They came to their schools at different times and under different circumstances, served with strength and vision, and improved their institutions. Now Long Island is saying goodbye to Robert Scott and W. Hubert Keen -- the presidents of Adelphi University and Farmingdale State College, respectively. And so we pause to say, simply: Job well done.
Scott completed his 15-year tenure Tuesday, the same day Keen announced he will depart next June after what will be nine years at the helm. The two leaders leave behind formidable legacies that resulted in significant boosts in enrollment at each institution.
Scott took over at a dark time, following the scandal-ridden reign of Peter Diamandopoulos, and he was Adelphi's sixth president in less than four years. By emphasizing community service and social justice and being accessible to students and staff, Scott restored Adelphi's reputation. He stabilized its finances, more than tripled its endowment and built a vigorous capital program. This fall, Adelphi will open a $70 million building for nursing and public health degrees.
Under Keen, Farmingdale increased its selectivity in admitting students, boosted its faculty by more than one-third, vastly expanded its academic programs and four-year degrees, and undertook nearly $200 million worth of construction and renovation.
Nassau Community College, mired in an endless and controversial search for a new president, would be wise to use the accomplishments and credentials of Scott and Keen as guides.
Scott and Keen served their students well and leave their schools stronger than they found them. They have our thanks.