State of the University
Stuart Rabinowitz, President
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
I am pleased to summarize the major accomplishments of this past year. This past year was filled with a number of landmark achievements, despite the difficult economic climate. The Commission on Presidential Debates selected Hofstra to host the second of three presidential debates, which was held on October 16, 2012. We continue to invest in the growth areas of science and health. We moved ahead with our plan to establish a School of Engineering and Applied Science, and selected an experienced dean to propel the school. We also established a new School of Health Sciences and Human Services.
Last October, the Commission on Presidential Debates selected Hofstra University to host the second of three presidential debates, to be presented in town hall format. The debate was moderated by Candy Crowley. Since the CPD began hosting debates, Hofstra is one of just three schools to host more than one presidential debate. As with the 2008 presidential debate, Hofstra used this debate as a learning experience for our students – to engage them in the important issues raised in the presidential election and to encourage them to be active participants in the democratic process, as well as informed voters. Thus, Hofstra launched Debate 2012: Pride, Politics & Policy, a yearlong program that provides the community with access to commentators, leaders and scholars, such as Wolf Blitzer, Woodward and Bernstein, Cornel West, Christina Romer, Jeb Bush, Chris Matthews, Robert Gibbs and Karl Rove, and Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. We also created special election-focused courses for our students. This debate generated invaluable worldwide publicity for the University. The New York Times probably said it best: "Debate Fever on Campus Helps Lift Hofstra's Image."
Indeed, by virtually every measure, the amount and quality of media attention Hofstra drew for Debate 2012 outstripped what the University received when it hosted the presidential debate in 2008. On Debate Day 2008, Hofstra University's website drew 110,001 visits and 489,379 page views. In 2012 those numbers jumped to 152,755 visits and 555,804 page views, up 38.9 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively. Compared to an average mid-October day in 2011 (averaging 33,000 unique visitors), the increase is even more startling: Website visits rose 398.7 percent, while page views jumped 279.2 percent. In addition, during an average October day, we see visits from 88 countries; on debate day, hofstra.edu received visits from 171 countries.
The number of credentialed media that descended on our campus also increased: Besides the approximately 3,600 media members credentialed by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the University registered more than 300 reporters to cover events outside the debate perimeter on October 15 and 16. Among them were several area college and high school journalists.
The Debate Live Blog reported by our students was recognized by CNN, ABC/Yahoo News, The Huffington Post and Tumblr. The efforts of our student-run, online news service, Long Island Report, were lauded by Mashable, which described the unique way that Hofstra's student journalists used social media as a reporting tool. An estimated 65.6 million people watched the debate, according to the Nielsen Company. The event generated 12.24 million comments on Twitter and Facebook, making it the top political event in social media history and third on a list of all social media events, according to the analytics company Bluefin Labs. The Hofstra Facebook page received 700 new "likes" during three days around the debate, with a total of 12,100 likes to posted photos and comments; 823 comments; and more than 2,000 shares of posts and photos. On Twitter, Hofstra debate-related tweets (#hofdebate #hofstra #hofstradebate) totaled more than 50,000 and began to trend worldwide on debate day.
Print and Web coverage ranged from The Times, Newsday and The Wall Street Journal to Patch.com, Irish Central newspaper in Dublin, and Glamour magazine, which profiled three young women who were student debate volunteers. Several regional newspapers and sports-specific websites did short stories on student-athletes who won the debate ticket lottery.
When we look at the media impact from the debate during the month of October to Election Day, from traditional media, there were 32,591 print and online news mentions, with a potential readership of more than 21 billion, and an ad value equivalency of approximately $200 million. In addition, from broadcast media, there were 8,985 media mentions, with a Nielsen audience of 751,900,395 and a calculated "publicity value" of just over $59 million. The total ad value equivalency of the debate, which does not generally count the value of community, international and social media, is more than $250 million.
The University experienced another successful fundraising year, having secured more than $27 million in cash from new gifts and pledge payments as well as more than $5 million in new pledges and commitments. In addition, an anonymous donor established a matching gift program with a $5 million matching gift for the Zarb School of Business. Over the past year, extensive planning has taken place to prepare for a $250 million capital and endowment campaign for the University. The Board of Trustees has approved continuing with this historic effort, and campaign counsel has been selected. A number of seven- and eight-figure gifts have already been secured in the early phase of the campaign. The campaign will proceed in a quiet phase for the next 12-18 months before a formal public announcement. The Development and Alumni Affairs Office continues to strive to increase participation from its undergraduate alumni. Over the past number of years, the University has seen an increasing number of contributions from its alumni base, and today more than 10 percent of the undergraduate population contributes to Hofstra. In addition, the Senior Class Challenge has continued to become more successful with each graduating class. This year's graduating seniors broke all records when 24 percent of the class made a gift to the University through the Senior Class Challenge. This is an increase from 19 percent participation from the Class of 2011. Participation is a very important part of the alumni and development operation, and there has been a renewed focus over the last two years on providing our alumni with opportunities to network among their peers and benefit from the 120,000-member Hofstra Alumni Organization.
With the slow economic recovery, families continued to be extremely cost-conscious and, for many, net price was the determinative, trumping "value," however measured. This year's class of 1,488 freshmen was smaller than last year's, influenced by the barrage of negative publicity about the burden of student debt, the price of private higher education, and fears of graduating with debt in an uncertain employment market. The University faced particularly aggressive competition from institutions of greater financial wealth, which were able to support scholarships from endowment income, as well as from local institutions that heavily discounted tuition for students at their highest profile level (which is considerably lower than Hofstra's highest level).
The academic credentials of the entering freshman class are similar to, and in some respects better than, those of last year's class. The average SAT of this year's class is 1169 compared to 1171 last year, but this year's average ACT is 26 compared to 25. Students in the top 10 percent of their high school class is also up this year, at 28 percent versus 25 percent last year. High school GPA is 3.48 as compared to 3.51 last year. The percentage of students from out of state is slightly higher this year, at 47 percent compared to 45 percent last year. This is an extremely diverse class, with the number of students of color at 37 percent compared to 34 percent last year.
Moving forward, the University is continuing its plan to invest in growth areas that are likely to attract new students and that have strong employment prospects after graduation. This summer, Weed Hall was renovated and new labs created for the School of Engineering and Applied Science; under the leadership of the new dean, it is expected that this new school will attract additional students. The new School of Health Sciences and Human Services will highlight existing and new health programs such as the new Master of Public Health program. The Physician Assistant Studies program is being expanded, which will allow for a larger graduate class, as well as attract additional first-year students to the B.S./M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies. We also continue to create new dual degree programs such as the B.A. in Psychology/M.S.Ed. in Counseling or Rehabilitation Counseling, and B.A. in Psychology or Math/M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology to join our existing J.D./M.B.A., B.A. or B.S./M.D., various B.B.A./M.B.A. combinations, as well as the B.A./M.A. in Journalism. These dual degree programs, with the exception of the M.D. program, permit students to count certain credits toward both their undergraduate and graduate degrees, thus reducing the time it would otherwise take to earn the master's degree, as well as resulting in cost savings.
For next year's class, the University plans to increase funding for additional scholarships and financial aid. The University has met with enrollment and financial aid consultants to ensure that we are doing everything that can be done to effectively recruit the best possible class. We are working to reduce expenditures that are not essential to our mission, and are also exploring new ways to increase revenue.
The retention of this past year's freshman class to sophomore year was 78 percent, down slightly from last year's high of 80 percent. This retention rate is up significantly from the retention rate of 74 percent in 2001. The graduation rate is also improving, with the class that entered in 2006 with a six-year graduation rate of 61 percent, an all-time high and well above graduation rates in the mid-50's for classes that entered in prior years. (National data reporting computes graduation rates based on six years from entry, and counts transfers out as non-graduates, even where the transferring student graduates from another institution.)
As measured in our annual survey of undergraduate and graduate students, student satisfaction has increased significantly since the benchmark year of 2003-2004 in the areas of overall satisfaction, meeting of academic and social expectations, and facilities and services. We show real gains in key areas that impact the student experience, including strong ratings of faculty contact and individualized attention, and social life and sense of community on campus. Our students today are highly engaged, both socially and academically, which should lead to further retention and graduation rate improvements.
