August 2, 2021

Dear William Paterson Students,

Today, all William Paterson staff returned to campus-based work on a normal schedule for the first time in almost 18 months and are now busy preparing for your return in just a few weeks. We can't wait to see you!

Central to our efforts to keep our campus community safe is the vaccination requirement for all students and faculty, as well as for many staff members. COVID-19 vaccination rates for our campus community currently stand at 79.38% for faculty and staff and 68.69% of students, who are either fully or partially vaccinated. While these numbers are increasing, we are not where we need to be, and time is running out. Let me say again, very plainly, that any student, AFT faculty/staff, or non-union staff member who is not fully vaccinated by August 25th or who does not have an approved medical or religious exemption will not be allowed to come to campus nor work from home unless they receive a formal accommodation. 

People with approved exemptions and members of unions without a vaccination agreement in place who are not otherwise vaccinated will be required to wear masks while indoors on campus, maintain appropriate social distance, wherever possible, and be subject to regular COVID-19 testing. Deans and supervisors will be provided with the names of faculty and staff in their areas who are required to wear masks, and faculty and advisors will get similar lists for their students who need to wear masks. Of course, given the latest CDC guidelines, it is possible that even fully vaccinated people will again have to wear masks when indoors if cases continue to rise. That is not the situation for now, however, and we will update you in the event that changes. 

You are all aware of the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated, resulting from the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. So, please, for your health, that of your family and campus community, as well as for the good of your academic career and your future, get vaccinated!

Enjoy your final weeks of summer, and I look forward to seeing you back on campus soon. 

Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.