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August 19, 2013


Students & Dowling Families

I write to bring you up to date on some important and imminent developments at the College that will be taking effect for the Fall semester. In an ongoing program to right-size Dowling in order to optimize the undergraduate experience here, we are consolidating the undergraduate enrollment onto the Rudolph campus in Oakdale. Such a consolidation will enable a more focused investment of higher quality rather than a divided one. For instance, we are immediately upgrading the Rudolph campus dining hall overlooking the Connetquot River made possible because it will no longer be necessary to operate a second resident dining hall at Brookhaven. And, we intend to keep the Oakdale dining area open throughout the day and evening, thereby creating a student community center that should notably enhance campus community activity. Having all undergraduates in the same place also enables a more complete interactivity among all students and makes it easier for student programming that the entire student body can more readily partake in, again by not having to divide resources into two separate campuses. Both faculty and students have expressed unhappiness when having to frequently traverse between the two campuses. Additionally, operating only one undergraduate residential center cuts back on the cost of two libraries, two college stores, and so on. Going forward, the Brookhaven campus will evolve into a primarily mid-career, graduate school with the exception of the aviation program and, of course, the athletic teams that use the playing fields at that locale along with sports management. However, even the aviation majors and athletes will reside at Oakdale so that all of our undergraduates are part of the same living community. I realize that many students have become accustomed to living at Brookhaven and would prefer to stay there. However, the cost of accommodating just a few such students exceeds the revenue being realized and is thereby draining resources that can best be spent optimizing the Rudolph campus setting.
ON THE SOUTH SHORE OF LONG ISLAND Rudolph Campus on the Vanderbilt Estate, Oakdale, N Y 11769 Brookhaven Campus & Airport in Shirley, N Y 11967 631-244-3200

Students who had been scheduled to reside at Brookhaven will be reassigned to the Oakdale residence hall, OR have the option to request being assigned to rooms on the St. Johns University campus a few miles east of the Rudolph campus. The St. Johns facilities are very attractive and provide amenities that many students would likely prefer over both the Brookhaven and Oakdale residences. I do understand this is a move that will greatly disappoint some students who have made the Brookhaven campus their home. Unfortunately, some changes that are, in the long run, for the benefit of most everyone cannot hope to please all of the people all of the time. We are confident, however, that this is the best move going forward as will be appreciated in time when the improvements that consolidation make possible become apparent. The underlying motive behind this change is quality over quantity. We are deliberately right-sizing Dowling College in ways that emulate the finest smaller colleges in the northeastern United States. All such colleges dont try to be all things to all people, but rather focus on doing fewer things exceptionally well. One of the most important facets of high quality is avoiding the consequences of spreading limited resources too thinly over too wide a swath. As a small college, dividing the student body into two subgroups so far away from each other is not in the best interests of giving students the high standards they have the right to expect. We are committed to this quality-experience program which we are confident will greatly enhance the academic stature of the College and the currency of earning a degree from Dowling. Those of you who were planning to spend most of your time, including in residence, at the Brookhaven campus, will be hearing shortly about your new assignment in Oakdale. Also, some courses originally scheduled for Brookhaven will be relocated to Oakdale and you will be notified accordingly. While some disruption may occur, particularly in light of the late hour decision to effect this change for the fall semester, I hope that most you will see this consolidation as a step in the right direction. Thank you for your help in making this work. Best wishes,