State of the University Fall 2009
Stuart Rabinowitz, President
Cliff Jernigan, acting dean of the School of Communication, with journalists Soledad Oâ€™Brien and Eugene Robinson
State of the University I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the faculty and summarize the major accomplishments of this year. Despite the unprecedented economic recession, the 2008-09 year consisted of extraordinary successes, such as the hosting of the third and final presidential debate, successful reaccreditations, and the continued work on the School of Medicine that the entire community can take great pride in and continue to celebrate. Although the future will continue to pose challenges, we are confident that Hofstra is well positioned to weather the economic crisis over the long term and that we will emerge stronger than ever.
Presidential Debate and Define ’09 As I discussed with you last winter, the presidential debate was the highlight of the 2008-09 year. The debate brought us unprecedented national and international publicity, with the eyes of the world focused on Hofstra as never before. More importantly, the debate energized our community and engaged students, faculty, administrators and staff through Educate ’08 programs, lectures, town hall meetings, and artistic and dramatic performances, all aimed at illuminating the pressing issues of the campaign and the candidates’ approaches to these problems. Students were able to attend special courses to learn more about presidential politics. Students also volunteered on campus with the media, the Commission on Presidential Hofstra Professor of Sociology Margaret Abraham with Pulitzer Prize-winning Debates and the University, and hundreds of author Sheryl WuDunn and journalist Nicholas Kristof students were actually able to attend the presidential debate. Our partners in these efforts were the Department of Political Science, the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency, the Center for Civic Engagement, the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University®, the Division of Student Affairs, among others. We are continuing to build on this momentum and keep our students engaged through Define ’09: New Challenges, New Solutions, a yearlong series of programs examining the new presidential administration, its policies and initiatives, the challenges we face, and ways to address our country’s most pressing issues. Define ’09 has hosted Michael Barone, Donna Brazile, David Plouffe, Anderson Cooper, and Jonathan Alter, as well as several scholarly lectures and student events on topics such as international relations, health care, the environment and multiculturalism. This fall, we welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn to discuss the role of women in the developing world; CNN’s Soledad O’Brien and Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on race in America; the newest New York Times columnist Ross Douthat; Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx; and NPR’s Nina Totenberg and MSNBC’s Dan Abrams to discuss the new Supreme Court term. In addition, Hofstra University School of Law, the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University and the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency all hosted major fall conferences as part of Define ‘09.
The New York Times columnist Ross Douthat
Anderson Cooper, host of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°
Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx
M. Patricia Adamski, senior vice president for planning and administration; Nora Demleitner, dean, Hofstra School of Law; MSNBC’s Dan Abrams; NPR’s Nina Totenberg; and Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz
Jonathan Alter, senior editor of Newsweek magazine and NBC News correspondent
Donna Brazile, political strategist and CNN commentator
David Plouffe, campaign manager, Obama for America
Middle States Reaccreditation In January 2009 Hofstra submitted its self-study (a document of more than 200 pages and voluminous exhibits) to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. More than 100 faculty, administrators, and students were directly involved for almost two years in the development of the self-study, which was a comprehensive and inclusive appraisal of our values, strengths, structure and resources. A Middle States evaluation team of 10 educators, chaired by John Johannes, vice president for academic affairs at Villanova University, visited the campus from April 19 to 22, and met with the self-study team, faculty and administrators, attended classes, reviewed the self-study and additional documentation, and questioned members of the Hofstra community. The evaluation team’s report, which is posted on our Web site in its entirety, is a credit to the University and to everyone involved in the University community. The evaluation team’s report praised the following as “significant accomplishments”: “Hofstra does a superb job of planning and resource allocation”; “Hofstra has developed an extraordinary sense of community and goal-orientation among all its constituents that strongly impressed the team. President Rabinowitz, his administration, the faculty and staff, and the students are to be congratulated and commended”; and “Hofstra has developed a strong, positive and effective culture of assessment and a sophisticated infrastructure to support assessment activities.” The evaluation overview states: “Hofstra has embraced – and is commended for its success with – broad-based planning and performance in recent years that has enabled progress on a number of academic, student recruitment and retention, faculty recruitment and development, and facilities initiatives. Students report significant satisfaction with efforts in the Student Affairs Division and with the faculty. The faculty, likewise, appears enthused about students and about the administration.” On June 25, 2009, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education acted to reaffirm Hofstra’s accreditation and to expressly “commend the institution for progress to date and for the quality of the self-study process.” This very complimentary report acknowledges the hard work that the entire community invested in the self-study as well as the commitment and dedication of the community to ensuring that Hofstra continues to enhance the excellent educational experience that it provides to students. Congratulations are due to all involved in the self-study and the team visit, with special thanks to Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Herman A. Berliner and Senior Vice President for Planning and Administration M. Patricia Adamski, who co-chaired the Self-Study Steering Committee.
School of Medicine The Hofstra University School of Medicine in partnership with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, under the leadership of Dean Lawrence G. Smith, continues to work on building its curriculum and preparing the necessary documents for accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and approval from the state of New York. Hundreds of administrators, Hofstra faculty, and faculty from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System have been working for the last year on the questionnaire and summary of the curriculum, facilities, and other information required for the LCME. A senior associate dean for academic affairs, chair of basic science education, and assistant dean for student affairs have been appointed, along with a number of clinical faculty. Architects were hired to plan the complete renovation of the 45,000-square-foot facility that formerly housed the New York Jets, and work on the renovation has begun. It is anticipated that the renovation will be completed by July 2010. This facility will serve as the home of the School of Medicine until the number of total students requires the construction of a new medical education building on the vacant land northeast of the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Once a new facility is constructed, the interim medical school building will house some area of the sciences, possibly the Engineering and Computer Science Departments. The curriculum for the new School of Medicine promises to be innovative. The medical school leadership has traveled across the country and around the world to study the curriculum used at other schools, and has combined best practices with innovations in case studies, simulation, and team practice. Students will be licensed EMTs in the first year of study and, throughout their four years, will be working closely with patients in a variety of settings. The committees are now actively engaged in curricular design, through groups of “vertical” and “horizontal” design teams, all of which are charged to develop measurable learning objectives for students. The vertical teams are interweaving normal and abnormal basic and clinical medical science (from molecular through population-based) in a highly integrated, case-based curriculum. The vertical units are sequenced so that they progress from “The Biologic Imperative” (which includes reproduction, genetics and development, and also includes not only molecular topics, but also clinical, bioethical and population questions that make the science vibrant, alive and subject to question and inquiry) through “Continuity and Change” (how the body maintains homeostasis) and “Interacting with the Environment” (how the body lives in symbiosis with the environment and defends itself when necessary), and finally, “The Human Condition” (neuropsychology, voluntary and involuntary motion, and the things that make us uniquely human). All the traditional medical school “courses” (anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, genetics, biochemistry, pathology, physical exam and communication skills, etc.) are interwoven in these units.
Academic Initiatives In addition to the Middle States reaccreditation and the new Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) accreditation for the School of Education, Health and Human Services’ teacher education and educational leadership programs, the University successfully obtained the following six reaccreditations in 2009: AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation for the Zarb School of Business as well as the Department of Accounting, Taxation and Legal Studies in Business; ABA accreditation for the School of Law; ARC-PA accreditation for the Physician Assistant Studies Program; and accreditations for the Hofstra University Museum and Diane Lindner-Goldberg Child Care Institute. The University also successfully received NCAA recertification. The University continues to add important new academic programs, with still more programs about to begin. This year we added the following programs: B.A. and B.S. in Urban Ecology; B.A. in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; M.A. in Physical Education; and M.S. in Sports Science. Within the next two years, we anticipate adding a Master of Public Health Program in the School of Education, Health and Human Services, and a Master of Science in Medical Physics Program in HCLAS. Both programs are reflective of the beneficial and complementary relationship that has developed between the medical school and the rest of the University. As we move forward, I am certain there will be additional programs in the area of health care. For example, the School of Education, Health and Human Services is looking into a possible physical therapy program. Our distance learning offerings continue to expand. Last fall we offered 21 courses online; this semester the number has expanded to 44 courses. Our distance learning course offerings now range from the entire master’s program in computer science and the entire certificate program for gifted education, to individual courses in HCLAS, the Zarb School of Business, the School of Communication and the School of Education, Health and Human Services. Many of these courses are on the graduate level and some are on the undergraduate level. Our summer session offerings are increasing on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This past summer, for example, we offered 54 online summer courses, compared to 29 in summer 2008. There are additional new courses in the developmental stage, which will be offered in upcoming semesters and sessions. Our philosophy for undergraduate distance learning courses is not designed to replace the regular semester classroom experience. Instead, it is designed to allow our increasingly national student body to take Hofstra courses regardless of where they are during the summer or January sessions. On the graduate level, our distance learning initiatives are designed to help the student body with limited discretionary time, to more conveniently take some of their course work while maintaining the same standards applicable to in-class learning. At this point in time, we are developing opportunities to help our students by offering courses that contain a combination of in-class meetings and distance learning (“hybrid” courses). On the graduate level, we would be providing the classroom camaraderie and intellectual environment, as well as the distance learning convenience; on the undergraduate level, we would allow our students to take additional course work at the same time as an internship or other off-campus opportunity. I am confident that the demand for these “hybrid” courses will be robust, and we need to move quickly to expand our offerings in this area. Both our Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency and the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University have been very active, making important contributions that accurately reflect the dynamism present at our University. The Kalikow Center has appointed, through generous funding by Peter S. Kalikow, two senior presidential fellows to help
Howard B. Dean III Chairman, Democratic National Committee, 2005-2009; Senior Presidential Fellow, Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency
Edward J. Rollins Political Strategist; CNN Commentator; Senior Presidential Fellow, Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency
organize programs, lectures and other events and provide commentary and insight at such programs. The fellows are Howard Dean, former Vermont governor, presidential candidate and Democratic National Committee chairman, and Edward J. Rollins, longtime Republican strategist, CNN senior political analyst, and former presidential adviser. Mr. Dean and Mr. Rollins first appeared together at Hofstra University on November 5. The Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency played a leading role in all Educate ’08 events, several of which were organized directly by the center, and continues to contribute to Define ’09 programming this year. For Define ’09, the Kalikow Center hosted a round-table discussion to assess President Barack Obama’s first days in office. In addition, Dr. Meena Bose, the Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies and director of the Kalikow Center, gave the spring 2009 Distinguished Faculty Lecture, titled “Looking for Change: Evaluating the First Hundred Meena Bose, professor of political science and Peter S. Kalikow chair in presidential studies; Howard B. Dean III; Days of the Obama and Edward J. Rollins Administration.” In November 2009 the Kalikow Center hosted a scholarly symposium titled President or King? Evaluating the Expansion of Executive Power From Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush. New York Times columnist David Brooks gave the keynote address, which commemorated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday bicentennial (February 12, 2009). Kalikow Center Senior Presidential Fellows Ed Rollins and Howard Dean led the concluding panel of the symposium. The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University (NCSS), headed by Executive Director Lawrence Levy, has established itself as one of the country’s most notable centers for the study of the nation’s most dynamic places – the suburbs. The NCSS, as part of a team led by London-based Arup Partners, won a significant contract to produce the first “Long Island Sustainability Plan.” The $1.5 million initiative puts Hofstra at the center of a crucial plan in the nation’s oldest and best-known suburb. The NCSS also conducted the first-ever national suburban surveys, which were widely quoted in the national media, and released a third poll this fall that broke new ground as the first to focus primarily on the lives of minorities in suburbia. This poll was completed in time for a major conference in October 2009, organized by Academic Director Christopher Niedt, which focused on suburban diversity and featured a banquet celebrating the various racial, ethnic, religious and other groups transforming Long Island. Furthermore, the NCSS, with the assistance of the Ford Foundation, sponsored a conference on housing that featured panels linking analysis of the housing crisis to concrete paths to action, and provided a venue for sharing insights and strategies. In addition, NCSS released a monograph by Assistant Professor Mary Ann Allison about the extraordinary revitalization of historically black New Cassel. The Center for Civic Engagement, directed by Dr. Cynthia Bogard, has had another very productive year and has evolved into a major cocurricular complement to the Hofstra classroom experience. The Day of Dialogue, Earth Day, and the Multicultural Mixer, all annual events, were very successful. Especially noteworthy was Democracy in Performance, American history coming alive on our campus, on the day before the third and final presidential debate. Finally, the Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies, a joint endeavor of the Zarb School, the School of Law, and our Institute of Real Estate, has also had an excellent year, providing real estate professionals, municipal officials, developers and the public with critical information, education and scholarly analysis regarding complex real estate issues. Through training programs, a leadership institute, an internship program and many conferences and seminars, the Breslin Center, under the direction of Vice President for Business Development Richard Guardino, has had a wide-ranging impact, both in terms of constituencies served and areas covered. The NCSS HAS conducted the first-ever national suburban surveys, which were widely quoted in the national media. Its third poll this fall broke new ground as the first to focus primarily on the lives of minorities in suburbia.
Faculty Accomplishments The accomplishments of our faculty continue to be very impressive. What follows is just a sample of the significant productivity of our faculty. Every year the quality and quantity of scholarship increases, but with no less emphasis on teaching excellence. This past year, seven of our faculty were NSF award recipients; the faculty honored are Habib Ammari of Computer Science; M. David Burghardt of Engineering; Russell L. Burke of Biology; Simona Doboli of Computer Science; Behailu Mammo of Mathematics; Margaret Hunter of Engineering; and Vincent Brown of Psychology. In addition, two members of our community received NASA funding: Donald Lubowich of Physics and Astronomy and David Weissman of Engineering. Jin Shin of Psychology received funding from the NIH, and John Bryant of English received funding from the NEH. Two of our faculty from the School of Communication’s Radio, Television, Film Department received Fulbrights: Aashish Kumar and Mario Murillo. And Zachary Lazar, one of our adjunct faculty members in English, is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Federal funding has also made possible the establishment of two new scholarly centers on campus – the Center for Condensed Matter Research, under the direction of Harold M. Hastings of Physics and Astronomy, and the Center for Climate Study, headed by E. Christa Farmer of Geology. Our faculty also continue to direct very important major Hofstra conferences. Two examples of many are Darwin’s Reach: A Celebration of Darwin’s Legacy Across Academic Disciplines, with co-directors Daniel R. Rubey, dean of library and information services, J Bret Bennington of Geology, and Russell L. Burke of Biology. The second conference, directed by Nancy Kaplan of Radio, Television, Film, was titled Media and Social Change: Using Entertainment Education to Improve the Outcomes of Health and Social Issues of Women. The faculty also continue to generate numerous articles and books, far too many for me to list in this report. Once again, as representative of the faculty, let me mention that Professor of Law Richard K. Neumann, Jr. was the winner of the 2009 Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education Harold Hastings at the launch for the Center for Condensed Matter as well as the 2009 Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research Research at Hofstra University Section Award from the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Neumann was recognized for significant lifetime contributions to the field of legal research and writing. Further, Professors of Marketing and International Business Yong Zhang and James P. Neelankavil and Vice Dean Anil Mathur were awarded the Best Paper Award by the International Academy of Business and Public Administration at its conference held in April 2009. Let me also mention that Robert Papper from our School of Communication once again directed the annual Radio Television News Directors Association Newsroom Survey, which summarizes the gains made by women and minorities in U.S. television and radio newsrooms. In addition, School for University Studies Vice Dean Paula Uruburu’s book, American Eve, received many favorable national reviews (including The New York Times), was featured in The Times summer reading issue, is a Quality Paperback Book Club editor’s choice, and is currently being considered for a movie contract.
Diversity Initiatives I am pleased that we are continuing to pursue a very active agenda in support of diversity, and I am committed to doing even more. This past year was noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, I am pleased to report that this year’s entering class is more diverse than ever, with 27 percent students of color compared to 25 percent last year. Moreover, last year marked the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass sculpture, which followed a multiyear global process to find the sculptural work that best exemplifies the spirit of diversity and our commitment to diversity. The request for such a statue came from students; students were involved in the selection process every step of the way. And the statue now resides in the plaza in front of Monroe Lecture Center, as a beautiful and prominent reminder of the enduring value of diversity. Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina
In addition, the Provost’s Annual Diversity Lecture Series continued with Dr. Susan Mboya – a highly regarded marketing expert – talking about marketing to a more diverse population. Dr. Mboya’s marketing leadership experience includes The Coca-Cola Company and Proctor & Gamble. She is the recipient of the Corporate Marketing Award for Ebony magazine’s fifth annual Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communication Awards. Dr. Mboya is also the founder and president of the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund, which provides higher education opportunities in the United States for highly accomplished and motivated young women from Kenya. I am proud that we are now part of this program, having provided two full-tuition, four-year scholarships (including room and board) for two young women from Kenya. Both women are already in residence, and we welcome them to Hofstra’s campus. I had also made available full-tuition scholarships to the valedictorians from Hempstead and Uniondale school districts, and the University will continue to make this outreach in support of our neighborhood. The faculty exchange with Claflin University continues, and I very much appreciate Barbara Lekatsas of Comparative Literature and Languages spending her spring semester at Claflin. Her presence in the classroom and her involvement with the Claflin Museum were very well received and much appreciated. And we appreciated having Ronald Neal from Claflin in residence at Hofstra for the spring semester teaching religion. Henry Tisdale, president of Claflin University, was our Honors Convocation commencement speaker and an honorary degree recipient last May. Provost Berliner spoke at Claflin’s honors ceremony the previous year, and I was deligted to receive an honorary degree and speak to the Claflin community this November. In 2009 we also established a grant program in support of diversity. The two recipients for this past year were the School of Education, Health and Human Services Affirmative Action Committee (Debra Goodman, Literacy Studies; Marlene Munn-Joseph, Curriculum and Teaching; Jonathan Lightfoot, Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies; and Irene Plonczak, Curriculum and Teaching) in support of their work on hiring and retaining faculty of color, and Johanna Shih of Sociology looking into whether racial and economic class segregation leads to health disparities. I am so pleased with the work of the grant recipients that I have authorized four grants for this academic year. One of this year’s most highly anticipated events, was the scholarly conference titled The Diverse Suburb: History, Politics and Prospects. Christopher Niedt of Sociology and the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University developed an outstanding program. In addition, this conference featured “A Celebration of Suburban Diversity,” developed by Lawrence Levy, who heads the center. This program was designed to bring all of us closer together and celebrate the value of diversity. I was proud to see so many members of our community join in this celebration.
Dean Searches As you are aware, we are now undertaking searches for new deans for both the School of Communication and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business. I want first to thank both Sybil DelGaudio and Salvatore Sodano for their efforts and their good work. Their impact will clearly be felt for years to come. I have retained the Korn/Ferry International academic search firm to help in these efforts, and I am pleased to note that Korn/Ferry partner Stephen Trachtenberg, former president of George Washington University, will play the lead role in assisting our effort. Both search committees have been formed (with representatives of the faculty, administration and trustees), and have just met for the first time and are starting on their important work. I look forward to seeing a strong pool of finalists and, working together, I am sure we will find the very best individuals for these key positions.
Retention Last year’s retention from the first year to sophomore year was at 80 percent, the largest percentage retention in Hofstra history. This year, the retention rate has dropped to 76 percent, primarily due to students leaving for financial reasons. Despite this decline precipitated by the sharp economic downturn, the retention rate is above the 74 percent retention rate of classes that entered in 2002 and 2003. Student satisfaction continues to increase since the 2003-04 academic year, as measured in our annual survey of undergraduate and graduate students. Enhancing student satisfaction and retention has been a high priority of my administration, and the successes in this area are attributable to advances in many areas, including new programs in advising, leadership training, parent and family programs and residential programs, as well as enhancements in the first-year academic program. The Task Force on the First-Year Student Experience continues to work to develop recommendations designed to enhance retention, and this year will be focusing on expanding internship opportunities and enhancing experiential learning as well as active and collaborative learning, and examining ways in which to strengthen students’ ties with faculty advisers and their major departments. In this economic climate, particularly, retention remains more important than ever. Each student who stays at Hofstra and graduates will become an important part of our alumni family. Moreover, retaining students who might otherwise have left the University not only enhances Hofstra’s graduation rate and standing in national rankings, but it also generates enhanced tuition revenue. I believe that helping to retain students is not only the responsibility of administrators, student affairs personnel, and others who work directly
on student retention; it is the responsibility of every person who works at this institution. Faculty play a very special and important role in retention; many students cite a faculty mentor or interaction with faculty as playing a significant role in how they feel about Hofstra. I have asked each of you in the past and am asking you again to personally commit to doing your part to make the University as student-friendly, as welcoming and as supportive as possible.
The Economic Environment and Enrollment The severe economic downturn and recession have affected virtually every institution of higher education. All have suffered losses in university endowments, many in excess of 25 percent, as well as sharply lower earnings on short-term investments. A number of schools have instituted layoffs, massive budget cuts, involuntary furloughs, and salary, sabbatical and hiring freezes. Hofstra has fared better than many institutions. The University fortunately has not experienced some of the difficulties faced by some universities: downgraded bond insurers, significantly higher variable debt rates, the need to pledge investments as collateral, cash flow shortfalls resulting from frozen investments, and losses on credit swap agreements. The University’s recent debt was issued at fixed rates on the basis of the University’s own “A” credit rating, without the need for bond insurance, lines of credit or significant financial covenant requirements. Hofstra’s long-term investments did decline from the August 31, 2008, total long-term investments of $242.4 million, to approximately $195.6 million as of the end of December 2008, but it has since come back to approximately $230 million as of the end of August. Hofstra’s endowment generates funding on an annual basis to support student scholarships, faculty, chairs, lectures, and other essential programs. Support from the endowment remains modest, representing 1.8 percent of the operating budget and, as a result, the declines are unlikely to significantly affect the University operations in the short run. Indeed, Standard & Poor’s recently reaffirmed its “A” long-term rating on bonds issued for Hofstra University, a tribute to very careful financial management in this difficult economy. No institution, however, was unaffected by the recession, and Hofstra was no exception. Expenditures were reduced in the 2009-10 budget to provide contingencies for enrollment shortfalls as well as to fund increased financial aid and scholarships. Non-essential capital improvements were deferred, and lines were filled only upon careful review and showing of the need for such a hire in furtherance of the University’s mission. As new labor agreements were negotiated, salary increases were moderated. The pool for administrative raises this year was set at 2 1/2 percent, and my compensation will remain at the same level as last year. We have increased the financial aid and scholarship budget and added special economic relief grants, and our tuition increase of 5.2 percent was the lowest in our recent history. Hofstra’s tuition remains lower than our peer institutions across the country, providing an excellent educational value. Despite the difficult economy, however, we have not reopened any contracts, asked for voluntary givebacks, or instituted layoff programs or involuntary furloughs. Despite very strong interest in Hofstra for this fall’s class and applications at a record high, enrollment for the fall 2009 entering class came in slightly below projections. The shortfall is largely in students below the median class profile, many of whom received significant scholarships from schools where such students represented the top of their classes. The University continues to be caught in a difficult position between better-endowed institutions that can more fully subsidize scholarships with larger endowments, and other universities providing significantly higher scholarship awards to students with profiles below our median. Once again, the University chose to opt for a smaller class of highly qualified students. The class that entered in fall 2009 is a superb one; the quality of the class was enhanced in every respect. The mean SAT increased from 1182 to 1186; the average GPA increased from 3.35 to 3.40, and the percentage of first-year students in the top 10 percent of their graduating classes increased from 26 to 31 percent. The percentage of first-year students in the top 20 percent of their graduating classes also increased from 44 percent last year (and 33 percent in 2000) to 49 percent this year. Enrollment of new students in Honors College went from 178 last year to 210 this year. The Honors College mean SAT score is 1313 for this year’s entering class compared to 1311 for last year, and the average GPA is 3.95 versus 3.85 last year. Transfer student enrollment also declined this fall, as it has for the last several years. Transfer students represent a particularly challenging market in this economy, and many students who would have considered transferring from a public school to a private school are staying where they are, while others are transferring from private schools to state schools. One bright note in the enrollment area for fall 2009 is that new graduate enrollment substantially exceeded our projections, with the Zarb School of Business and the School of Education, Health and Human Services in particular pacing well ahead of budgeted classes of graduate students. If graduate enrollment were to continue to increase in each of the next five years, such increases would help to offset the reduced undergraduate enrollment. However, we cannot assume that graduate enrollment will continue to increase or even remain at the same level as the economy improves. As we begin to plan for the budget years 2010-11 and beyond, we must prepare to confront the challenges that lie ahead. The first challenge will be to prepare to adjust to smaller entering first-year student and transfer classes, at least until the economy improves substantially and enrollment behavior returns to that of the pre-recession era. In addition, we will need to increase scholarships and financial aid budgets as the classes that began in 2008 and 2009 move forward, as well as offer enhanced financial aid assistance to new and continuing students. All of this is particularly challenging at a tuition-dependent institution like Hofstra. Finally, this takes
place in a fund-raising climate that is considerably more difficult than it was two years ago. We will be working with you in all areas of the University to develop alternative budget plans based on various enrollment levels, and will carefully plan to fund such budgets through expenditure reductions and revenue-enhancing opportunities.
Five-Year Plan I informed you last year that the five-year academic plan (originally scheduled from 2005 to 2010) was being extended one year to 2011. The five-year plan has been enormously successful, with most of the plan goals already accomplished, and with substantial progress toward those goals that have not yet been attained. At this time, we are extending the original plan one additional year to 2012. Thus, the next five-year plan will run from 2012 to 2017. I am asking the deans to begin planning first for the budget year 2010-11, before returning to revise their next five-year plan. The deans and vice presidents will be reviewing all programs and expenditures to ensure that all funds are being spent prudently, and will identify areas where investment is required in order to maximize future opportunities. We have already announced that we expect to invest in the sciences so as to take advantage of the synergism that will exist in those areas with the development of the new School of Medicine. We will also invest in other new programs that meet clear student demand. As we investigate new programs that will enhance our University, we also need to take a careful look at our existing offerings. For example, are there offerings not central to our mission where student demand has diminished and there is no longer a critical mass of students? Such programs become a drain on resources and potentially limit our ability to offer new programs in areas of great demand. As part of the next five-year plan, we will need to undertake a thorough review of our existing offerings.
Student Affairs Assisted by a grant from The Jenzabar Foundation, the University began its first Hofstra Discovery Program, which provides a pre-orientation service experience for a limited number of entering first-year students. The Hofstra Discovery Program is designed to facilitate the transition of new undergraduates, promote leadership development, and increase understanding and awareness of societal issues by engaging new students in service-learning projects in the local and metropolitan community. The inaugural program welcomed 40 participants from the Class of 2013, allowing them to connect with their peers, the campus, and the local community, while becoming engaged individuals making a difference in their world, both locally and globally. This past year, the Division of Student Affairs spearheaded a series of programs tailored to the unique milestones of each class. The Class Programming Series was designed to foster class unity, create new campus traditions, and instill a sense of Hofstra pride. Different events were implemented for sophomores, juniors and seniors during the spring semester. These included the Class of 2011 Halfway to Graduation Celebration and Pinning Ceremony; the Class of 2010 Color Unveiling, where juniors were able to vote on their class color and were presented with their class flag; and the Toast to the Class of 2009, which included parents, friends and alumni. The Office of Multicultural & International Student Programs coordinated five major culturally themed heritage months for the University during 2008-09. They are Hispanic Heritage Month (October), Diversity Awareness Month (November), Black History Month (February), Women’s “Herstory” Month (March), and Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month (April). This past year saw the addition of two more Heritage Month Opening Receptions. The office co-hosted, with the Hofstra University Museum, the inaugural Diversity Awareness Month Opening Reception, and, with the School of Communication and the Define ’09 Committee, co-hosted the inaugural Women’s “Herstory” Month Opening Reception. The “True Life” programming series, coordinated with the Office of Residential Programs, won the Long Island College Personnel Association Program of the Year Hispanic Heritage Month Service Learning Project at the Award for 2008, and was a featured program at the American Hempstead Hispanic Civic Association (sponsored by the Office of College Personnel Association National Conference. The office Student Leadership and Activities and the Office of Multicultural & also sent several students to the National Black Student Leadership International Student Programs) Conference this year in Washington, D.C. The Genocide Fellows Program, coordinated with Hofstra Hillel, also celebrated its inaugural year, sending five fellows to Washington, D.C. for a week in March. And another first for the office came with fall and spring calendars of the Diversity, Dialogue, and Desserts Series programs that gave the campus community various workshops on hot topics in diversity, many of which were also broadcast on WRHU Radio Hofstra University.
As part of Educate â€™08, the Student Affairs Debate â€™08 Committee planned a large concert and festival on the Intramural Fields featuring Atlantic Records recording artist Jason Mraz, along with special guest Lisa Hannigan, and several Hofstra University student group performances. In addition, student groups held an information fair highlighting issues such as global warming, genocide, etc. More than 2,000 students attended these events. Our Parent and Family Programs Office continues to expand its reach to this important constituent group with new programs and communication strategies. Almost 1,400 parents participated in the 2008 Parent Orientation program, which was a 13 percent increase from 2007. In addition, the office co-hosted its first Regional Send-Off in Boston with more than 30 participants. Family Weekend continues to be a strong draw for our first-year families, with 1,100 participants in October 2009. In collaboration with the Office of Residential Programs, Hofstra Siblings Day was inaugurated on February 28, 2009, with more than 40 siblings participating in a full day of campus programs and events. To date, more than 2,500 parents receive our monthly e-newsletter, Family Link. The 2009 Parent Survey generated more than 850 parent responses and a significant rise in satisfaction with parents feeling Hofstra includes them in the college community, and indicating their child made the right choice in attending Hofstra. Services for Students With Disabilities, in its second year, is now assisting more than 600 students with physical, learning, and psychological disabilities to be successful at Hofstra. To improve their services, learning specialists have developed a unique curriculum for students with learning disabilities. This series of lessons and exercises is designed to teach students strategies that address their specific learning challenges. In the second year of our new advisement system, the Center for University Advisement refined and expanded its services for students. It introduced a series of Academic Success Skills programs, helping students improve their study, test-taking, and time management skills. The center became more accessible, holding office hours in multiple locations around campus. It also revamped many of our tutorial services. In 2008-09, Julie A. Yindra, director, Services for Students With Disabilities 180 tutors provided individual tutoring to students in more than 1,200 classes, and drop-in group tutoring to more than 1,400 students. In addition, our model of combining a professional advisement office with faculty advising in individual majors brought us national recognition from the independent research group The Advisory Board Company. Our model was featured as a best practice at its June meeting and will be noted in an upcoming publication in fall 2009. The Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with all administrative and academic units on campus, is spearheading our H1N1 emergency and contingency planning. The University has a comprehensive, integrated plan to educate our community and deal with the myriad of issues of a potential flu epidemic on campus.
Safety and Security As we move beyond the false rape allegations of September, I again ask that we come together as a community and find comfort and support from one another. Let us make this a time to learn from the events of the last month to strengthen our University. Safety and security will always be a top priority, and we are committed to providing the safest campus possible for our students, faculty, staff, and all those who visit Hofstra University. Hofstra is a very safe campus with a state-of-the-art security infrastructure. Our policies and procedures are constantly being evaluated. We have made significant investments in increasing the number of Public Safety personnel, as well as in training, surveillance cameras, educational programs, blue light and emergency telephone stations, outside security audits, card swipe networks, and an enhanced notification system. However, as much as we wish it were otherwise, nothing can prevent all criminal acts by individuals who are determined to break the law. Similarly, no educational program can be designed that will ensure that no one will ever violate our community standards or our trust. This is as true at Hofstra as it is anyplace, anywhere.
Nevertheless, we will be taking the time to learn from you through surveys and focus groups to determine your areas of particular concern about safety and security and how they might best be addressed. I have appointed a Presidential Task Force under the direction of the vice president for student affairs and the vice president for facilities and operations, and consisting of representatives from students, faculty and administrators, to undertake a review of all aspects of security, including operations, communications, programs, policies and procedures to ensure that we are taking every possible precaution to maintain a secure and safe campus. The Presidential Task Force will also be working with the existing Provostâ€™s Task Force on Integrity, Engagement and the Community (formerly the Task Force on the Honor Code), as it examines common issues relating to personal and social responsibility. In addition, we will once again seek to utilize the services of an outside consultant to conduct a comprehensive security audit and make recommendations as to best practices and possible enhancements to our program. I will eagerly await the recommendations from both the Presidential Task Force and the audit.
