Hofstra Magazine

An Extraordinary Year in Review

A Letter From President Stuart Rabinowitz


This year, for the first time, we offer you a special issue of the Hofstra Update, which we have titled “The President’s Report: 2005 in Review.” We have made every effort to capture the highlights of an extraordinarily active year, one in which our credentials have risen by almost every measure, one in which our alumni have achieved enormous successes, and one in which our campus has been alive with visitors and activities that have engaged students, faculty and community alike.

Students walking by Hofstra clock at night

Selectivity and the requirements of entering Hofstra students have become more stringent. Most impressive has been the growth of Hofstra University Honors College, which exceeded its target goal of 600 students for the 2004-2005 academic year.

Yet no annual report can do justice to this exceptional year, and no annual report can accurately capture everything that Hofstra University represents to our more than 105,000 alumni and almost 13,000 students. A university is more than what happens in the classroom. Students learn by connections to faculty and to other students, by the experiences they all share, and by studying both inside and outside the classroom. At Hofstra University, all of these elements combine for an exceptional experience. 2005 was a remarkable year of growth and accomplishments.

A strong and increasingly selective student body

The reputation of Hofstra University continues to rise nationwide, and this is most evident in the academic credentials of the 2005-06 freshman. The average SAT score of the class is 1,151, up from 1,145 last year (and up 90 points from the class entering in the fall of 2000). Selectivity, or the percentage of applicants we accept, was 62 percent, compared to 66 percent last year, and 80 percent in the fall of 2000. The average GPA for this year is at 3.23, and the percentage of students in the top 10 percent of their high school class is now 24 percent, up two percentage points from last year, and up from 12 percent in the fall of 2000. Finally, 48 percent of the entering class is from outside of New York state, compared to 42 percent last year and 31 percent in 2000.

Hofstra University has continued to evolve and our reputation continues to grow.

We have been remarkably successful in improving the qualifications of our entering students, who are attracted by Honors College and by Hofstra’s growing academic reputation and prestige. The 2004-05 academic year was one of growth and new initiatives for Honors College. For the first time, Honors College actually exceeded its target size of 600 students.

In May 2005 Hofstra University Honors College graduated its first class of 73 students, a number that included both four-year undergraduates and students who transferred into Honors College. Among other destinations, our first Honors College graduates are headed for Ernst and Young, JP Morgan Chase, MTV and American Movie Classics, or continuing their education at institutions such as the University of Virginia, MIT, Harvard and Parsons School of Design. Our Honors College entering class is again strong and ever more diverse, with an exceptional average SAT score of 1,322 and an average high school GPA of 3.90.

All of the colleges of Hofstra University had an outstanding year, and each of them played an integral role in the growth of the University. Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was at the center of the growth of our First-Year Connections experience, which is explored fully in an in-depth article in this annual report. The First-Year Connections program integrates first-year students in small learning communities that connect new students to full-time faculty, campus resources, social activities and each other, and is critical to our initiatives to engage and retain our students.

With the receipt of a pledge for the creation of an endowed chair in Jewish studies, the Department of Religion was formed and will establish Hofstra as a center for secular, interdisciplinary study of the world’s religions. The new department builds on an existing chair, the Sardarni Kuljit Bindra Endowed Chair in Sikh Studies, and the search for a scholar to fill the Thomas J. Hartman Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies is underway.

The School of Communication, celebrating its 10th year as a college at Hofstra University, welcomed a roster of guest speakers that included NBC’s Len Berman, former CNN anchor Aaron Brown, and Hofstra alum Steve Bartels, who is president and COO of Island Def Jam Music Group. In recognition of the School’s anniversary, HBO has given the School of Communication scholarship funds and will inaugurate the Hofstra/HBO Premiere Series for HBO documentary films in 2006. We are also pleased that once again NBC chose four of our students to intern at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

The Frank G. Zarb School of Business had a very exciting year, with the ribbon-cutting for the new Financial Technology Center, our simulated trading floor, at which former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt and Hofstra alumnus Frank Zarb spoke. In September, the school, in cooperation with the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, inaugurated two new Master’s of Business Administration programs in Health Services Management and Quality Management, and enrollment in these programs has far exceeded our initial projections.

We are fortunate to have appointed Maureen Murphy, a longtime faculty member and former dean of students, as the acting dean at the School of Education and Allied Human Services, while our national search for a new dean continues. The school continues to offer new programs for the educational community, such as a certificate in school district business leadership, and is preparing to offer a certificate in secondary education, licensure for counselors and a doctorate in education in curriculum and instruction. The School of Education and Allied Human Services is also home to the burgeoning Institute for the Development of Education in the Advanced Sciences (IDEAS). The school hosts conferences for the educational community, such as a recent one titled Youth, Violence and Gangs: A Call to Action II.

Good Day New York reporter Mike Woods (center, holding microphone) broadcasts live from the Dempster Hall News & Views set to cover a 'newscast in training.'

The School of Communication is celebrating its 10th year as a college at Hofstra University. In October the local Fox 5 morning show Good Day New York with reporter Mike Woods (center, holding microphone) broadcast live from the Dempster HallNews & Views set to cover a “newscast in training.”

