Changes are afoot at the School of Business at Farmingdale State College, says newly named dean Richard Vogel. Business management is now the largest program on campus, with 1,200 students, and the school's new building, with a videoconference room and 11 technology-enhanced classrooms, is due to open by next year. Vogel, recently promoted from acting dean, says he will place greater emphasis on international relations and resource sustainability.
"With the globalization of the economy as a whole, our students, our graduates need to have a greater level of exposure to the global economy," he said. He'll be encouraging faculty members to build international connections, and building global business studies and sustainability programs within the college.
Vogel, 56, a Fulbright scholar with a doctorate in economics, was studying in Florida when Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida. The title of his dissertation was "Regional Growth, Structural Change, and Natural Disaster." He joined the Farmingdale faculty in 1998.
What challenges do your grads face when job hunting in the region?
One of the big problems on Long Island is the cost of living. It can be difficult for our grads when they're moving into entry-level jobs and facing non-entry-level rents. Many of our students are working at the very least part time while going to college, and so a lot of them do find employment within the local community and move into entry-level positions.
Which grads have the best luck finding work?
Our computer programming students. There's a high demand for students in those areas within Long Island and within the New York metro area as a whole.
How can your students heighten their skills to move into the financial arena?
One way is through our agreement with SUNY Old Westbury, where students can move seamlessly into Old Westbury's master's degree program in accounting and complete all the requirements to be eligible to sit for the CPA exam.
You have a horticulture program?
The college started out as a college of agriculture a hundred years ago . . . and there still is a strong agricultural community on Long Island. Our program is focusing on sustainability. Students maintain and oversee operations at some of the major gardens on Long Island.
You also oversee government internships?
I oversee an internship program with the State Assembly and Senate, which runs during the legislative sessions. I tell students that literally everything they can think of has some relationship with the activity of government.
In studying the economics of the aftermath of superstorms, what are some common truths?
The surprising thing with almost all disasters is that they very rarely lead to a region essentially going into decline. They tend to either accelerate or change the direction of growth.
NAME: Richard Vogel, dean of the School of Business and professor of economics, Farmingdale State College in Farmingdale.
WHAT IT DOES: Provides educational programs and opportunities to the greater Long Island community.
EMPLOYEES: 59 full time; 110 part time.
BUDGET: $11 million to $12 million