engine marketing, and streaming video. In addition to the ads, our Marketing and Public Relations department is working closely with Admissions staff to integrate the new campaign throughout our marketing communications, including digital, print and face-to-face interactions.   
‘Will. Power.’ remains our theme, but we’re now building on it with a new phase and a new tag line – ‘Together, we’ll do this.’
It’s an effective statement, because it’s an authentic one. Indeed, together, we have done great work this past semester, and, together, we’ll continue to do great things in the months and years ahead.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – As I stated up top, we should all be proud of what we have accomplished together as a community this semester. I, for one, am so incredibly proud of – and grateful to – each and every student, faculty member, and staff member for demonstrating the collective Will. Power. of this special community. Thank you!
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD