Kenneth T. Vehrkens has been an Academic Dean at Fairleigh Dickinson University for over 32 years. He is currently the Dean of the Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also the Associate Vice-President for Lifelong Learning Programs of the University. Fairleigh Dickinson University is the largest independent University in New Jersey.
As Dean of Petrocelli College, he is chief administrative officer of one of the four colleges of Fairleigh Dickinson University, with an enrollment of over 5,000 credit bearing students and 5,000 non-credit students. The Petrocelli College has 35 full-time faculty, 160 part-time faculty, and twenty-five staff. The College is located on the Metropolitan campus and the College at Florham campus of the University.
As Dean, he is responsible for all non-credit programs at the University as well as credit programs which include the Edward Williams Associate Degree, the “Puerta al Futuro” – Gateway to the Future Hispanic Degree Program, the Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies Degree, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree, the Master of Administrative Science Degree, the Master of Public Administration Degree, the Master of Science in Homeland Security, the Master of Sports Administration, the Master of Science in Hospitality Management Studies, the Fort Monmouth-Eatontown Program, the Atlantic City Degree Completion Program, the Weekend College, Distance Learning Graduate Certificate Programs, Undergraduate and Graduate On-line Degree Completion Programs, Police and Fire Academy Programs, the Degree Completion Program for the Football Giants, the Middle College Program, the Winter Session and all Summer Session Programs. The Programs are offered at the two main campuses of the University and at 100 off-campus locations. Some of the partnerships for Degree Completion include Citigroup, Hoffmann LaRoche, Wyndham, Quest Diagnostics, Liz Claiborne, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New Jersey State Police, the National Guard, Booz Allen Hamilton, New Jersey Transit and Verizon Wireless.
During the last six years, Petrocelli College has received $5.5 million in grants from federal and state sources to support new College initiatives. As Associate Vice-President for Lifelong Learning, his responsibilities include the Community Service Outreach Program, Educational Programs for Senior Citizens, and the Gifted & Talented Programs for Elementary, Middle School and High School students. There are more than 2,500 students ranging in age from 10 to 86 enrolled in these Lifelong Learning Programs.
Dean Vehrkens has served as a Retention Consultant at 25 major Universities. The author of more than 60 research articles, he is also the Educational Consultant for the National Football League. Dean Vehrkens received the Pinnacle Award in 1991, which is the highest award given to a University alumnus. He has been named "Dean of the Year" on three different occasions and was the recipient of the "Elia G. Stratis Castle Award" in 2006. In May 2007, Dean Vehrkens received the "Unsung Hero Award" from Minority Athletes Networking.