Recognizing that much of a student's education occurs outside the classroom, creating a vibrant and stimulating campus environment so that students can mature and grow intellectually, culturally, and socially is a core value at Hofstra. To date, improvements have been made in all areas of Student Affairs, including organizational structure, programs, and support services. Notably, changes in the organization and support services have instilled a strong, student-oriented ethos by forging linkages between academic and non-academic aspects of student life.
The Center for University Advisement, in collaboration with Student Computing Services, The Writing Center, and Axinn Library, opened the new Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) in May 2012. The center, located on the second floor of the library, is designed to provide academic and personal support to help students grow and succeed academically. To prepare our students to enter the complex and interconnected global marketplace, The Career Center explored innovative ways and refined past practices to connect students to its resources. Nearly 1,200 students learned about the programs and services of The Career Center from in-class presentations conducted by Career Center staff in 55 courses, an increase of nearly 75 percent from the prior year. Each in-class presentation was followed by a personal email with a video link. An additional career fair was introduced in the fall 2011 semester, resulting in an overall 20 percent increase in employer visits to the Hofstra campus and a 19 percent increase in student participation in career and job fair programs. In addition, The Career Center coordinated a three-part social media series designed to educate students on how to utilize social media effectively in their professional lives as they sought internship opportunities and employment. There have been and will continue to be expanded learning opportunities outside the classroom to both attract students and prepare them to be successful in a knowledge-based marketplace.
The Off-Campus Living and Commuting Student Services office developed new ways to integrate commuting students within the community and build strong relations among the University, civic associations, students, and local residents. More than 140 students provided much needed service to community residents by participating in the annual "Shake a Rake" program. In addition, a number of new service programming initiatives were introduced, resulting in a 21 percent increase in the number of service hours completed by students. The revamped Alternative Spring Break program resulted in 50 students participating in a "stay-cation," where they worked on service projects in the local area.
The Office of Student Leadership and Activities developed and facilitated numerous opportunities for student social and academic engagement, learning, and leadership development. Leadership development programs were offered throughout the year, and included a leadership conference, leadership summit, Greek leadership conference, and numerous one-time leadership seminars with more than 550 student participants. During the fall and spring semesters, programs geared toward wellness and healthy decision-making took center stage, including alcohol awareness, academic success strategies, and nutrition. Weekend program offerings increased by 10 percent during the past year. A renovated Hof USA became an alternative late-night venue and destination for students living on and off campus.
Our students operate in a world without brick-and-mortar limitations, and the digital world is becoming increasingly important to their success and satisfaction. Technology and social media have proven to be powerful tools for fundamental change, as they allow the creation of new types of learning communities, critical-thinking venues, and strategies for delivering services with no boundaries. Using technology to improve registration, check-in, and tracking the room selection, residence hall application, summer orientation, residence hall move-in, and Welcome Week operations were enhanced and resulted in a more seamless process for students and better data for planning. Facebook and Twitter continue to gain traction and have become a primary, if not the primary, method for communicating information and other announcements with our students. These tools add to student satisfaction by connecting and engaging students with the full array of resources at Hofstra. The social media highlight of the year, other than the growing audience added to Facebook and Twitter, would be the rollout of the Hofstra Student Life blog on Blogger. In addition, the Office of Multicultural & International Student Programs developed richer digital content on its website, including text, images and video to increase and improve communication with international students.
This past year has seen a number of major academic initiatives that we expect will position us well for the challenges ahead. Our new School of Engineering and Applied Science secures our position for the ongoing growth in STEM opportunities. Our search for a founding dean concluded successfully with the selection of Dean Simon Ben-Avi, who had been serving as acting dean of the Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
In addition, we received a $1 million grant from New York state to create a new and highly sophisticated teaching and research lab in the area of bioengineering. We also fully renovated Weed Hall, which is the home for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
In addition to the renovation of Weed Hall, there was a full renovation of the second floor core area of the Axinn library. What had been underutilized document storage space has been transformed into highly sought-after, technology-sophisticated group study space. In the years ahead, we look forward to creating similar spaces in our library and on our campus.
Robust employment opportunities are also expected in the areas of health and human services, and we have responded well by establishing a new School of Health Sciences and Human Services. Included in this school is our new Master of Public Health program as well as a number of programs previously located in the School of Education, Health and Human Services and HCLAS, all united by very positive future job growth opportunities as projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We have also developed a new M.S. in Medical Physics program.
