Richard Helldobler named president at William Paterson University

Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Richard Helldobler has been appointed the eighth President of William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., effective July 1.

“It has been an honor to serve both as Provost and Interim President during my tenure here at Northeastern Illinois University,” Helldobler said in a letter to the University community. “Together we should be proud of our many accomplishments.”

Among Helldobler’s accomplishments at Northeastern:

  • the creation of academic programming for the El Centro location, which opened in 2014
  • the creation of the Center for College Access and Success, which partners with teachers, parents and neighborhood communities to improve educational equity and excellence for students so that they will succeed in college and beyond
  • the opening of Northeastern’s first residence hall, The Nest
  • the successful reaching of the $10 million goal we set for Northeastern's first-ever comprehensive capital fundraising campaign

Helldobler joined the University in 2013 as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He was unanimously appointed interim president by the Northeastern Board of Trustees on July 26, 2016. He assumed the position on Oct. 1, 2016, after the retirement of President Emerita Sharon Hahs.

“I leave Northeastern with many great memories, along with friendships that I know will continue,” Helldobler said. “However, as author Daniel Quinn wrote, ‘To each is given its moment in the blaze, its spark to be surrendered to another when it is sent, so that the blaze may go on.’ I pass the spark on to the next president and know the good work done here at Northeastern will continue.”

Northeastern’s Board of Trustees is in the final stages of its search for the next President.

Richard Helldobler speaks at a podium
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