welcome to \'stealth university\'; suny at farmingdale remakes itself and hopes someone will notice
By KAREN W. ARENSONMAY 1999 hazem tawfik, standing in the spacious white industrial laboratory, nodded in grief as he directed his work on the campus of New York State University in Farmingdale. An amiable big man who loves manufacturing engineering, he has a series of high Technology toys: laser cutting and welding machine, stereo printing machine, even 10-foot- The high Cincinnati millon robot. He has a company asking for his help in solving their manufacturing problems. But he needs more students. His program attracts 150 students a year, but now there are only 25 students, most of whom are part-time students. The timer that comes after work at night. This is not enough to fill the gaps in the lab, nor is it enough to solve the problems of all industries, so he is eager to get more. \"High school students don\'t think engineering and technology are a viable career,\" he said . \". \"They said: \'Why do I have to go through difficult lessons and studies, not to learn easily in the business field, to be a banker and to make a lot of money? \"The ad campaign says the desire for more students is repeated in the huge 380-year-old SUNY Farmingdale Acre campus in Nassau Suffolk border, high classroom Technical equipment and a variety of professional laboratories, but the air is a bit dirty and the movie set is not used enough. Advertising the local economy is booming, and businesses that are frantically looking for technically trained employees are also lining up to recruit graduates from Farmingdale. But many labs in the school are empty for most of the day. Its once- The crowded parking lot is open. Its students occupy only four of the eight former homes. The most recent afternoon, the state where the college is locatedof-the- There is no one in the art safety Imaging Laboratory. The same is true of the elegant formal garden, where the purple cuckoo and the rich yellow daffodils are blooming in the cold sun, and so is the banana tree queuing up to wait for the warm weather to transfer to the outdoor greenhouse. At the aviation center a few miles away, late in the afternoon, six or seven students crowded around a table for ground training, while the smooth Katana training plane lined up on the runway, their engine is silent. One exception is the dental hygiene clinic, where rows of students in blue lab coats focus on real patients, picking tartar between their teeth. The project is the most competitive project in famendale; It receives about 200 applications per year, about 50 slots. The employees of farmendale described their university Well known treasure, but it turns out that there is little comfort in that when they watch the admissions slide. In the mid- Admission to Farmingdale in 1970s- Regarded as equivalent to the wholetime students -- Nearly 10,000 Today is under 4,000. We think we have a great organization, but we are the best -- Tina Sneed, assistant dean of admissions services, said his job was to recruit more students. She faces severe challenges. Many high school students think science and technology are too difficult. The collapse of Long Island\'s defense industry has left many engineers and technicians out of work, leaving others wondering if the profession is worth working on. \"Everyone in Long Island knows of a fired engineer, so they shy away from technology because they think technology is periodically unstable,\" Pearl M said . \" Kamer, chief economist at Long Island society. She firmly opposes this belief. Defense is cyclical, not technology, she said. However, perhaps even worse, farmendale himself has experienced so many changes in recent years that high school students and their families and guidance consultants are confused about the services it provides. \"Our students used to fly to Farmingdale -- Conditioning, veterinary, pre- Felice Solomon, director of guidance at Plainview, said: \"Engineering and drafting Old Bethpage School District. \"Then farmendale pulled out of many of these projects. When asked about new projects, she said, \"people don\'t know about them and they don\'t go when people don\'t. \"Even students in college are sometimes not sure what\'s there. Malantino, 21year- An old man from massapco said that he and a classmate of visual communication plan to transfer to another university in two years. It was not until the interviewers of another university expressed such admiration for their Farmingdale portfolio that they decided to stay for another two years. \"They\'re like \'wow, \'said Mr. Marandino is keen to become an art director, and his pointed black hair and silver earrings will make him look like a home at any art school in Manhattan. \"In addition, the teachers here have a good relationship,\" he added . \". Farmingdale needs to clarify his identity SUNY\'s Provost Salins says the top two Agricultural technology schools still have a way to go before they feel like they\'re four years old. year college. \"There is still a huge credibility gap,\" he said . \" \"They have to convince the Long Island community --- Students and their parents- They are a more advanced institution than they think. To change the concept, we must change the essence; A little chicken and egg. \"Now that their ongoing efforts to transform the campus are finally in place, officials at farmementingdale are trying to improve the image of the college. \"We are close,\" said Frank . \" Cipriani, president of Farmingdale for 21 