I am enormously proud of the work of our faculty in incorporating the 2012 election into their course work. In addition to Expressions of Democracy, where professional scholar-actors and student performers costumed as historical figures walked our campus and interacted with our community, returning as both a course as well as a major happening on campus, faculty developed a series of election-related courses, including a course in mathematical excursions where the students examine the relative power of individual states to affect the outcome of the presidential election, and weigh the benefits of alternate voting systems such as preference balloting and cumulative voting. In addition, we are offering a seminar in American politics that examines the campaigns and evolution of the modern American presidency, as well as an election-related course on religion and the media that looks at how the separation between church and state can wear thin on the election trail as candidates invoke religion in both obvious and subtle ways. Still another example is a course on social media, which is especially important since the 2102 presidential election is widely considered to be the first "social media election," where platforms such as Twitter and Facebook will have arguably as much influence as television in electing the next president of the United States. One last example, which again illustrates the diversity of our offerings related to the 2012 presidential election, is a course on political advertising that introduces students to the current research in political advertising, which is the single largest expenditure in today's presidential campaigns.
We were able to send two students to the Republican National Convention as well as two students to the Democratic National Convention. Prior to that, a class of political science students, together with Professor David Green, visited New Hampshire to get a better understanding of the primary process. On our campus, the presidential debate is more than one moment in time and one day's activity. Starting last spring and through this semester, the election and the democratic process has been built into the fabric of the University.
This past year has seen another large increase in the number of five-year dual degree programs, which give our students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in five years and save both money and credits in the process. These combinations provide added value to a Hofstra education and help us compete in this challenging time for private higher education.
Our online presence has been enhanced by the addition of an online M.B.A. program and well as an online program in higher education. In addition, online education is becoming a larger and larger part of our summer and January sessions, both on the undergraduate level and the graduate level, and we are accommodating this growth by continuously increasing our offerings. Almost 20 percent of the Hofstra faculty have already taught or are presently teaching an online course.
We also made significant changes to our summer session offerings, including shortening the length (but not the time in class) of many undergraduate courses as well as reducing the number of meeting days (but once again not reducing the time in class) of many of our graduate offerings. More workshop courses, as well as more online courses, were also offered. The results were mixed — online courses, as noted above, increased in enrollment, but overall summer session numbers were down on both the undergraduate as well as the graduate level.
Through funds raised at our very successful and highly regarded Celebration of Diversity dinner, we were once again able to fund four diversity research awards as well as one LGBTQ research award. This past year's grants included:
- "Mapping the Sacred in the Suburbs" submitted by Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty Dr. Sophie Hawkins.
- "The Ethics of Diversity and the Legal Profession" submitted by Maurice A. Deane School of Law faculty Susan Saab Fortney.
- "A Chance for a New Human Togetherness: The Technology of Difference: Thinking Multiculturally" submitted by School of Education faculty Dr. Eduardo Duarte.
- "Improving Library Instruction and Reference Services for Students With Both Intellectual and Physical Disabilities" submitted by Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty Amy Catalano.
- "2013 State of Higher Education for LGBT People" submitted by the Department of Counseling, Research, Special Education, and Rehabilitation faculty Dr. Genevieve Weber.
We have placed an added emphasis on undergraduate research as a major priority in the years ahead. Together with internships and other experiential learning opportunities, undergraduate research helps further enrich the quality of the excellent education we provide. Last May we had a vastly expanded Undergraduate Research Day that highlighted the work of our students. We will further highlight this work through a new Hofstra journal that will feature undergraduate research. And, because faculty are pivotal in this effort, as they are in the high quality education we provide, we have established a Research Mentor of the Year Award to signify the importance of mentoring – just as we emphasize the importance of excellent teaching through our annual Teacher of the Year Awards.
This has been another year of impressive faculty accomplishments, both in terms of scholarship and increased national recognition. Just a few of the many impressive examples include:
- Dr. Margaret Abraham from the Department of Sociology, serving as the International Sociological Association (ISA) vice president for research, also served as the forum president of the Second ISA Forum of Sociology, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this past August.
