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Date: Oct 22, 2008
Hofstra Alumnus Names Academic Building for Provost Herman A. Berliner
Trustee Alan J. Bernon ‘76 cites Provost Berliner’s positive influence on him as a business student
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra's Chemistry and Physics Building this week was renamed Herman A. Berliner Hall as a result of a Hofstra alumnus and trustee who wanted to acknowledge the Hofstra provost’s positive influence on his career.
Trustee Alan J. Bernon, '76, who last year funded an endowed academic chair in China studies to honor another of his former professors, Harold Lazarus, at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, this year honored Provost Berliner by donating funds to rename the Chemistry and Physics Building on the South Campus for his former teacher.
"What could be better than naming one of our new important buildings, our science building, after someone who began his career at Hofstra as a faculty member and in his 39th year at Hofstra has been responsible for Hofstra’s academic progress to date?" said President Stuart Rabinowitz. "And how fitting that this is made possible by a proud graduate of Hofstra University and a trustee who was so impressed with his relationship with Herman and the way Herman taught back when he was in the economics department that he wants to honor him this way."
"I think that of all of Herman's attributes – his integrity and the sense of purpose here and how he has helped the university become the fine institution it is – one of the most special things about him is the care that he had for students both as a professor and as an administrator, and I think Hofstra University is fortunate to have him as part of its administrative team," said Mr. Bernon.
Dr. Berliner, who is also the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Lawrence Herbert Distinguished Professor, is in his 39th year at Hofstra University. He became provost at Hofstra in 1990 after having served for almost one year as the acting provost.
"As faculty we pride ourselves on the impact we have on our students," Dr. Berliner said. "With Alan, it's a case of the former student now having a greater impact on me. Alan's commitment to Hofstra, his compassion, his support of major Hofstra initiatives, his generosity and his leadership style are all exemplary. Alan Bernon is clearly a role model and we all appreciate his good work."
The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs is second in command to the president at the University. Dr. Berliner, who resides in Glen Head, has oversight responsibilities for all the colleges, schools and academic programs of the University, as well as the libraries, The Hofstra Cultural Center, the Hofstra Museum, and the Saltzman Community Services Center. In this capacity and at the president's request, he also serves as the chair of the University negotiating team in collective bargaining with faculty.
Dr. Berliner joined Hofstra University in 1970 as an assistant professor of economics after having earned a Ph.D. in economics from the City University of New York Graduate School. He was awarded tenure in 1975, promoted to associate professor in 1978 and to professor in 1985. As a faculty member, Dr. Berliner has taught economics courses on both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and he has also served on a number of doctoral dissertation committees for the School of Education and Allied Human Services. Dr. Berliner's areas of specialty as an economist include the economics of higher education, and he is presently a TIAA/CREF Fellow and he has served as an associate editor of The American Economist.
Dr. Berliner has served in a number of key administrative positions, including interim dean and dean of the School of Business (1980-1982 and 1983-1989), associate provost and associate dean of faculties (1978-1983), acting dean of the School of Education (1983-1984), associate dean of University Advisement (1975-1976) and assistant provost (1976-1977). As interim dean of the School of Business, Dr. Berliner was an instrumental part of the team that secured national AACSB (currently The International Association for Management Education) accreditation of the graduate program as well as re-accreditation of the undergraduate program. As acting dean of the School of Education, he played a similar role in our NCATE (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education) re-accreditation effort. Furthermore, as dean of the School of Business, he helped establish our Business Research Institute, the Dean's Advisory Board, the Hofstra Business Review, In Business, and the Study Abroad programs at Erasmus University and the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Berliner has been a motivating force in establishing the University's mandatory Course and Teacher Evaluation Program, the Honors Program, the Peer Teaching Program and the University Tutorial Program.
Provost Berliner played a vital role in the establishment of the School of Communication, Honors College and the School for University Studies, the first new schools established at the University since 1970.
Mr. Bernon received a B.B.A degree in finance from Hofstra and has been a Hofstra trustee for more than 16 years. He also was a member of the Executive Committee for The Campaign for Hofstra University. He is a founding investor and a member of advisory board at Sequel Holdings, L.P., a Dallas-based private equity firm. Mr. Bernon is a founding investor and a member of the advisory board at Sequel Holdings, L.P., a Dallas-based private equity firm. He recently resigned as director of Dean Foods Company, in Dallas, Texas. Sequel Holdings was responsible for over 115 acquisitions made by Dean Foods and related companies during the past 15 years with a combined enterprise value of approximately $7 billion.
Mr. Bernon and his brother built their family business, Garelick Farms, from approximately $100 million in sales in 1985 to almost $400 million when they sold the business along with their plastics company, Franklin Plastics, to Suiza Foods in 1997. In 2001, Suiza purchased Dean Foods, and Alan Bernon became COO of the Northeast Region. As the chief operating officer, he was responsible for the region’s growth from close to $300 million in sales in 1997 to approximately $1.5 billion in 2003. He also serves as trustee of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Fessenden School, and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts. He is a past board member of the Milk Industry Foundation.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 140 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.