Hofstra’s School of Law in 2005 continued to rise in national prominence with the installation on August 30 of renowned international legal scholar Aaron D. Twerski as the school’s seventh dean in a ceremony that included a keynote address by the Honorable Judith S. Kaye, chief judge of the state of New York. Dean Twerski had served as a member of Hofstra’s law faculty from 1972 until 1986.

Scheduled to come online with the fall 2006 semester are two new law clinics – a Community Development Clinic and a Securities Arbitration Clinic; an LL.M. Program in Family Law; and a significantly revised first-year law school curriculum that reflects the changing realities of legal practice. Finally, the Law School hosted two major conferences in 2005: Condemnation for Private Development? The Future of Economic Development Takings After the Kelo Case and a legal ethics conference, Lawyers’ Ethics in an Adversary System.

State-of-the-art facilities

The Hofstra campus is an oasis of ivy-covered brick buildings interspersed with more modern architecture, situated in a garden-like setting. It is critical to retain the beauty of the campus, which attracts students and visitors and is so conducive to a thoughtful academic environment, and we will continue to do so. Advanced technology has allowed us to offer students and faculty a new array of resources, giving Hofstra an edge over many other institutions, while retaining the classic atmosphere of our South Campus. Hofstra University is one of a handful of universities nationwide to be ranked during consecutive years in Forbes.com/The Princeton Review’s Top 20 “most connected campuses.” We have integrated technology to streamline and enhance student services, vastly expanded our wireless network, increased connectivity speed in residence halls, offered a range of software packages and digital services to students, and expanded online services.

Our classroom and instructional facilities have benefited greatly from our attention to technological advances. In fact, Hofstra is the only private university on Long Island connected to Internet2, the new generation of the World Wide Web. We have renovated several facilities, such as Hagedorn Hall, the new state-of-the-art home for the School of Education and Allied Human Services, and begun construction for the new academic building with a black box theater, music rehearsal space, and faculty offices for three academic departments. In November, we launched the Financial Technology Center, a simulated trading floor with 34 Bloomberg terminals and advanced trading technology, one of the largest such facilities in the New York metropolitan area. Students of foreign languages now study in the fully-digital Language Learning Center, which also allows them access to resources on their desktop computer through the Hofstra network.

In the next five to 10 years, we will renovate all of our classroom buildings, retaining their classic exteriors while adding Internet connectivity, advanced audio/visual capabilities and modern furnishings to all of our instructional spaces.

The increase in the number of out-of-state students, as well as Long Islanders who want the benefits of living on campus, has made it necessary for us to plan the construction of new residential living space, and those plans are being reviewed for implementation in the near future. And we continue to pay special attention to the needs of first-year students in the Hofstra community, including the planned launch of the “Living/Learning” facility, to be housed in several of the buildings in the Netherlands complex.

A vibrant campus

This past year has been one of the most exciting times in Hofstra history. From the successful establishment of our “Great Writers, Great Readings” series that brings renowned, award-winning authors, poets and playwrights to the Hofstra campus, to the academic conferences hosted by the Hofstra Cultural Center, Hofstra University brings scholars, professionals and artists to our Long Island campus regularly.

The highlight of the year was our 11th presidential conference, William Jefferson Clinton: The “New Democrat” From Hope. In a fascinating 80-minute speech, President Clinton himself offered a critique of his administration and record before an audience of nearly 5,000 students, scholars, and Hofstra community members. Yet the former president’s account of his administration, which was covered in The New York Times and The Washington Postand on CNN, Fox News and C-SPAN, was only one highlight of three days of in-depth analyses by former administration members, such as Janet Reno, John Podesta, Richard Riley, Robert Rubin and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; scholars, journalists and policy makers. The more than 50 panels offered insight into topics as diverse as the Middle East, economic policy, the media, speechwriting, impeachment and domestic policy. Almost 2,000 Hofstra students, as well as hundreds of area high school students, participated, and about 100 Hofstra students were selected to act as hosts for our distinguished guests and members of President Clinton’s advance team and as guides for journalists in our state-of-the-art media center.

The eyes of scholars nationwide turned to Hofstra University several times this past year. In March, our Cultural Center, in partnership with our rapidly growing Center for Suburban Studies, offered New Visions of Suburban Life: An Interdisciplinary Conference, a unique look at the underserved discipline of suburban studies, located mere miles away from our nation’s first suburb. And in April, when literature scholars convened at Hofstra for F. Scott Fitzgerald on Long Island and New York, between scholarly discussions they toured the homes of the Gold Coast, had dinner at the Algonquin and heard from Fitzgerald’s personal secretary, Frances Kroll Ring.

Without a doubt, Hofstra University students are more engaged and active than ever, whether fundraising for the victims of the Asian tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, participating in the “Day of Dialogue” organized by our faculty prior to Election Day, cheering on the Pride as the men’s basketball team advanced to the National Invitational Tournament, or as both men’s and women’s soccer teams played in the NCAA tournament. Our more than 140 student clubs sponsored countless events, including a visit by Jocelyn Elders to mark World AIDS Day, walking in a “March Against Hunger” for a local soup kitchen, and organizing trips to New York City for recreation, culture and professional opportunities.