- Dr. John Bryant from the Department of English received a three-year NEH Scholarly Edition grant for $293,000 for the Melville Electronic Library. Designated a "We the People" project, the grant is Hofstra's largest humanities award.
- Dr. Jeffrey Froh from the Department of Psychology, serving as a co-principal investigator for a project titled "Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude," received $571,146 from the John Templeton Foundation for the period from August 1, 2011, to July 31, 2014. 7
- Dr. Doris Fromberg from the School of Education presented a TEDx talk at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, titled "Kindergarten Today: Is the Match Between High-Stakes Outputs and Low-Impact Inputs Cost-Effective?"
- Dr. George Giuliani from the School of Education published a book, with Jessica Kingsley Publishers, titled The Comprehensive Guide to Special Education Law.
- Dr. Laurie Johnson from the Department of Counseling and Mental Health Professions presented a paper and assisted in development of the inaugural World Conference on Peace Education in Belfast, March 2012.
- Dr. Corinne Kyriacou from the School of Health Sciences and Human Services, together with Professor Janet Dolgin of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law and Dr. Rachel Kreier of the Department of Economics/Health Professions, published an article titled "New Directions in American Health Care: Innovations From Home and Abroad" in the Hofstra Law Review, 39(1), 1-7.
- Dr. Cheryl Lehman from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business published an article titled "We've Come a Long Way! Maybe! Re-Imagining Gender and Accounting" in the Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 25(2), 2012, 256-294.
- Dr. Robert Leonard from the Department of Comparative Literature & Languages was featured in the July 23, 2012, issue of The New Yorker magazine in an article on the emerging field of forensic linguistics.
- Dr. Dennis Mazzocco from the School of Communication received the 2012 Franklin J. Schaffner Award for Outstanding Career Achievement and Extraordinary Service from the Directors Guild of America. The award was presented at the Guild's annual awards ceremony.
- Dr. Ehsan Nikbakht from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business co-authored the sixth edition of Finance, which was released in September 2012. Dr. Nikbakht also served as chair of the Derivatives Committee of the New York Society of Security Analysts, 2011-2012.
- Professor Ashira Ostrow from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law authored an article titled "Land Law Federalism," 61 Emory Law Journal (2012), which was selected for the 13th annual Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.
- Professor Bob Papper from the School of Communication was named the recipient of the 2012 Edward L. Bliss Award for Distinguished Broadcast Journalism Education. The award is presented annually by the Electronic News Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to recognize significant and lasting contributions to the field in the area of teaching, scholarship and service.
- Professor Alan N. Resnick from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law served as editor-in-chief of Collier on Bankruptcy, the leading treatise on bankruptcy. Professor Resnick also devoted much time and energy to completing a new edition (the 16th), which consists of 19 volumes, a four-year project that was completed this year.
- Dr. Jenny Roberts and Dr. Kathleen Scott from the School of Health Sciences and Human Services received external funding (October 2010-October 2011) from the Edith Glick Shoolman Children's Foundation for their study "The Written Language Development of School-Aged Internationally Adopted Children."
- Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue from the Department of Global Studies/Geography was appointed by the World Economic Forum to its Global Agenda Council on Advanced Manufacturing, 2011.
- The film and television rights to American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl and the Crime of the Century by Dr. Paula Uruburu, vice dean of the School for University Studies, were acquired by CEO and founder of Rich Hippie Productions, Sydney Holland.
MAURICE A. DEANE SCHOOL OF LAW
With the departure of Dean Nora Demleitner, who assumed the deanship of Washington and Lee University School of Law this summer, the president appointed longtime faculty member Professor Eric Lane to serve as acting dean. A search committee has been constituted and, with the help of a search firm, is conducting a national and international search for a new dean. [On December 17, 2012, the president announced that Eric Lane, the Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, who has taught at Hofstra Law for more than three decades, was appointed the ninth dean of Hofstra Law.]
The Long Island Press named Stuart Rabinowitz the most influential Long Islander this year, following the opening of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, the announcements about the new School of Engineering and Applied Science and the 2012 presidential debate, the naming of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, and the president's extraordinary leadership of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. President Rabinowitz was honored with Sustainable Long Island's "Getting It Done" Award at the organization's Sixth Annual Conference on June 1, 2012. Regional press quoted President Rabinowitz often on issues of regional economic development, including the ongoing development of the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding Hub properties.
