22 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • AUGUST 2019
FARMINGDALE STATE COLLEGE PRESIDENT DR. JOHN NADER
DREAMING OF DORMS BY JAMES BERNSTEIN
Dr. John Nader assumed the presidency
of Farmingdale State College three
years ago, after serving as provost
at the State University of New York
at Delhi. He was also president of
the SUNY Chief Academic officers
organization and, at one point,
mayor of Oneonta, where he led a
downtown revitalization effort. He
holds a doctorate in economics from
the New School for Social Research.
Weeks after his arrival in 2016, Nader
announced Farmingdale’s first graduate
degree program, a Master of
Science in Technology Management.
He said other graduate programs are
How do you account for the dramatic
rise in enrollment, up 47 percent
since 2006, to more than 10,000
full-and part-time students? I think
largely it’s because of our program
mix, and our tuition. Most of our
students are commuters, so they’re
not paying room and board. Tuition
is $7,000 a year, so we’re a very affordable
college. It’s also because of our
location. We’re close to the Long Island
Expressway and the Long Island
Rail Road station. We even now have
a shuttle bus to and from the railroad
station, beginning at 7 a.m.
Can you talk about the programs
you mentioned? We have six programs
that are unique. We added
interactional design, the only one of
its kind in the State University system.
This is a program in how a user
makes use of a product. We teach
students how to design products so
that they are easy to use.
How is this applicable to the job
market? We are working with a
firm in the cosmetics industry. They
expressed a great desire to meet our
students. Cosmetics is largely moving
to interactive displays rather than
having customers go to a clerk.
What other programs? We added
business analytics, computer security,
geographic information systems,
and health and wellness and nutrition
Do you think Farmingdale State
has bypassed the humanities? I
don’t think we have. I think we have
stepped forward in that area. We
don’t offer many courses in the arts,
but what we do offer is strong.
How do you feel about that? There
has been a precipitous decline in the
humanities overall. I think this is sad.
It concerns me. My own background
was in politics and history. But I
think the new emphasis is a signal to
humanities disciplines. Our students
were very affected by the recession.
They are very focused on
jobs. We serve Long Island
students. About 90 percent
of our graduates are gainfully
employed within six
months of graduation.
Farmingdale is now a
four-year college, now
even offering graduate
degrees. Do you
believe people still
think of the college
as a two-year
judgement anymore. We’re now a
very strong four-year institution
with four schools – Engineering
and Technology, Arts and Sciences,
Health Science, and Business.
Are you going to be in need of
more buildings? Yes. We spent this
morning in meetings on the fact that
we will be needing more space. We’re
going to be needing a new academic
building. That new building will
allow us to add another 800 to 1,000
Is there a cost estimate for this new
building? $53 million.
It’s not hard to notice parking here
is not easy. Any plans along those
lines? That is an issue and we are
building more lots. Part of this problem
can be addressed by how we
build our course schedule. We are
shifting schedules so more students
come at different times.
There’s a single complaint you hear
from students at every college in
America: The food sucks. It is a familiar
gripe. But we have Freshëns,
a national brand that offers healthy
foods. We upgraded Books ‘n Beans
in the Library. We have Aramark,
which meets regularly with students.
Do you eat in the student cafeteria?
I do pop in often. They have a sushi
dish I like.
What keeps you up at night? Space,
the limitations of space. I think
about the college two to five years
down the road, I think also about
adding a graduate degree in all
four of our schools. We have only
one ask of the state legislature:
that new building and their assistance
in funding it. That building
is key to our future.
“About 90 percent of our graduates are gainfully
employed within six months of graduation.”
Farmingdale State College President Dr.
John Nader wants to build a new $53 million