February 11, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty & Staff:

Thank you to everyone who joined us virtually for today’s State of the University address. If you couldn’t make it or want to look more closely at my remarks, those of Board of Trustees Chair Michael Seeve, or the slides I presented, please click here. I know that a lot of what I had to say was difficult to hear. This is without question one of the most challenging periods in the history of William Paterson. However, I remain steadfast in my belief that if we do what has to be done to right ourselves financially, while remaining true to our mission and values, we will emerge a stronger institution.
In the meantime, it is important that we don’t lose sight of all the great things that are happening here, some of which I shared in this afternoon’s address. Will. Power. 101 and our other efforts are helping improve first-year retention, and graduation rates are increasing. WP Online is exceeding our ambitious goals and providing opportunities for growth through the addition of undergraduate programs for the adult market. We have raised record amounts of scholarship funds to support our students on their path toward earning a degree.
These are all wonderful milestones that should be celebrated. In between, of course, are all the successes that are taking place daily in our classrooms and all across our campus, wherever students, faculty, and staff come together to teach and learn, conduct research, advocate for a cause, or participate in an athletic competition. The pandemic means our campus is quieter than usual, but everywhere I look, I still see the energy and enthusiasm that make this place so special. 
These are, no doubt, tough times for our community. But, I know that much better days are ahead, when we will all see that the future of our University is as bright as that of our students. Thank you for all that you do for William Paterson and for our students.
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD