November 30, 2020

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and found time to relax and enjoy a nice meal. Now that the Fall semester is behind us, it’s a good time to celebrate and reflect on all the good work that went into it before shifting our focus to the Spring semester. I am grateful to all our students, faculty, and staff for all your effort and mutual support. Thanks to you, we were able to do something that many colleges weren’t – host an uninterrupted on-campus experience for many of our students.
I want to again thank those who serve on the Re-Opening Committee, under the direction of Co-chairs Dr. Jill Guzman and Director of Public Safety and University Police Charles Lowe: Susan Astarita, Rebecca Baird, Denise Robinson Lewis, Jonathan Lincoln, Eric Rosenberg, Jim Shelley, Stephen Sondey, and Marybeth Zeman. This group worked tirelessly over the summer to get us to a place where we could open safely on August 24, and then continued those efforts to keep us open and operating throughout the semester. Thank you all!
As we look toward the remainder of the year and then the spring 2021 semester, enrollment remains our top priority. We should all continue to do everything we can to encourage students to enroll as soon as they can and to facilitate those efforts to make the process as smooth as possible. For students who have financial issues, we should refer them to their professional advisor, financial aid, or other appropriate points of contact where those issues might be resolved. For students with other concerns, we can point to the fall semester and say with confidence that the spring semester will be just as successful, and perhaps more so, given the many recent promising developments related to vaccines. The next few weeks will be especially important to making sure that as many of our current students as possible enroll for the spring semester.
This week’s WPWe are Proud – William Paterson climbed 43 spots since last year, from No. 119 to No. 76, on a national ranking of 1,449 four-year colleges and universities based on how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs. The 2020 Social Mobility Index, released by CollegeNET, now ranks William Paterson in the top 5 percent of four-year colleges and universities nationwide. We are increasingly successful in educating our students and providing them with the means to build successful careers and lift up themselves, their families, and their communities. You should all be proud of your contribution to this collective effort. 
Thank you for your continued good work, and have a great week!
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD