By Peter Rice
At the end of the 2010 academic year, Robert J. Gaffney abruptly announced his resignation as president of Dowling College. Initially, Gaffney planned on leaving upon the conclusion of the 2011 academic year, but for personal reasons, he felt that it was in his best interest to leave sooner. As a result, the college was forced to find a temporary replacement. Eventually, the Board of Trustees selected Scott Rudolph as the interim president. Rudolph, a board chairman and chief executive of NBTY (a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of nutritional supplements), had proven himself a dedicated member of the Dowling College community and was thoroughly prepared to see the institution through its impending academic year. In the meantime, however, the search for a permanent president was on. The Search Committee explored many options, but Dr. Jeremy D. Brown’s credentials and history of proven leadership left them thoroughly impressed. With unanimous support from the Board of Trustees, Dr. Brown officially became the 6th president of Dowling College on June 1. Moving steadily forward into the 2011–2012 academic year, it is finally time to meet Dowling College’s new president.
As a native to Manchester, England, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown proudly studied at the University of Birmingham. Within the walls of this English university, Dr. Brown would earn both a Bachelor of Science and a Ph. D. in physics. Focusing his doctoral work on experimental nuclear physics, he conducted his research at both the University of Birmingham and the University of California-Berkeley. Enjoying his work as a nuclear physicist, Dr. Brown immediately began conducting original research at the Indiana University upon the completion of his Ph. D. requirements and went on to publish scholarly articles, participate at international conferences, and become a professor of the Physics Department at Princeton University. Through his efforts to collaborate with fellow researchers on proposals and funding, not to mention his contacts with faculty members and students, Dr. Brown developed a greater appreciation for the role of educational administration.
Ever one to explore new horizons, Dr. Brown would get his feet wet in the pools of academic administration when he was named associate dean of the Graduate School at Yale University in 1992. There, he acted as chief budget officer for tuition and aid and helped to supervise, develop and implement academic policies. Eventually, he would make his way back to Princeton in 1995 as the associate dean of the faculty, where he worked on academic planning and budgeting. Then in 2000, he was appointed rector of Florida State University, where he ran a small U.S. university out of Latin America as its chief executive officer for three years. During his work here, he managed to increase enrollment, revenue, and the number of programs offered. In 2003, Dr. Brown was named provost at SUNY-Canton, an institution where he also went on to wear the title of vice president for academic affairs. There, Dr. Brown once again managed to flex his administrative muscles as he oversaw the growth of international learning opportunities and campus-wide planning. Continuing his development as an administrator, Dr. Jeremy D. Brown went on to become the 16th president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Helping to establish perceptions of academic excellence, physical growth of the campus, international relationships with other higher institutions for learning, and bring enrollment to new heights, Dr. Brown would be honored for his work by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees when they voted unanimously to re-name the new Human Services Building after him this past June. It is from this stage in Dr. Brown’s career that he would make the decision to once again move forward in his professional development as an administrator by accepting the position of president at Dowling College in 2011.
In his time spent at Edinboro University, Dr. Brown had many accomplishments to be proud of. Being a numbers person, he takes pride in the fact that enrollment reached record highs under the helm of his leadership and that retention was achieved. Overseeing more than $200 million in new and future construction projects and some of the best years for annual donor support are additional facts that Dr. Brown prides himself on. On the other hand, putting numbers aside and just focusing on what he personally found most rewarding, Dr. Brown remarked that he was pleased by the changes to the campus’s overall climate. To see alterations in the way “people internally felt about the place that they worked,” reflected Dr. Brown, “and feelings of real positive contributions,” were wonderful because it went on to transform the outside perceptions of the University as well. No longer is Edinboro University being perceived as a safety school but rather one that students strive to earn admittance to. It is under this light that Dr. Brown gazes upon his work at Dowling College and which he seeks to bring about changes.
To begin, Dr. Brown believes that it is important for the faculty and students to understand that he is committed to moving Dowling College forward. “This is not a one person show,” said Dr. Brown in a reassured manner. “Everybody working together, coming up with ideas, figuring out what are the solutions, and in some cases, the questions” is essential towards the development of optimistic teamwork that will propel the College forward into the future. To kindle this flame of inclusive cooperation, Dr. Brown calls on students to voice their opinions about how Dowling can change for the better. In the future, this may be accomplished by a Campus Climate Survey for students to complete, but in the meantime, all are encouraged to actively participate in the general discussions floating around the campuses. As for the faculty and staff, “being a part of the planning process is very important,” because, as Dr. Brown passionately stated, he wants, “people to feel that they own what they do.”
Having open and transparent communication is important, Dr. Brown believes, to letting people know about the “positive things that are happening in the institution.” If the image of Dowling College is to change for the better, then it is essential to take internal and external steps to shape the general perception of the College. Bringing about these sorts of changes was one of the things that attracted Dr. Brown to the position of president at Dowling College in the first place. “Having the ability to make changes on a shorter time scale than is possible at more established institutions, such as Princeton,” said Dr. Brown, was appealing to him because, “overseeing the immediate impact on the lives of students” is rewarding. Looking to the future, he wants to guide the College’s evolution into a position of leadership for higher education on Long Island and beyond, while also being a place where students have pride and aspire to achieve greatness. To begin this work, he wants to affect how the incoming classes look upon their college experience by encouraging them to reach beyond their expectations and work hard to advance their academic endeavors. In this effort, they will be challenged and supported by the College, as they develop into individuals that can succeed both inside and outside of the classroom. Therefore, work towards reshaping the campus life and academic ambitions of students will always be a top priority for Dr. Brown.
All students are encouraged to join clubs of interest and remain open to the opportunities of leadership that they offer. This is important, because Dr. Brown believes that students are the best catalyst for producing ideas that foster a healthy campus environment that other students alike will appreciate. That is why he wants to ensure that Dowling continues to stand behind its students by providing the necessary resources required for them to improve campus life for all. Whether this means giving monetary support, physical items, or the personal presence of the administration and faculty of Dowling College is all dependent on the events that the students have put together. But considering the economic times that currently engulf the lives of all getting by today, Dr. Brown truly believes that the overall cost for students can be eased by efficiently using the College’s resources in order to pass along savings, while still creating an environment that offers a good education and plenty of outside opportunities. Yet, students will still need to be willing to challenge themselves and have, as Dr. Brown put it, “utilized the college experience to its fullest” to get the full value out of college.
If students are unable to participate in the Student Government Association (SGA) or any of the numerous clubs that Dowling offers, for whatever reason, then he believes that they need to make the most of their college experience in other ways. For example, speaking with professors during their office hours is a great way to develop a reciprocating relationship that leads to expanded learning opportunities, advice, and future references. Dr. Brown also believes that it was important for students to realize that – especially for those entering their first semester – things do not always go as planned. Being prepared to accept changes is important because courses, degrees, and college life itself carry with them unseen challenges that can cause a student to pause and readjust their journey through college. But in the end, with the resources available and people to meet, Dr. Brown is sure that all students can find their way; while also making Dowling College a better place for it. As the students do their part, Dr. Brown vows to do his. Making decisions is not always the easiest thing to do in the world, and Dr. Jeremy D. Brown understands this challenge as president. Yet, he bares this burden because, as he frankly stated, “I want to make a difference.” Having been a part of many other institutions, he has seen their many different kinds of problems and the possible solutions for them. With this experience, and the unique set of challenges that Dowling College presents, Dr. Brown feels confident that he has the knowledge and capability to nudge the College away from the status quo and towards a brighter tomorrow.
To begin this work right away, when Dr. Brown first visited Dowling College, he immediately noticed the discrepancy between the outside material about the College and the actual campus itself. For example, he believed that “the website was not a fair representation of the quality of the institution.” During his first visits to the campus, Dr. Brown was struck by the potential it possessed. He was also impressed by the people he met and the honest loyalty and dedication that they showed towards the College itself. Between the potential of its atmosphere and excitement of those working within its walls, Dr. Brown felt confident that Dowling College was a place he could effectively bring change to. In the short while of his being at the College, Dr. Brown stated that “these feelings have just been underscored again and again.” Therefore, a great deal of effort has been put into the re-development of the College’s website. Nearing its final stages, the site has been redesigned to better reflect the quality Dowling has to offer. It is through these kinds of efforts involving teamwork that Dr. Brown can be expected to make his difference at Dowling College.
Though he has only just begun to ease himself into the role as president, Dr. Brown has plenty of experience as an administrator and faculty member of several institutions to ensure the continued likelihood of his success. Understanding the pulse of the campuses and meeting with various staff members of the College, he – as he jokingly put it – “hit the ground sprinting” in order to make certain a clean changeover from interim president Scott Rudolph and himself occurred. This process has enabled Dr. Brown to develop a greater respect and influence over the College that will almost certainly better allow greater accomplishments to flower. Carrying high expectations for Dowling’s future, Dr. Brown is confident that under his cooperative leadership things will get done. Under this mindset, the future of Dowling College seems bright indeed.
