State of the University
Stuart Rabinowitz, President
STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
This past year was a very successful year, with highlights that included hosting the first U.S. presidential debate on September 26, 2016 – the most watched debate in history. The Zarb School of Business celebrated its 50th anniversary, marked by panels, receptions and a signature conference on the future of business education. The University’s momentum continues with very favorable ratings in an array of publications. Enrollment was very successful, with the recruitment of an excellent first-year class approximately the same size as last year’s class, meeting targets in new graduate and transfer students, and improved retention of continuing students.
I also note the substantial time I continue to commit to efforts to improve our region and ultimately enure to the benefit of our University. As co-chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, I have overseen the prioritization of the many Long Island projects competing for New York state economic development dollars. The council’s efforts have secured tens of millions of dollars for Long Island, and I have personally interacted with Governor Cuomo and his administration on these issues. Through my interaction with our elected officials and others, I am confident that Hofstra’s voice will continue to be heard. I have spent so much time on these activities because I am convinced that the future of Hofstra is inextricably tied to the continued well-being of our immediate area.
Set forth below is a brief summary of the past year.
The highlight of the year was the hosting of the first U.S. presidential debate on September 26, 2016, a phenomenal feat by Hofstra with a preparation time of only two months, as opposed to the usual year required. When we were notified in July 2016 that we would be hosting this debate, our entire community contributed to making the debate a reality. With staff working around the clock at times, the arena was transformed into a stage, the media center was equipped with the latest technology, and a robust program of speakers was organized. I am enormously proud of the hard work of all involved, with special thanks to Vice Presidents Barkwill, Connolly, Fredrich and Juckiewicz, and to Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Facilities Jay Artinian, and Director of Public Safety Karen O’Callaghan. I would also like to thank the many faculty who worked to create panels, presentations, and events that educated our community about the issues. Hundreds of our students served as volunteers, and hundreds more chosen by lottery were able to see the live debate. Students also attended pre-debate programs that included speakers such as David Axelrod, Bobby Jindal, Stephen Hayes and Eugene Robinson. The debate at Hofstra was the most watched debate in history, shattering all previous records and bringing positive attention to and publicity about the University across the globe. This was the very first time that a university hosted a presidential debate in three consecutive election cycles. We feel very privileged to have been able to provide our students and community with the opportunity to observe the democratic process in action on our campus.
The class that entered in fall 2016 consists of 1647 students, approximately the same size as last year’s class. The average highest SAT/ACT test score for the 2016 entering class was 1182, and the average GPA for this year was 3.61, just below last year’s 3.62, which was the highest GPA in our history. The bottom of the class has also improved significantly over the last several years We continued to decrease the number of students in the bottom of the class as measured by GPA to further enhance our retention efforts in future years. This year’s entering class has 158 students with a GPA below 3.0 as compared to 162 last year. It is important to note that our benchmark pre-test optional year (fall 2014) had 273 students below a 3.0.
This year’s first-year class is very diverse, with 40 percent self-identifying as students of color, as compared to 37.3 percent in the prior year. There are 92 international students in the entering class, compared to 73 last year. Forty of the 92 new international students are from China, and the remainder are from 32 other countries, including nine from India, three from Peru and two each from Australia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sierra Leone, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. In addition, there are 23 international students in our English Language Program who will transition to an undergraduate program in the spring semester.
Transfer enrollment also came in at last year’s level. This market continues to challenge the admission team, since prospective transfer students cannot be recruited while attending another four-year institution, and it is difficult to expand the pool of student applicants. Transfers are also extremely price-sensitive. For this recruitment cycle, we used several cutting-edge marketing techniques, including “geo-fencing” for transfer and graduate recruitment. This allowed us to send Hofstra program-specific ads to mobile devices based on specific geographical areas, such as community colleges for undergraduates or appropriate corporate locations for graduate programs.
This year’s new graduate enrollment was more robust, exceeding last year’s actual enrollment (up 35 full-time equivalent students) and on budget, with gains in health programs, business and education, offsetting declines in other areas. Continuing undergraduate and graduate students were also up over budget this year. Revenues from the additional continuing students, offset by the increased financial aid associated with these students, provided funding to cover new undergraduate enrollment and housing shortfalls, as well as additions to contingency.