Athletics The 2008-09 academic year saw the athletics program capture Colonial Athletic Association championships and earn NCAA berths in wrestling and men’s lacrosse. In May Hofstra hosted the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals for the sixth time in school history. The event, which was televised on ESPN, attracted more than 11,000 spectators to James M. Shuart Stadium for the two games. Individually, Hofstra had numerous student-athletes shine during the past year. Charles Jenkins became the first sophomore since 1983 to win the Haggerty Award as the top men’s basketball player in the New York metropolitan area. Junior Corrine Gandolfi garnered third team All-American honors for the Pride women’s lacrosse team, and she was also named to the 2009-10 U.S. Lacrosse Developmental Team. In addition to Jenkins and Gandolfi, several other student-athletes received top honors from the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Sophomore Jay Card was named the CAA Player of the Year in men’s lacrosse; junior Michele DePasquale garnered CAA Player of the Year honors in softball; senior Jessica Crankshaw earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year accolades in women’s soccer; and wrestling student-athlete Paul Gillespie and women’s basketball student-athlete Joelle Connelly received CAA Rookie of the Year honors. Lauren Engle (volleyball), Mark Stuckless (baseball) and Lou Ruggirello (wrestling) were named CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective sports as well. Of the nearly 400 student-athletes, 254 earned a 3.0 or higher semester GPA last year, and 23 of them earned a 4.0. Hofstra Athletics also made major facility enhancements, including new scoreboards at James M. Shuart Stadium, a new media room/ film room in the Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex, a press box at the Hofstra University Soccer Stadium, and a completely renovated wrestling complex in the Physical Fitness Center.
Capital Campaign Despite the economic recession, the University had a solid fund-raising year, providing significant support for student scholarships, faculty support, and technological and facility improvements. The University successfully completed its Capital Campaign in December 2008, having raised more than $110 million. The Office for Development and Alumni Affairs continues to make preparations for a significant capital campaign for the School of Medicine. These preparations include recruiting the appropriate leadership, developing a compelling case for support, and securing the initial gifts for the campaign. Despite the very difficult climate for fund raising, very promising work is being done in preparation for the launch of the medical school campaign. At the same time, fund raising continues to provide funding for new graduate and undergraduate scholarships and new initiatives.
Physical Facilities This past year was a busy time for construction and renovations to our campus physical facilities. In hosting the third and final 2008 presidential debate, numerous infrastructural improvements were undertaken at our athletic facilities and in many of our public performance and lecture venues that have long-term benefits for the campus. In academic buildings, we continue our campaign to modernize and renovate all our classic, ivy-covered buildings. In Calkins Hall, significant enhancements took place, including the addition of a new sculpture studio, photo studio, and photography development area. In Memorial Hall, the Student Accounts and Financial Aid Offices were fully renovated to offer enhanced services for our students. In Gittleson Hall, the University completely modernized four biology laboratories. The new labs are designed to provide the very latest in equipment, research space, and new technology. Technology was upgraded in 12 classrooms. And in Dempster Hall, a classroom was transformed into a new School of Communication film screening room.
The School of Communication’s film screening room in Dempster Hall
A new biology laboratory in Gittleson Hall
California Pizza Kitchen in the Mack Student Center
The new Student Financial Services and Registrar Suite
In the high-rise residential towers, the penthouse lounges, kitchens and restrooms were fully renovated and all student rooms were freshly painted. Many common areas and lounges were refurbished. In the Liberty and Republic residence halls, all common bathrooms were fully renovated with new tile, flooring and countertops. The hot water service tank serving Enterprise and Vander Poel residence halls was replaced to improve hot water service to residential students. In the Mack Student Center’s main dining area, California Pizza Kitchen, Eli’s Kosher Kitchen, and an expanded sushi bar were added in time for a fall grand opening. This year the University initiated numerous green projects that promote a sustainable Hofstra, together with a full-time sustainability officer position to examine additional sustainability opportunities. Projects include the installation of variable frequency drives (VFDs) on large HVAC equipment, to reduce electrical consumption and minimize cooling/heating during low occupancy periods. A second project installed new energy-efficient lighting in the Physical Fitness Center to significantly reduce energy consumption.
Information Technology An exciting year of change began with the third and final presidential debate on October 15, 2008. The IT infrastructure necessary to support the debate required the implementation of completely separate wired and wireless data, voice and cellular communication infrastructures costing approximately $1.5 million, and composed of: 1,500 wired ports, 50 wireless APs, 1,500 voice lines, two redundant Gb Internet circuits, 20 multimedia video transmission lines, a fiber-based stand-alone television transmission infrastructure with redundant feeds, two COWs (Cellular Towers on Wheels), a temporary central office, enhanced cellular services for three carriers in two buildings, upgrading IT’s RF radio technology, and facilitating all of the Secret Service and Nassau County Police Department communications installation requirements. Additional Web servers were added to handle the increase in Web traffic, and a lottery system was built to select random students to attend the debate. Information Technology continued to stress the delivery of excellent service to faculty and students, focusing on technology leadership to carry the Hofstra campus forward, particularly mobility, distance learning, Web-based services and “cloud computing.” An additional 14 technologically enhanced classrooms were upgraded this summer, and a new system to get customer feedback and problem reports using the classroom control system itself is being piloted. Our first high-definition video system was installed this year, and we expect this aspect of our operations to grow rapidly. Large projects in assessment data gathering were completed, including for the Writing Program (generating data from 1,500 sample papers gathered) and School of Education, Health and Human Services (more than 650 students assessed using TaskStream), plus many others. The upgrade of the University’s critical Banner system as well as an efficient disaster recovery system for the Banner system were completed. The Hofstra portal (my.hofstra.edu) was upgraded to allow for a more modern user interface, introducing new features such as a classifieds channel and integrated Google maps. We built a specialized portal for Hofstra applicants to check the status of their applications. We rolled out the first version of the mobile portal initially for iPhones, iPod Touches and Android-based phones, and we expect BlackBerry support to be completed shortly.
