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Farmingdale State to offer first graduate degree program

John S. Nader, the new president of Farmingdale

John S. Nader, the new president of Farmingdale State College, speaks at a convocation at the college in East Farmingdale on Aug. 25, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Farmingdale State College President John S. Nader, in his welcome convocation to the 9,000-student campus Thursday, announced the school soon will offer its first graduate degree program — a master of science in technology management.

The 104-year-old public college, part of the state university system, started as an agricultural and technical school, mainly offering two-year degrees until its first bachelor’s program started in 1985.

Nader, 61, former provost of SUNY Delhi and a former mayor of the city of Oneonta, started last month as Farmingdale’s ninth president. He succeeds W. Hubert Keen, who had been president since 2007. Keen stepped down in June and now is president of Nassau Community College.

In his speech — the first to the entire campus community as president — Nader said he was “so impressed by Farmingdale” and pledged to lead the college to a new level of distinction.

“It’s increasingly a college of choice for students and faculty. Wherever I go, I meet alumni who are thrilled with the education they received here,” Nader said. “I am passionate about the mission of Farmingdale State College and about the mission of public higher education, so when I hear these comments, my values are reaffirmed.”

Officials, including the SUNY Board of Trustees and the state Board of Regents, approved the college’s proposal to offer the graduate degree program.

Farmingdale State officials were notified of final approval on Monday. The school intends to start enrolling students in the program in the 2017-18 academic year, college spokeswoman Kathy Coley said.

More graduate degrees could follow, Nader said.

“The campus will have additional conversations about offering more graduate degrees going forward — likely in energy and health care — fitting the needs of the Long Island industries,” he said.

Farmingdale State has been favorably ranked by U.S. News & World Report among public regional colleges in the North. It enrolls students drawn to agriculture, aviation, engineering and nursing fields.

Enrollment increased 3 percent in the last year and 26 percent over past five years. The college also hired 57 new faculty and staff members and plans to hire another 15 new professors next year. In addition, a new $36 million applied social sciences building is planned, college officials said.

Nader on Thursday announced the hiring of new faculty and staff and awards and promotions. He placed the 2016 Chancellor’s Award medallions around the necks of select faculty members.

Awardee Daniel T. Arcieri, a member of the biology department for 37 years, said he was pleased to hear of Nader’s plans for the future of the college. Arcieri also is an alumus.

“He was spectacular today and left no open questions in my mind on how we would lead,” Arcieri said. “He’s clearly a very bright and charismatic person who will take the campus to the next level.”

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