Kathleen Waldron, who has led strategic initiatives that have enhanced academics and infrastructure at William Paterson University, has announced that she will retire at the end of the 2017-18 academic year after eight years as president of the institution.
“I will turn 70 years old in September 2018 and have had the great honor of being an academic administrator for 20 years,” says President Waldron, who became the institution’s seventh president on August 2, 2010. “The last seven years at William Paterson University have been the best of my career. We have accomplished so much, and I hope that the advances we made together are of lasting benefit to the students we serve. I am extremely grateful to have the support of an engaged Board of Trustees that cares deeply about this institution and its success, as well as Cabinet members who capably lead their divisions and provide sound advice and counsel. The faculty continue to provide outstanding instruction and mentorship to our students while pursuing individual research and creative endeavors. Our dedicated staff provides the day-to-day academic and business support that keeps the University going and thriving.”
The University’s Board of Trustees has launched a national search for a new president. President Waldron plans to retire effective June 30, 2018.
“We have been very lucky to have someone as skilled as Kathy Waldron to be a part of the journey of this institution,” says Fred Gruel, chair of the William Paterson University Board of Trustees. “Her impact on current and future generations of students is laudable and tangible. She established an ambitious agenda for William Paterson University upon her arrival in August 2010. She has focused the University on short- and long-term planning, and has made a tremendous impact on the University’s infrastructure, playing a leading role in the state in securing the Building Our Future General Obligation Bond that resulted in funding for University Hall and the renovation of Preakness Hall and Hunziker Hall, which will benefit the teaching and research environment for years to come.”
After guiding the development of the University’s Strategic Plan 2012-22, President Waldron has led William Paterson to increase its academic offerings, launching the institution’s second doctoral program, the doctor of psychology, as well as its first fully online undergraduate degree completion program and new bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs. The University expanded the number of full-time faculty to more than 400. During her tenure, the University was designated a Hispanic-serving institution. Enrollment of Hispanic students has grown to nearly 30 percent of the overall student population, continuing the University’s long-standing commitment to diversity and tradition of educating first-generation college students. The University also has been honored as a “Military Friendly School.”
During President Waldron’s administration, the institution launched an extensive building and renovation project that has transformed the academic facilities at the core of the campus. University Hall, William Paterson’s newest academic building, was funded in part by $30 million from the Building Our Future bond, and opened in January 2016. The renovation of two academic buildings, Preakness Hall, to reopen in September 2017, and Hunziker Hall, to reopen in September 2018, received $7.2 million in funding from the Building Our Future bond and the Capital Improvement Fund. The University also completed a $2.5 million high-definition upgrade to its two-studio TV complex.
President Waldron led University efforts to expand initiatives that provide students with opportunities beyond the classroom. The University increased offerings for student participation in civic engagement opportunities through academic courses and co-curricular activities, became the first and only public New Jersey college or university that requires new undergraduates to take a course on civic engagement, and served as a co-founder of New Jersey Campus Compact. The institution also enhanced its focus on active involvement by undergraduate students in research and other scholarly and creative activities with faculty, providing additional support for travel to regional, national, and international conferences. The University implemented enhanced career development support for students, including the establishment of the Pesce Family Mentoring Institute, connecting successful professionals as mentors to select undergraduate students.
Long committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation, the University instituted numerous campus-wide conservation programs, including a solar panel installation that continues to rank as one of the largest university installations in the United States, and other energy efficiency efforts that have resulted in a significant reduction in natural gas and electricity usage and in carbon gas emissions, as well as more than $20 million in total energy savings. Most recently, University Hall was certified as LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. President Waldron signed the President's Climate Leadership Commitment and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, became a member of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability, and most recently signed on to "We Are Still In," a statement by more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities from across the U.S. or with significant operations in the U.S. in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Recognized as one of the Top 50 Women in New Jersey by NJBIZ, she was honored by the North Jersey Federal Credit Union as the first recipient of the Annual Women History Makers in North Jersey Award and was awarded the 2013 Garden State Green Award, among other awards and honors.
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