years, is taking administrative leave and he is developing a fund Improve the movement. Almost all the pieces are in place. I can\'t produce enough graduates to meet the needs. What we have to do now is to attract enough students to benefit them. \"While it has not been completed, changes can be seen in several ways: * officials in famendale say their admissions slides seem to be over. This spring\'s application was relatively stable, compared with the 15% surge in the Old Westbury campus of New York State University and the 3% increase in the Stone Creek campus, which was disappointing, but after the decline in recent years, The college has started a more active recruitment work, including an open day this weekend --- This is the first time in many years. * The College is accelerating its transition to four. year college. Although the student has been able to transfer to several bachelor\'s degree courses for several years, it directly accepts the new student to enter four- The degree began last fall. So far this spring, 572 students have applied for a bachelor\'s degree program, up from 298 at this time last year. * SUNY provides additional funding for a number of professional projects such as aviation, which enables Farmingdale to lease new aircraft and provide more flight time for student pilots. A picture of a new plane in the admissions manual at New York State University helped attract more students and build its program. \"Two years ago we had no dispatchers and no mechanics, and I put the oil on all the planes,\" said Stephen Campbell, the college\'s chief pilot. \"Now we have two dispatchers, a mechanic and an assistant. * The College is working with Cold Spring Port Labs and the State University of New York at Stony Brook to set up a business incubator for biotech startups at an edge of the Farmingdale campus. New York state has invested $15 million in funding the bioscience park, which is expected to provide research opportunities and jobs for students and teachers in Farmingdale. \"We have made a lot of progress, but people don\'t know yet,\" said Frank Pellegrini, chairman of the Department of Chemistry and its faculty and staff planning committee . \". \"I have been here for 30 years and cattle and pigs have not been here for 20 years,\" he added . \". Officials at the State University of New York in Albany say they are also encouraged that farmendale appears to be moving in the right direction after years of trouble. As part of their new campusby- They recently reviewed the college\'s strategic plan and expressed satisfaction, although they have not yet been formally approved. Farmingdale has great potential. Salins said. Although they are still mainly two. The institutions of the year, they have gained more and more 4- This is the year ahead. But he is pressing for a bigger change. He asked famendale to continue to raise enrollment requirements and to set stricter recruitment and promotion standards for his teachers, many of whom did not have a PhD. \"If you are going to be a bachelor\'s degree institution, you have to have the corresponding faculty,\" he said . \". Please click on the box to verify that you are not a robot. The email address is invalid. Please re-enter. You must select the newsletter you want to subscribe. View all New York Times newsletters. Farmingdale has gone a long way from its creation in 1912, and the potato farm in Long Island is a four The College of Agriculture has the dual mission of educating students and supporting long island economy. For decades, it has trained farmers and caregivers and developed products such as Farmingdale grass seeds, designed to withstand fungi that attack the lawn on the outskirts of Long Island. In the 1940s, it began training workers for Long Island\'s booming defense industry. It was free at first. Now the tuition for two is $3,200 a year. Annual degree students and bachelor degree students are $3,400 per year. Dr. Cipriani recalled that when he arrived at school in early 1964, a yellow school bus continued to carry 50,000 primary school students to see cattle and pigs at the school. But in the 1970s S, with the baby boom flooding all available classrooms, famendale gave up the traditional mission of offering more liberal arts programs. \"We are playing the role of a third community University,\" said Michael J . \" Minister of Education and acting president of Farmingdale, vencagra. \"We lost a little bit of our shape and focus. Advertising has been working for a while. But when the baby boom ended, the number of students enrolled dropped. Reagan\'s defense building is over. This has left Long Island\'s economy in trouble, coupled with the recession in early 1990s, with a sharp decline in jobs. Demand for technical graduates in Farmingdale has declined and applications have declined. He said the economy did not show up for a long time. Kamer. President of Long Island Association \"It\'s really a slow recovery until the last two years. \"When Farmingdale tried to re-focus, it decided that students needed more extensive training than in four years. In 1985, it was licensed to provide a bachelor\'s degree Except for its two classes. Assistant Year- Degree program and added bachelor degree program Degree program in Electrical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Engineering Technology. In 1987, it graduated from its last major in agriculture. But since it gave up two popular Annual programs like mortuary science and early childhood education add 4- A year of projects, fewer