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December 27, 2013

Colleges saw year of growth, changes


“This is why we’re here,” Drugovich, who joined Hartwick as president in 2008, said. “They are where we must continue to focus our energy every single day.”

Highlights of the past year included the receipt of nearly $500,000 in grants to support research, academic programs and campus improvements. Drugovich also noted about 26 capital improvement projects totaling almost $650,000 to the campus during the summer and past year. The projects included paving improvements, interior and exterior painting and building upgrades, tile and carpeting, the Center for Student Success and technology projects. The college raised $22.2 million in its Campaign for Hartwick Students, more than half of the $35 million goal.

SUNY Delhi

In March, the college’s two-year culinary arts program had its accreditation renewed by a branch of the American Culinary Federation Inc. The organization, established in 1929, is the premier professional organization for culinarians in North America. The achievement shows the college program has maintained the strict standards the organization requires since SUNY Delhi was first accredited in 2004, officials said.

In late August U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand visited SUNY Delhi to lend her support to the college’s proposed water conservation initiative. The Energy Efficient Subsurface Disposal and Irrigation project was developed by the college in response to the village of Delhi’s waste-water treatment plant approaching maximum capacity under current state permitting, while two local businesses continue to grow and expand.

Said Gillibrand, “You have my commitment to work with our local leaders and to make sure this gets done.”

SUNY Cobleskill

In May, a change of leadership was announced at SUNY Cobleskill, effective June 1.

Debra Hollar Thatcher began as acting president, while a national search got underway. She has served as chief operating officer, provost and vice president of academic affairs at SUNY Cobleskill since January 2011.

A long-running federal suit against the college ended in July. Thatcher said she was “thrilled” that a federal court jury has determined there is “no factual basis” to claims by tenured professor Thomas Hickey that the college has racially discriminatory admissions policies.

In 2009, Hickey initiated his lawsuit against SUNY Cobleskill and two of its then-administrators, after he was stripped of his deanship. He argued he was punished for calling attention to what he says was the administration’s effort to qualify for more state funding by enrolling students who didn’t belong in college.

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