Dedicated faculty

At the core of the Hofstra experience is the connection between students and faculty. While the University has grown, our classes have remained small, allowing students to learn from faculty members in classes that encourage discussion, interaction and debate. This is especially evident in our First-Year Connections program, which brings together first-year students, experienced faculty, extracurricular activities and support services in small learning communities, through either a cluster of related course work or small, advanced seminars.

Yet our faculty members are also scholars who are dedicated to their academic discipline. This past year the scholarly work of faculty members has received much deserved attention, and the faculty’s collective efforts can be compared favorably with other institutions. For example, we are currently in the top five percent of all private colleges and universities, for the 2002-05 funding cycle, in the number of faculty who have been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowship.

Dr. Laurie Johnson, a Hofstra University professor in the School of Education and Allied Human Services with expertise in conflict resolution, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant to spend seven months in Cyprus and work extensively with counselors and teachers in the country. From School of Education Professors Alan Singer and Mary K. Carter, who won the National Council for the Social Studies Project Excellence Award for their curriculum guide about the history of slavery in New York state, to Susan Drucker, professor of journalism, media studies and public relations, who was recently named editor of Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, our faculty members are engaged in their academic discipline and bring these experiences to their students. This semester, Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Daily News columnist E. R. Shipp was invested as the Lawrence Stessin Distinguished Professor in Journalism in the Hofstra University School of Communication and, in addition to teaching, will begin a journalism program for high school students in underserved communities.

Whether testifying before a congressional subcommittee, as was Professor Frank Bowe when he presented a paper on the history and technology for the disabled, or creating artwork for an exhibition at Arlington National Cemetery honoring fallen servicemen and women, as was Professor Paul Chaleff of the Fine Arts Department, our professors are recognized across the country for their expertise. I am very pleased that our faculty are both renowned scholars and engaged classroom professors who make Hofstra University the example of academic excellence it has become.

Successful alumni

I have had the privilege of meeting with many successful Hofstra alumni this past year and am always amazed by the success so many of our alumni are now achieving. During this past year, we welcomed back alumni such as Chris Albrecht, CEO of Home Box Office; Avi Arad CEO of Marvel Entertainment; U.S. Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota; and Phil Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, who presented a special performance of his traveling show “Inside the Writers’ Room” to benefit Hofstra University drama students.

Distinguished Hofstra alumni got even more involved in the Hofstra community and gave their time and resources to benefit our students and the University. Peter Kalikow, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, endowed an academic chair in presidential studies during the Clinton Conference, and Frank G. Zarb, the distinguished businessman and public servant, both served as the chair of our annual fundraiser to benefit the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center and introduced former SEC Chair Arthur Levitt at the opening of the Financial Technology Center. And in honor of the 10th anniversary of its founding, the School of Communication hosted a benefit reception titled “Memories of Madeline” in honor of the late Madeline Kahn. Bill Cosby, Richard Klein, Jane Alexander, Barbara Barrie and Peter Bogdanovich came together at the Tribeca Grill to reminisce about their working and personal relationships with the great comedienne. Salvatore Sodano, former CEO of the American Stock Exchange, as well as member and immediate past chair of our Board of Trustees, joined the Frank G. Zarb School of Business as an executive-in-residence.

Many other alumni came to campus to offer career guidance, attend athletic events and work with students. Nothing tells the story of Hofstra University’s growing prestige and reputation better than the success of our alumni, and I am so pleased by your continued achievements.

Moving forward

This past September, we quietly celebrated our 70th anniversary as a leading institution of academic excellence. When our doors opened on September 23, 1935, 19 faculty in four programs of study taught a few hundred students in one building, Hofstra Hall. Today, almost 13,000 students learn from more than 500 full-time faculty on a 242-acre campus with 270 graduate and undergraduate programs. Our faculty are leading scholars in their disciplines, our almost 105,000 alumni are experiencing great success in their chosen careers, and our University continues to evolve.

I am pleased to report that in the past three years, our endowment has risen from $100 million to almost $180 million today. While we have made great strides, we must continue to grow our endowment and strengthen our commitment from alumni and friends, in order to provide students and faculty with the resources to allow them to succeed and flourish.

For the past year, we have been working toward an important announcement: a capital campaign that will raise a minimum of $75 million for academic initiatives here on campus, and make Hofstra University a center of academic excellence. These funds will help us enhance our academic infrastructure, increase scholarships, and attract nationally known scholars to the Hofstra campus, further enhancing our reputation and the value of a Hofstra University education. This will be Hofstra University’s first capital campaign in almost 20 years and is a critical initiative for our advancement.

This is a defining moment in Hofstra University’s 70-year history; we are poised to enter a new era. To continue the work we have begun, we need your support, your advice and your encouragement now more than ever. The value of a Hofstra degree has never been greater; together, we can move Hofstra University into the ranks of universities known nationwide for academic excellence.

About the author

Hofstra Magazine

Hofstra Magazine is published once each year by Hofstra University. Our goal is to provide the Hofstra community with exciting and informative news about Hofstra University and its alumni, students, faculty and staff.

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