To ensure the resiliency of the campus technology services, a disaster recovery site was implemented in Syracuse, New York, providing a geographically diverse location to recover systems in the event of a campuswide disaster. Additionally, numerous infrastructure upgrades were implemented to improve overall availability and resiliency of IT services. Wi-Fi was expanded to additional buildings, with an anticipated rollout to the entire campus during the fiscal year. The Virtual Lab (also known as My Software 2Go) is available to provide students with anytime, anywhere access to software, comparable to the resources they can currently access only at the Hofstra computer labs. Verizon Wireless cellular service was installed in the Graduate Residence Hall to improve cellular service. The University also transformed seven small study spaces, three in residence halls and four in the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, to be used as “collaboratories.” These collaboratories provide all the technology required in a comfortable space to allow students to work collaboratively on their academic studies.
University Relations Celebrates Hofstra’s 75th Anniversary University Relations is spearheading the planning of the 75th anniversary celebration, which will commence on September 23, 2010, and continue throughout the 2010-11 academic year. A special Honorary Committee has been convened, and already many working committees, including Academics, Athletics, Alumni, Students, and Arts, are actively planning the celebration and commemoration of this milestone. For example, the History Committee, under the leadership of Geri Solomon, has planned a special fall course to train students to take oral histories during the spring 2010 semester. Promotion for the 75th anniversary celebration is expected to begin in January 2010. During the past year, University Relations worked to target content more specifically to our audiences. The office focused on expanding Hofstra’s social networking capabilities, with the introduction of Hofstra’s YouTube channel, and the expansion of our Facebook and Twitter networks. Hofstra’s Web site has gone through a number of revisions, to allow for more multimedia presentations, video and podcasts, and the launch of a new digital studio allows us to produce more online videos featuring faculty experts and podcasts. University Relations partnered with the individual schools and the Office for Development and Alumni Affairs to create alumni newsletters specific to each college, and worked with Graduate Admissions and graduate program directors to create communications campaigns to raise awareness of individual graduate programs, which included networking and education events for the public as well as expanded Web campaigns. This fall, University Relations and Undergraduate Admission will launch athofstra.com – a dynamic Web site that will deliver a personalized URL, brochure and video to prospective students’ inquiries. The Hofstra University Bulletins will go fully online in the upcoming academic year. Creative Services and Editorial Services designed and edited more than 1,000 publications and several hundred advertisements for the University community.
Increasing National Recognition I was recognized by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (District II) with the Chief Executive Leadership Award. The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Hofstra University with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. Hofstra University was among a select group of 150 colleges recognized in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2009 Great Colleges to Work For® program, according to the results of the second annual survey announced in a special supplement of The Chronicle. Hofstra University was noted for best practices in the following seven of the 26 categories: collaborative governance; teaching environment; supervisor-department chair relationship; vacation or paid time off; internal communications; perception of and confidence in fair treatment; and tenure clarity and process. The project giving Hofstra students virtual lab and mobile computing capabilities to access academic software from any location on campus earned our Information Technology division a spot on CIO magazine’s list of the top 100 companies that are creating technological innovations. Hosting the third and final presidential debate brought significant national and international media attention to Hofstra. In U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking, Hofstra’s peer recognition score increased from 2.6 to 2.7, a significant rise in a measure that counts for 25 percent of the total ranking score. Many programs were newly ranked in competitive listings. The School of Education, Health and Human Services and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business were ranked in the Best Graduate Schools list in U.S. News & World Report. The Frank G. Zarb School of Business was ranked among the top 75 M.B.A. programs by Forbes magazine; the M.B.A. in Marketing Program was chosen as one of the 15 best in the country by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur; and our undergraduate business program was ranked in the top 100 programs by BusinessWeek. The undergraduate engineering program was ranked at 49 in U.S. News & World Report rankings of non-doctoral engineering programs. In the past year, University Relations has won several awards, including the national Council for the Support and Advancement of Education’s Silver Circle of Excellence Award for Educate ’08, CASE DII Bronze Award for Educate ’08 (spring semester); four 2009 Communicator Awards: the Hofstra Gala Video and Debate TV (Awards of Excellence), Educate ’08 Event Plan and the Debate ’08 Magazine (Awards of Distinction); four Admissions Marketing Awards, including two Gold Awards: Video Viewbook AdmissionsDVD and for total public relations program “Hofstra Makes History,” a bronze for the brochure “Honors College” and a merit for the brochure for Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and two bronze Telly Awards for Debate TV and the “Hofstra Makes History” video promotion.
The Future With the presidential debate, the continued building of the new School of Medicine in partnership with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, and an extremely strong Middle States reaccreditation, Hofstra has had a phenomenal year, and has clearly made its mark as a university with great momentum and a bright future. Although the economic downturn may slow the pace of progress, it will not alter our forward movement. Engaging in very careful strategic planning, we will continue to enroll and retain the best possible students and faculty, leading to enhanced recognition of Hofstra University as an exceptional institution of excellence, nationally and internationally.