Hofstra University has created a new school and degree program designed to train the next generation of public policy leaders, thanks to the generosity of Hofstra trustee and alumnus Peter S. Kalikow, whose longstanding commitment to the University helped build its reputation as a national center for presidential studies.
The Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs – which incorporates eight academic departments, several interdisciplinary programs and two academic centers, including the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency – was launched in fall 2015. The new interdisciplinary degree in public policy and public service will be offered beginning in fall 2016. Dr. Meena Bose, director of the Kalikow Center, was named executive dean of the program in public policy and public service at the new school.
“This is a defining moment in Hofstra University’s development as a national center for the study of public policy, and in our mission to prepare students to be engaged leaders with the knowledge, creativity and understanding to meet global and local challenges,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz.
“The naming of a school after an individual is among the highest honors a University can bestow,” President Rabinowitz said. “Peter Kalikow’s dedication to Hofstra as an alumnus, trustee and benefactor, his embrace of presidential and political history, and his business acumen have been invaluable in guiding the growth of this institution.”
In 2006 Kalikow endowed an academic chair in presidential studies and the Peter S. Kalikow Presidential Studies Center. The center is nationally recognized for its research and scholarship on the nation’s highest office, as well as its senior presidential fellows, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard B. Dean III and Republican political strategist Edward J. Rollins. The Kalikow Center was a major participant in the activities and programs presented in connection with Hofstra hosting presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.
“In an era of political discord, a strong democracy rests upon the shoulders of an engaged, educated and thoughtful citizenry,” Kalikow said. “This effort will ensure that the BA in Public Policy and Public Service will prepare students for careers in government, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, advocacy groups, and a broad spectrum of endeavors where knowledge of public policy and how it is made is critical.
“Focusing on undergraduates, the school will be truly interdisciplinary – involving programs and courses from throughout the Hofstra campus, including political science, economics, statistics, social justice and human rights. And for those who do not pursue a career in this arena, courses within the school will simply make them better citizens – citizens capable of understanding important issues facing our nation and citizens better able to participate in the experiment we call democracy,” Kalikow concluded.
Kalikow earned a BS in business administration from Hofstra in 1965 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws in 1986. He was named the University’s Alumnus of the Year in 1988, received Hofstra’s presidential medal in 1999, and was honored at the 13th Annual Hofstra Gala in 2009.
He is president of H.J. Kalikow & Company, LLC, one of New York City’s leading real estate firms; is the former owner and publisher of the New York Post; and is a former chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
The new Kalikow School will comprise eight academic departments: anthropology, economics, global studies and geography, history, philosophy, political science, religion and sociology. It will also house 12 interdisciplinary programs, as well as the Center for Labor and Democracy and the Kalikow Center.
“Mr. Kalikow has a longstanding commitment to politics, public service and Hofstra,” said Dr. Bose. “He’s been active in many of our presidential conferences … This is a testament to Peter Kalikow’s vision.”
The diverse mix of disciplines housed in the new school will offer students a synthesized academic experience that represents a more expansive approach to the study and practice of public policy.
“Public policy and public service require an understanding of how and where different issues and fields of study intersect,” said Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Bernard Firestone. “The Kalikow School reflects the world we live in, which is multidisciplinary, collaborative and complex.”
For political science major Forrest Gitlin ’17, who hopes to pursue a career in government and international affairs, the new school opens up exciting possibilities. “It shows that Hofstra is continuing to grow and redefine itself,” he said. “And seeing my major brought into a new school that’s focusing on what I want to do with my life means a lot.”