The University received increased positive coverage in media vehicles such as "The Today Show," The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsday, MSNBC, and The New Yorker.
The presidential debate at Hofstra generated tremendous favorable publicity and helped immeasurably to enhance our name recognition and brand.
ENHANCED CAMPUS FACILITIES
We remain committed to enhancing our campus through investing in our physical facilities. This year, we completed our two-year effort in Gittleson Hall to renovate biology laboratories, research rooms, and classrooms, and provide new rooftop greenhouses for student research. These improvements provide the Biology Department with vastly improved research space and an enhanced learning environment for faculty and students.
At Axinn Library, the University transformed the Library's second floor into a new Collaborative Learning Center. This renovated space is open to all students, and is equipped with private study spaces, small group meeting rooms, and a state-of-the-art classroom learning center. The new space includes moveable lounge seating to enhance group interactions, and individual computer console seating equipped with new computer terminals and printing stations. Since opening the center, this new space is receiving rave reviews from our students.
At Weed Hall, home of our School of Engineering and Applied Science, a full-scale building renovation was completed over this summer. Renovations included all new windows, new classroom and lab facilities, remodeled faculty offices, updated student and faculty lounge spaces, and upgraded restrooms, and all classrooms have been equipped with new technology. In addition, a New York state grant of $1 million helped to fund a brand-new Biomedical Engineering Lab. Also, Weed Hall infrastructure improvements included a new roof, new HVAC units, new flooring throughout the facility, and the creation of an outside lawn seating area for general use.
Hofstra University continues to renovate classrooms and computer labs. Over the past few years, campus academic buildings such as Calkins Hall, Roosevelt Hall, Monroe Hall, Deane Law School, and Axinn Library have undergone renovations to upgrade building infrastructure and classroom facilities, and provide the latest in available technology. At McEwen Hall, infrastructure improvements were made to the University's data center to provide improved service and emergency system redundancy.
The University is also investing in improving our campus residence halls. This past summer, we continued major renovations to our campus high-rise towers. Starting in 2011, the University renovated Bill of Rights Hall and Enterprise Hall; this past summer we renovated Alliance Hall and Constitution Hall. We will complete renovations to the final two residential towers next summer. The tower renovations include full window replacement with new energy-efficient windows, a new building entranceway, new furniture and HVAC units in student rooms, new outdoor bike storage, and enhanced student lounge/study spaces.
Hofstra continues its efforts to enhance our sustainability initiatives both on campus and within our community. This upcoming year, the University will apply for its first LEED-certified campus building with construction of the new medical school building addition. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) consists of a nationally recognized suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. A full-time campus sustainability officer is leading our efforts to enhance Hofstra's reputation as a "green" school that actively promotes environmental stewardship on campus. Over the past three years, the University increased – from 3 percent to 10 percent – our total campus power purchases generated from clean, renewable, off-site energy sources.
The University has made a significant financial commitment to enhancing technology in our classrooms. We are adding classroom technology to approximately 40 new classrooms over the next three years, and refurbishing and maintaining all existing classroom technology on a regular schedule as we move forward. During this past summer, technology in 96 classrooms was enhanced – new technology was installed in 10 classrooms, 10 existing technology classrooms were totally refurbished, and 76 existing technology classrooms were updated. With computer upgrades to the podiums made last winter/spring, all of the technology-equipped classrooms have now been updated and/or refurbished, and regular maintenance will continue on schedule. Hofstra now has 161 technology-equipped classrooms, excluding those in the Law School and School of Medicine.
As most students own laptop and desktop computers, Student Computing Services has been shifting its emphasis from providing hardware in labs to providing services to students on how to effectively use computers in their learning. Learning Support is staffed entirely by students with specific software skills and training to support software questions from students.
Faced with a growing need for distance learning training, Faculty Computing Services has transitioned to a group training model in which faculty take an online workshop to learn about online teaching practices. This workshop has now been offered five times, and 110 faculty completed the workshop during the 2011-2012 academic year. Over the years, the University has created 178 distance learning courses.