What tomorrow may bring to Dowling College might be unknown, but if the perseverance of the College thus far is considered, then a bright future can be expected. Since its founding in 1955 as an outreach of Adelphi College into Suffolk County and breaking free on its own in 1968, Dowling College has proven its ability to adapt. Though the College may not be steeped in tradition, however, Dr. Brown thinks that this is a strength because “as a college of the 20th century operating in the 21st, [Dowling College] can be flexible and dynamic in its efforts to meet the needs of its students.” This ability to evolve is a positive fact, especially for a College residing in a residential area, because it is able to grow and adjust to its surroundings. For instance, Dr. Brown honestly believes in working with the neighboring communities by hosting events that all can enjoy and making sure that Dowling’s policies and actions do not breech too far beyond what is absolutely necessary for running a vibrant institution of higher education. Improving the community and college with the available resources is an obvious goal.
But at the end of the day, Dowling College does exist primarily to offer a great education with many majors to choose from. Providing courses grounded in the liberal arts tradition, students are sure to gain a well-rounded education that prepares them for the future. Maintaining high academic standards, excellence, and diversity are just a few of the basic goals Dowling seeks to uphold, while also providing a recognition that carries beyond foreseeable horizons. Dr. Brown can certainly be expected to continue these ideals as he fosters a supportive and collaborative learning environment for all to thrive within.
Dr. Jeremy D. Brown is clearly committed to making higher education more accessible to everyone willing to stand up for it. He sees Dowling College as an institution that is dedicated towards challenging and enriching the students it teaches, while offering faculty members opportunities to educate and pursue scholarly work. He understands the College’s responsibility to work alongside the residential community that surrounds it and encourages students to be creative innovators in constructing their own college experiences. He also believes that the decision-making process is a collective one and that all should be a part of it. He wants the voices of fellow administrators, faculty, and students to be heard, because they all have a joint interest in seeing that the College is constantly reaching for even greater heights. He, therefore, wants to cultivate openness into his role as president of Dowling College with efforts to leave his door open to anyone willing to express their opinions for him to consider. And he is eager to be visible. So please, do not be too surprised that if the next time you are walking to class or sitting down with friends in the cafeteria that you may just get a chance to meet Dowling College’s new president for yourself.
By Arianna Lindbergh
OAKDALE, NY – In the secluded Music House of Dowling College, there is one more vacant room. Professor Ron Armanini, Coordinator of Musical Concerts, had his position eliminated by the College on August 15, leaving his TMH 204 office vacant. Professor Armanini’s responsibilities included being the advisor to both the Music Club and the newly revived Radio Station. He was also the director of the college chorus, and helped establish a joint agreement between Suffolk County Community College and Dowling College, that fostered cooperation between their Performing Ensembles.
Professor Armanini was known for his selfless acts of kindness, willingness of working with different campus constituencies, and for his laid back style of teaching. Though unknown at the time of the construction of this article, it has been said by unconfirmed sources that he may come back as an Adjunct this fall. Staff and students college wide were reported to be very disheartened over the administration’s decision to terminate his position. “I have received many messages from both students and alumni who are very upset over the College’s decision. Though I understand we need to cut fat in our budget, they should not have cut a position that works so closely, and so well, with students” said Jim Rhodes, Student Government President and Armanini’s former work-study. Rhodes, along with other students, plan on submitting formal complaints to the Provost’s Office.
By Leanette Capella
Dowling College Residential Halls provide its students with the amazing experience of living away from home. There are two residential halls, one on the Oakdale Campus and the other at Brookhaven. It is always great to get away from home and gain a sense of independence, while you are studying at college. If you are looking for that experience, then check in at either one of the resident halls and ask for more information. The student dorms are enriched with diversity, which help expand your social networking. Overall, living at either campus is an enjoyable experience.
Both residential halls are constantly active. Events are regularly being hosted by the Resident Assistances, who live at each facility. These events are fun and creative, allowing dormers to gather together and socialize. They also help create a bond among the residents, giving the dorms a home away from home feeling to them. Residents, who are interested in finding out more information on the Residents Hall events, should stop by each campus’ dorm office and view the RA created newsletter with dates and times of upcoming events. Feel free to invite a friend or classmate to take part in the many activities we have planned for this year. Sign them into the dorms during an event to give them a sense of what the residence hall is like and how it is to live on campus.
Just recently, there was a new change made to the student lounge over on the Oakdale Campus. The lounge has been redecorated by two of the Oakdale residents in order to create a more inviting atmosphere. The lounge is an area used by many of our dormers, and we hope everyone enjoys the new changes!