Moving forward, because there are limits and costs to increasing the size of incoming first-year classes, increasing graduate enrollment is of particular importance, and every effort is being made to enhance existing programs and to create new programs that have the potential to increase enrollment. I have asked the provost to work with the deans to embark on a comprehensive graduate program review, to identify new opportunities, and to enhance the messaging about the strengths of each school’s programs and how they differ from programs offered by competitor schools.
We reached a new record high in retention of full-time first-year students entering in 2015, with 82 percent of that cohort returning to the University in fall 2016. This is up significantly from the retention rate of 74 percent in 2001 and above the last two years where we retained 80 percent of new first-year students. This improvement validates our move to test optional in fall 2015, where students are primarily assessed on their prior academic achievement in the form of high school GPA and curriculum rigor, more accurate measures of persistence. In addition, we continue to work to strengthen our sense of campus community and provide additional proactive outreach and support for our students’ success. Our surveys show increasing student satisfaction in these areas.
In another new record for Hofstra, graduation rates have climbed to 53 percent in four years and 64 percent in six years of the cohort entering in fall 2010, compared to national averages of 40 percent and 59 percent, respectively. We continue to anticipate that over time graduation rates will reach our five-year plan goal of 65 percent.
Retention efforts at Hofstra are a shared responsibility, with all academic as well as administrative units participating in this endeavor. Recent initiatives include expanded tutoring, closer ties between faculty and University advisors, and enhanced outreach to at-risk students. The provost has asked each school to develop a school-specific retention task force that focuses on enhancing retention and graduation rates at the school and program levels. An overall steering committee shares information from these task forces with other areas. In addition, senior management meet weekly to discuss enrollment and retention issues, and to recommend initiatives and improvements. I want to especially commend the faculty for their help in our retention efforts. Faculty mentors serve a unique role in helping students to thrive at Hofstra and are indispensable in achieving improved retention. Our students continue to demonstrate the excellence of their general education and their specific training across the curriculum by presenting advanced research on campus (Undergraduate Research Day twice a year) and at regional and national conferences, for which the University continues to provide funding. That research experience, a recognized high-impact practice for learning and retention, also leads to top graduate school placements and distinctions such as recent biology graduate Stephen Gaudino’s National Science Foundation fellowship for continued biological research here at Hofstra as part of his graduate studies in integrative biology.
Students continue to report positive ratings for their overall experiences, with all satisfaction ratings – including ratings by first-year students – significantly higher than the 2004 benchmark year. The majority of students say they are learning about their major, learning to work independently, developing critical thinking skills, achieving educational growth, and developing writing skills. Awareness of societal issues has increased significantly. Quality of academic major was the most highly rated item among undergraduates, along with academic reputation, individualized faculty attention, quality of faculty instruction, job prospects after graduation, attractive campus, and effective resources and facilities. Student academic and social engagement is also rated higher than the benchmark year and shows strong correlations to overall satisfaction.
The University experienced one of its most successful fundraising years during 2015-2016. During the past year, Hofstra succeeded in securing a naming gift for the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. In total, Hofstra secured $25.9 million in new cash gifts and receipts on pledges while also securing $10 million in new signed pledges and commitments. In May 2016 Hofstra was pleased to honor Toni ’63 and Martin Sosnoff at its annual Gala. Each year the net proceeds from this event support student scholarships. As the largest fundraising event for the University, it attracts more than 600 people annually. The 2016 Gala, which celebrated Toni and Martin’s tremendous generosity to the University, grossed more than $1 million. As a result of the Sosnoffs’ recent commitments to Hofstra, the theater in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse was named in their honor, and the new lobby will also bear their names. The University also secured naming gifts for the Joan and Donald Schaeffer Black Box Theater, Shapiro Family Hall, and Herbert Family Hall, as well as a number of other seven-figure commitments. Hofstra Board of Trustees Chair Alan Bernon agreed to match new gifts made by other trustees, substantially enhancing our fundraising efforts.
The University’s capital campaign is ongoing, with more than $109 million raised to date for student scholarships, faculty support and capital projects. The campaign saw an overall increase of more than $19 million during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Although a public announcement has not yet been made, the University continues to work to secure additional seven- and eight-figure gifts. This will be the largest fundraising effort Hofstra has conducted to date.
We continue to make every effort to encourage the support and participation of the wider alumni body. Alumni participation is critical for the future of the University, and we ask all faculty and staff to play a role where they can in promoting the recent successes of Hofstra and reconnecting our alumni to their alma mater.