In May 2012 Jeffrey Hathaway was introduced as Hofstra's new vice president and director of athletics. Hathaway came to Hofstra after serving as director of athletics at the University of Connecticut from 2003 to 2011, and was also the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee chair during the 2012 NCAA Tournament and served on the committee for five years. His tenure at Connecticut was one of unprecedented growth and strong fundraising, and we look forward to his ushering in a new era of Hofstra Pride athletic success.
During the past year, three teams reached the postseason, with two squads qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. The softball team won the CAA Championship and won an NCAA Regional at UCLA to advance to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional. Unfortunately, the team fell in a hard-fought series against South Florida, two games to one. Hofstra wrestling also won a CAA title, sending six wrestlers to the NCAA Tournament. The Pride placed 23rd as a team and had two student-athletes – Steve Bonanno and Justin Accordino – earn All-America honors for placing in the top eight at their weight classes. The women's basketball program also reached the postseason, as it was selected to participate in the Women's National Invitation Tournament for the fourth time in program history. In addition to those postseason teams, the Pride baseball team won a school record 34 games and reached the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
Along with its two wrestling All-Americans, Hofstra saw Genna Kovar of the field hockey team, Shante Evans of the women's basketball squad, Olivia Galati from softball, and baseball player Danny Poma earn All-America status as well, with Galati and Poma becoming the first first-team All-America selections in their respective sports in Hofstra Athletics history. Poma was also selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round of the MLB Draft this past June.
Hofstra student-athletes lived up to that billing as 154 of them received the CAA Commissioner's Academic Award, and four – wrestler Steve Bonanno, softball pitcher Olivia Galati, men's lacrosse goalkeeper Andrew Gvozden, and women's lacrosse midfielder Jill Maier – were named the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their respective sports. Bonanno was also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America squad. In addition, 24 student-athletes earned a 4.0 grade point average in at least one semester in 2011-12.
The Hofstra Pride Club enjoyed a record-setting year in 2011-12 with $2.4 million raised, a 95 percent increase from 2010-11. The Pride Club was bolstered by the largest single gift in Hofstra Athletics history, a $1.5 million commitment from former student-athlete James C. Metzger '83 to support the men's lacrosse program and all sports through the Pride Club Capital Improvements Fund. In recognition of his generosity, the Capital Improvement Fund was renamed The James C. Metzger Fund for Capital Improvements. Membership in the Pride Club increased by 3 percent to 1,113 members, while membership in the Blue and Gold Society (multiple-year pledges) increased 52 percent. Former student-athlete giving remained at a high level of 16 percent for the second consecutive year, and young alumni giving showed an 18 percent increase.
Corporate partnerships with W.B. Mason and New York Life were also of great benefit to the Department of Athletics. Hofstra's partnership with W.B. Mason led to the construction of the W.B. Mason Pride Lounge on the lower level of the Mack Sports Complex, while New York Life provided a title sponsor for the women's basketball holiday tournament.
STEADY FINANCIAL CONDITION
For the ninth year in a row, the University is expected to finish the year with positive budget results, providing more than $10 million for capital improvements and future operations. As of August 31, 2012, long-term investments were valued at approximately $355.7 million, an increase of approximately $60.2 million for the fiscal year and a $255.2 million increase since 2001.
This remains a challenging time for private institutions of higher education, as the effects of the economic recession continue to linger and families remain price-sensitive and debt-averse. However, Hofstra is well positioned to navigate these challenges. We have invested in increased scholarship and financial aid, funded by targeted expense reductions deployed so as not to harm our product. With the foresight of the Board of Trustees, we have already begun to invest in the sciences, technology, and health care, which are growth areas that provide expanding career opportunities, and these investments should pay off in enrollment growth. We offer programs through diverse schools, including engineering, business, law and medicine (and are one of only three schools in the metropolitan area to do so). We have a beautiful campus and an enviable location close to New York City. We also have a national and international student body with almost 50 percent of the freshman class from outside of New York. This geographic diversity differentiates us from many of our local competitors and will help us as the number of high school graduates in New York and the Northeast continues to decline over this decade. While not minimizing the challenges posed by the economic climate, we are confident that we will move forward and build on our momentum.