March 1, 2021

Dear William Paterson Faculty & Staff,

With the arrival of March, the Spring 2021 semester is in full swing. As the good work of educating our students goes on, there are also important conversations taking place across campus about the future of our University. Sometimes difficult, often hopeful, at times constructive, these continued discussions and everyone’s contribution to them will be vital to our collective success in navigating our financial challenges and moving beyond them so we can reset for growth and greater success.
Just over the past few weeks, I delivered my State of the University address and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Steve Bolyai and Vice President for Enrollment Management Reg Ross hosted the Budget and Enrollment Forum. Both events included active Q&A sessions. Also, I hosted online Office Hours sessions for faculty and staff, and for students. With the lack of opportunities to see people face-to-face on campus, seeing colleagues and students on screen is the next best thing, and I appreciate everyone who takes the time to join these informal sessions to ask a question, share a thought, or simply say hello and hear what’s on others’ minds.
These events, like these emails and other communications, are part of my pledge to be as up front with you as possible, which is more important than ever during these times of change. Productive conversations are also taking place among myself, Cabinet members, union representatives, SGA leadership, and other constituent groups across campus. Good communication is always an exchange, and I value the chance to hear from people across the William Paterson community. We may not always agree on the right path ahead, but it is essential that we have a common understanding – grounded in fact – about where we are currently and where, at least in broad terms, we should be heading as an institution. So, for the benefit of the entire University, let’s keep talking and listening to each other.
Watch your email for future Office Hours and Town Hall events. As always, you can reach me at
This week’s WPWe are Proud – With so many people suffering economically from the pandemic, the free tax preparation service offered by William Paterson students to community members through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is more important than ever. The federal- and state-supported program has been a staple of the University’s community service efforts for decades. It gives our accounting and business students the opportunity to gain practical experience while helping those who may not otherwise be able to afford a preparation service or handle their own return. Thanks to Valeriya Avdeev, professor of accounting and law and director of the VITA program, and all the student volunteers who are making a difference in our community. For more information on the program, including instructions on how to participate, which have been adjusted for the pandemic, click here.
Thank you for your continued dedication to William Paterson and our students. 
Richard J. Helldobler, PhD