and fewer students come. To save money, the campus struggled to move forward, delayed maintenance and cut faculty and staff. \"Ten years ago, the teachers were not sure where we were or where we were going,\" said Margaret bosselo, chairman of the business and computer systems department at Farmingdale. It was not until 1993 that the school obtained the permission of the director to become a fourth University of the year and transfer to four The situation is not going well this year. One problem, officials at farmendale say, is to be a four They had to promise not to increase the courses offered by nearby universities. It turned out to be a high price because Farmingdale found himself limited on what it could add. Although launched four Annual degrees in areas such as aviation management and communications, and other areas such as business seem to have graduated. \"We are the invisible university . \"Vinciguerra. \"Because of these limitations, we hide programs and no one can find them. Because SUNY\'s top management now supports the expansion of the college, we don\'t have to hide it, he said. \"The transformation of advertising is still in progress. Farmendale plans to add nearly 12 more In the coming years, annual degree programs, including forensic science, environmental engineering technology, and health information systems. Officials at farmendale believe they have the support of administrators at State University of New York, but each project has its own complexity. In terms of dental hygiene, for example, Judith Friedman, chairman of the department, said, The annual plan makes sense because it will prepare students for a wider range of work in the fields of research, industry and consulting. \"But four years will be a very big change for students, so we have to work on it step by step,\" she said . \". The visual communication department is also facing fouryear program. Currently, students sign up for two- Associate degree course of the year and then re-apply for senior Class items or enter as a transfer student. \"Two years is really not enough,\" said Wayne Kash, a professor at the Department of Art . \". \"It takes four years for students to gain experience. \"The department provides this experience through\" inside\" The \"House agency\" category for older people design advertising activities, websites and other projectsfor-profit clients. This year\'s clients include the American Heart Association, the Hector Museum of Art, and the State University of New York at farmsdale. Offering four- However, the annual degree program does not necessarily bring as many students as the college wants. So John I. Kostanoski with a bachelor\'s degree in instruction -- The safety systems degree program \"develop a new safety director who understands security technology\" puts his project on the Internet. Although it was only launched last year, it already has 48 complete Students on campus and 11 other online students. Create more four The annual plan is not the only challenge. Dr. Cipriani, president of Farmingdale, said he was trying to design a fund -- Because the college has to raise more private money. Farmingdale\'s donation is only about $500,000, and the college\'s private income is less than $750,000 a year. Advertising, he said, \"with the cuts in state support, it is the president\'s responsibility to see if they can ease the gap . \". The college is also trying to expand student recruitment by bringing in technologies already used by many other colleges. It is using the internet app and is starting to get students to visit high school. It\'s been offered- Recruit students on-site at community colleges, attract more transfer students, and hold an open day this weekend. . Next year, admissions officials hope to meet with high school counselors earlier and provide more information on Show the Campus Activities of the college. \"We feel that our students and their parents need to have an understanding of what we really care about,\" she said . \" Sneed, assistant dean of admissions services. The change in Farmingdale is a central theme in its admissions video. \"Farm education is not the same as five years ago,\" it declared . \". Because the world has changed, we have changed. The college is also seeking advice from the outside world. Last month, Dr. A representative of Vinciguerra and Noel crowded together Levitz is a consulting firm that offers advice for college recruiting students to see what else Farmingdale can do. The consultant was surprised by our clear vision, but we had to plan it better, he said. \"We\'re going to tell a super story . \" Vinciguerra said. \"I like this place; I really believe this place. I think we have found a good path to the future. He expects strong economic and population growth on Long Island to also help. In the next few years, it will be clear whether famendale can finally complete the transformation. In Dr. In Salins\'s view, the college is ready to try. It\'s like a Nintendo game, he said. \"They have to cross a gap. If they reach the other side they will be free and everything will be great. If not, they would be depressed. But this leap is terrible. \"We are constantly improving the quality of text archives. Please send feedback, error reports, and suggestions to archid_feedback @ nytimes. com. A version of this article was printed on page LI14 of the National edition on May 2, 1999 with the title: Welcome to \"Invisible University \"; SUNY of Farmingdale reshaped himself, hoping someone would notice it.