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January 20, 2014

Debates, updates dominated local education news in 1969

Need for another local college was debated, departures of two longtime college administrators, and the dedication of a new occupational center made local news during January 1969.


Our region’s colleges had seen unprecedented growth during the 1960s, both in buildings and enrollment, but it appeared there was still no end in sight for additional higher educational opportunities by 1969, if local governments wished to pursue them.

As reported in The Oneonta Star of Friday, Jan. 3, 1969, “A two-year community college with a curriculum based on specific county needs is envisioned for Otsego County.”

“Two officials from the Office of Planning Coordination, and one from the office of Two Year Colleges, Thursday morning appeared before the Otsego County Board of Supervisors.”

“The county solons were told that the county meets basic criteria and the supervisors were asked to create a committee for a feasibility study” for such a new institution.

The state representatives suggested that Otsego County not undertake this project alone, specifically naming Chenango County as a possible partner in the project, which had already expressed interest in a two-year college. Partial funding could be made available through the Appalachian Regional Development Program, enacted by Congress back in 1965.

The idea for a new college never gained much support. In an editorial from The Oneonta Star of Jan. 10, there was praise given for educational opportunities already here, in the State University College at Oneonta, Hartwick College, and what were then called the Agricultural and Technical Colleges at Delhi and Cobleskill.

“Actually if the officials from Albany took an in-depth look at the educational opportunities in and near Otsego County they probably wouldn’t push the matter any further.”


“Dr. Frederick M. Binder, president of Hartwick College during its period of greatest growth, announced yesterday he is resigning that post to take a major post in the New York State Department of Education,” it was reported on Friday, Jan. 3, 1969.

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