Community National Center for Suburban Studies

Lawrence Levy Tapped as Vice President for Economic Development

Lawrence Levy, executive dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies, has been appointed as Hofstra’s new Vice President for Economic Development and Professional Studies, President Stuart Rabinowitz announced.

Levy will continue in his role as executive dean of the suburban studies center, in addition to taking on what has been called Continuing Education at Hofstra, which will now be known as Professional Studies.

“Larry has done an outstanding job, together with our faculty, in building our National Center for Suburban Studies (NCSS) into a nationwide resource on suburbia,” President Rabinowitz said. “I look forward to his utilizing that same skill set, and once again together with the faculty, in building a major professional studies resource for the Long Island and New York business, governmental, and not-for-profit communities.”

Levy brings to this new assignment an impressive, varied resume.  In 35 years as a reporter, editorial writer, columnist and PBS host, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won many of journalism’s other top awards, for in-depth works on suburban politics, education, taxation, housing and other key issues. Known for blending local perspectives with national trends, he covered seven presidential campaigns and 17 national conventions. In his leadership role at NCSS, Larry has worked with Hofstra’s academic and local communities to shape an innovative, inclusive and interdisciplinary agenda for suburban study, including a new Sustainability Studies degree.

“I’m looking forward to working with our dedicated faculty and staff to create great courses for the increasing number of people who want to keep growing professionally or personally through life-long learning,” Levy said. “Long Island businesses and communities are changing, as are their educational needs, so we need to find new ways to deliver new programs that are both exciting and essential.”

Over the years he has forged research alliances with other academic institutions, including Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, the Brookings Institution, Boston College, Virginia Tech, New York University, Exeter, and Maynooth, as well as consulting relationships with not-for-profit groups, businesses and government agencies. One partnership of note, with the renowned Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, resulted in the heralded exhibition “Black Suburbia: From Levittown to Ferguson.” Under Levy’s leadership, NCSS has promoted the importance of studying suburbs nationally and internationally and has generated nearly $5 million in grants, gifts and contracts.

NCSS has also curated a number of local, national and international scale conferences on aspects of suburban life, from diversity and housing, to ecology science and health care. Recently, NCSS has worked with several academic departments to develop grant-funded entrepreneurship and professional development programs, with a particular focus on underserved minority communities. Larry is especially proud of organizing the Hofstra Celebration of Suburban Diversity, which annually brings together hundreds of people from different races, religions and other backgrounds and has raised more than $2 million for diversity related scholarships, research and community engagement.

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Karla Schuster

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