January 25, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty and Staff:

I hope everyone’s semester is off to a great start. In addition to a new semester and a new year, we have a new President and Vice President in Washington, D.C., so I hope that, no matter our politics, we can all view this as a time of renewed hope. It’s always amazing to think that a semester that begins in the cold, dark months of winter will conclude a few months from now in the warmth and bloom of the New Jersey spring. Of course, there is much to do between now and then, and I am excited for all the great experiences in store for our students this Spring.
I’m sure many of you saw last week’s news coverage of the budget challenges that William Paterson and many of New Jersey’s other colleges and universities are facing, which included our plans for layoffs. As much as we have discussed these developments internally, it can be particularly sad to see them reported to the broader public. It no doubt makes it all seem more real. I appreciate WP AFT President Sue Tardi's appeals to the Senate Higher Education Committee, and I share her belief that we must fight for every job we can save.
I will discuss these and other important matters of concern to the William Paterson University during my State of the University Address, which I will deliver online on Thursday, February 11. More details will follow by email later this week.
This week’s WP: We are Proud – Recently, William Paterson launched its new Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program, aimed at developing a faculty that better reflects the diversity of our students, with a webinar that was attended by nearly 200 people from colleges and universities across the country. Keynote speaker Dr. Lori Patton Davis, Chair of the Department of Educational Studies and a Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at The Ohio State University spoke on intersectionality and what it can offer as a framework for understanding how faculty of color navigate careers in higher education. Following her talk, Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Talent Management David Jones and Associate Provost Kara Rabbitt, who together organized the event, hosted an information session for approximately 90 interested attendees. Congratulations to them on the success of the webinar and the launch of this exciting new program, which will make us a better University. Click here to learn more and apply.
Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.