February 2, 2021

Dear William Paterson Alumni:

At William Paterson University, like colleges and universities throughout the country, we are in the process of making important decisions that will strengthen us as we navigate through and beyond these challenging times. You are important members of our University community, and I would like to make you aware of a new change to the academic organization of the University. Effective July 1, the College of the Arts and Communication (COAC) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (COHSS) will join together to create a new college under the leadership of COHSS Dean Dr. Wartyna Davis.   
I know that, as alumni, many of you have just as strong an identity with your major or particular college as you do with William Paterson University. Please know that this decision was not made lightly, but rather was the result of careful consideration of both financial and organizational circumstances, as well as opportunities. While initially driven by William Paterson’s need to confront significant pandemic-related and other fiscal challenges, I believe this combination will also yield new and interesting opportunities for academic collaboration and excellence to the ultimate benefit of our students and other stakeholders.
I want to thank everyone who has been, and will continue over the months ahead to be, involved in the complex work of joining together these two distinguished colleges, including the dedicated alumni who serve on their respective advisory committees. I especially want to thank Interim Dean Loretta McLaughlin Vignier, who has ably led COAC during this transition, while students, faculty, and programs in the college have continued to achieve many distinctions.  
I want to assure you that the interests of both colleges’ students, faculty, staff, and alumni will be considered fully during this process. A joint faculty and staff transition committee, with representation from their external advisory committees, will make specific recommendations for how best to smoothly and efficiently work through this transition. I am confident that the new college will help us strategically position the University for success in a changing higher education environment.
Thank you for your continued involvement with William Paterson. Go Pioneers!
Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.