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Member News — William Paterson University Selects New President
March 9th, 2018

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Richard J. Helldobler as the eighth president of William Paterson University. Dr. Helldobler will begin his duties on July 1, 2018 after the retirement of Dr. Kathleen Waldron. Dr. Helldobler’s career has been committed to public higher education and to the academic and personal achievements of students. As we learned from his visit with us, he has a strong background as an academician, having served as a faculty member, dean, academic vice president, and president, and we are delighted that he will be bringing his expertise and leadership to William Paterson University.

Dr. Helldobler has served as Interim President at Northeastern Illinois University since July 2016.  During his tenure, he led a successful capital campaign, the College of Business and Management received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the university’s accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission was reaffirmed for a ten-year period. Prior to his appointment as President, he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, overseeing all matters related to academics, including the oversight of four colleges, the library, admissions, recruitment, and other areas.

Prior to his appointments at Northeastern Illinois University, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Shepherd University as well as Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at California University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Helldobler earned his PhD and master of arts in theater from Bowling Green State University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo.

Dr. Helldobler’s appointment is the culmination of a national search, aided by Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc., an executive search firm, and under the guidance of a 14-member search committee of faculty, staff, and students. On behalf of the Board, I want to thank the search committee for their tireless efforts and good counsel throughout the process that spanned five months, beginning in early October and culminating in the campus visits in late February. Under the leadership of trustee and alumna Linda Niro, the committee played an important role throughout the various stages of the search, much of their work in private and without fanfare, and the University is indebted to their service. The search committee included Brock Borgeson, Dom DiMaio, Brianna Egers, Jean Fuller-Stanley, Arlene Holpp-Scala, Cyril Ku, Linda Niro, Carmen Ortiz, Will Pesce, Kara Rabbitt, Maribel Rodriguez, Michael Seeve, Sue Tardi, and Ron Verdicchio.

I also want to thank the members of the University community who actively participated in the small group meetings and open forums for the finalists.  Your feedback was integral to the selection process and was given serious consideration by board members. Each finalist brought unique qualities to the position that would have benefitted the University, and your thoughts helped the board make its final decision.

I and my colleagues on the Board of Trustees take inspiration from the dedication of the faculty, students, and staff of this fine institution, as a presidential search calls for all of us to work together with singleness of purpose – to select the best president for William Paterson University.  The board is confident that Richard Helldobler will provide the leadership that will continue our mission as a leader in public higher education in New Jersey.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Rich Helldobler to campus on July 1.

Sincerely,
Frederick L. Gruel
Chair, William Paterson University Board of Trustees
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