Hubert Keen PhD- President SUNY Farmingdale
September 19, 2008 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Dr. Hubert Keen, president of SUNY Farmingdale was our speaker this morning. Some of us can remember when this institution was known as an agricultural school. The farm animals are long gone, and the march to progress has brought Farmingdale to a new and important place in the multi-billion dollar education industry on Long Island. After a long slide in enrollment the college is growing in enrollment at a rate that they literally cannot keep up with. Under this administration the enrollment continues to increase and programs are growing. Farmingdale, until recently, was issuing more associate degrees than bachelor degrees. That trend has been reversed in recent years.
The operating budget for the school is $64million and the present capital budget is $14 million. The capital part is being used to build a student center and a Business Studies school. There are 1100 employees at Farmingdale; half of them are full time. To accommodate the expanded bachelor programs there have been 30 new instructors hired in the last two years.
There have been solar photovoltaic trainning at Farmingdale for many years. In recent years the work in this field has expanded considerably. Research in solar PV and fuel cells has become an even more important part of the educational mix because of our present day needs.
Other important educational components are the Dental Hygiene school, Nursing, Bio Tech, Information Technology, and Security Systems. Each of these disciplines are in a collaborative relationship with other important institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratories and North Shore LIJ.
The school has been designing degree programs to provide the variety of personnel that are needed for us to grow, and prosper as a region and a country, but the emphasis is on educating local people. The enrollment at Farmingdale is principally Long Islanders.
The present economic situtaion has been having a detrimental effect on the institution, and Dr Keen acknowledged, that has been a serious challenge