In this environment, many of us are tired of focusing on COVID and ways to mitigate
risk and assure health and safety. Other than this first entry, I will focus this
Update on other important things that are happening across campus.
Testing - FSC had one of SUNY's most ambitious voluntary diagnostic testing programs. More
recently, SUNY has required each campus to submit a plan for mandatory testing of
those students who have a campus presence. The College's surveillance testing plan
has been accepted by SUNY. Recurring testing is central to our efforts to provide
a safe campus setting. Thus far, Health and Wellness has administered over 500 tests.
Robotic Automation Process - Thanks to Jill O'Sullivan, IT, and staff in a number of departments for helping launch
an innovative internship program in partnership with Ignite IPA and Blue Prism. This
project not only offered high quality applied learning opportunities for three students
but it leveraged a partnership with two third party companies to address real and
meaningful challenges on campus including excelsior credit verification, student payroll,
and the part-time appointment process. These three processes alone, and the resulting
efficiencies, will save the College tens of thousands of dollars as well as weeks
of staff time every year. We will continue to explore these opportunities for students
as well as ways in which the College can expand the use of automation to improve efficiency
and save money.
The Black Experience - Thanks to our student chapter of the NAACP and the Greenley Library staff for assembling
a display entitled "The Black Experience: Resources for Farmingdale State College."
NAACP chapter President Darrien Hunt helped lead this effort along with acquisitions
librarian Fatima Rad. Support for the project also came from Dr. Angela Jones, Department
of Sociology and Anthropology, and library director Karen Gelles. Interaction Design
student Stephen Garafola provided the artwork. This is yet another example of collaborative
projects that serve the College, our students and the broader community. If you haven't
been to the library and seen this resource center and exhibit, I highly recommend
that you go.
Enrollment - As of this writing the College has a headcount enrollment of 10,074. This number
exceeded our expectations and is truly remarkable given the many problems confronting
higher education in the Long Island region. Nearly every area of the College deserves
some credit for this. Our admissions staff worked hard to talk individually with prospective
students and responded rapidly to their inquiries. Admissions worked very closely
with faculty in many departments and with the AAIC and administrative offices to assist
students in completing the application process and registering for courses. We exceeded
our enrollment target without diluting the College's level of selectivity. This is
quite an unusual accomplishment.
NSSE - Last August we received the results from the 2020 National Survey of Student Engagement.
This survey, used nationally, provided important insights. The findings provide telling
information about our students' experiences at FSC and important data that can help
us improve as an institution. According to the NSSE, "Student engagement represents
two critical features of collegiate quality. The first is the amount of time and effort
students put into their studies and other educationally purposeful activities. The
second is how institutional resources, courses, and other learning opportunities facilitate
student participation in activities that matter to student learning. NSSE surveys
first-year and senior students to assess their levels of engagement and related information
about their experience." In some areas, we truly excel. For example, 84% of seniors
rate their overall FSC experience as excellent or good (5% above the SUNY state op
average). However, despite our ongoing efforts, FSC seniors have participated in somewhat
fewer high impact practices (service learning, research with a faculty member, internships,
study abroad, or a culminating senior experience) than other SUNY seniors. This may
be due to the number of hours that our students work—which is far greater than that
of students at other comparable institutions.
Center for Criminal Justice Studies - Provost Laura Joseph and the School of Arts and Sciences took the leap forward to
create a Center for Criminal Justice Studies. Thanks to assistant dean Tom Ward and
department chair LaNina Cooke for agreeing to take a leading role in the creation
of the Center. This idea is one that has been long discussed and now gives us the
opportunity to raise the profile of our CJ programs with a range of options for students.
MSCHE - Susan Conforti, Jennifer Gonder, and Michael Goodstone completed a very strong self-study
document as part of the Middle States reaccreditation process. The self-study process
should lead not only to reaccreditation, but also serve as a vehicle of self-improvement.
Each chapter of the document includes a number of suggestions/recommendations for
Congratulations to Dominic Esposito from our Office of Sponsored Programs who has been selected as
recipient of the Hartford-Nicholson Award for 2020. Dominic has been a presenter and
board member of the Society of Research Administrators who recognized his contributions
to the knowledge of research administrators and dedication to the development of the
Capital Grant - Thanks to Assembly member Kimberly Jean-Pierre, the College has secured a New York
State capital grant of $250,000 for the repairs and rehabilitation to pedestrian walkways,
roadways, lighting, and drainage infrastructure.
As we move into fall, I thought I would share the last remnants of summer...tomatoes
from the sustainable garden.