Academic Enhancements and Initiatives
The academic areas at Hofstra underwent significant growth and change during the 2015-2016 academic year. Every unit experienced important changes and ventured into new directions by adding new programs and expanding research initiatives.
The 2015-16 academic year saw significant restructuring in the Provost’s Office, with new administrators and new roles under the leadership of Dr. Gail Simmons. Dr. Terri Shapiro was named senior vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies; she will focus on faculty development, chair development, and relations with the AAUP. Dr. Neil Donahue became vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs; in addition to supporting academic review and scholarship appeals processes, he will focus on coordinating efforts with Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, as well as on retention efforts both within and across schools. Dr. Robert Brinkmann was named vice provost for scholarship and engagement; he will work with faculty on developing greater capacity to look for external funding, academic collaborations, and the further development of Hofstra’s centers and institutes. Lauren Brown joined as assistant vice president for academic affairs and will focus on streamlining and automating processes in Academic Affairs; Suzanne Pike became associate provost for academic affairs; Antonia Fazler became coordinator for events and communications.
Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has been restructured to include four distinct but related schools: The Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs; the School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts; the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and the School of Education.
The Kalikow School is home to a new undergraduate program and major designed to prepare students for careers in public policy and public service. This interdisciplinary program includes courses from across the University and allows students to shape their concentrations in areas that focus on their particular policy interests. Students also gain internship experience in government agencies or NGOs with policy agendas.
In the School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts, this spring marks the Drama Program’s unveiling of a Globe Stage for performances of its upcoming and future years’ Shakespeare Festivals. The Globe, which is located in the newly renovated Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse, replaces the venerable Globe replica created by former Hofstra President John Cranford Adams. In dance, a BFA was created to reflect the growing quality and professionalism of our fine arts programs. In 2015 we began the major infrastructure renovations at the Playhouse, and this year, the interior of the playhouse was fully renovated and a new HVAC system installed. Future renovations include an expanded lobby and new building entranceway.
Over the summer, the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics saw the completion of a two-year renovation in one of the most important science facilities on campus, Gittleson Hall. The renovated space includes a collaboratorium, funded in large part by a NYS grant, consisting of advanced teaching and research facilities to be used by the departments of Biology and Geology, Environment and Sustainability. The space, which was previously separated by department, is now organized around common research facilities shared among scientific disciplines, allowing Hofstra to better prepare students to work in STEM and sustainability fields.
The School of Education launched a new master’s program with a health-related theme, Health Professions, Pedagogy and Leadership, with an incoming class of 15 students. The School of Education also received a third consecutive $1.25 million grant for its graduate Special Education program, and saw stronger enrollments this fall, particularly in Special Education, TESOL, and Educational Leadership.
Hofstra University Honors College welcomed its fall 2016 first-year class of 232 students. The average GPA of this class was 3.92 with an average SAT (or ACT equivalent) of 1336. Fifty-nine percent of this year’s Honors College class came from outside of New York state, representing 24 U.S. states and three countries. The newest addition to Honors College, Professor Vimala Pasupathi, from the English Department, joined Honors College this year as associate dean.
The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, after completing its conversion from standard-definition (SD) video to high-definition (HD) video, is continuing to enhance its state-of-the-art facilities to create a large studio and control room for music, audio and radio production. The multifunctional control room will serve as an on-air training classroom and will provide students with the ability to mix live music and radio talk shows. The Department of Radio, Television, Film was named a “Best Showbiz Program” in Variety magazine’s 2016 Entertainment Education: Schools on the Move issue.
Dean Herman Berliner extended his commitment to the Frank G. Zarb School of Business through the 2018-19 academic year and will provide leadership for the facilities and curricular planning underway. In a transformative move, the University expects to break ground this academic year on a new School of Business building to replace its existing quarters in Weller Hall. In addition to offices for all Zarb faculty, the building will include a new business incubator for the Center for Entrepreneurship, a market research/behavioral science lab that will be unique on Long Island, student study space, student club space and lounge space. The building will connect to C.V. Starr Hall and will create an integrated home for Zarb students and faculty.
The Zarb School, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last spring, conducted a schoolwide strategic planning review that identified a new emphasis on entrepreneurship and health care, and the infusion of data analytics throughout the curriculum. The school also launched a unique partnership with Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (DUFE) in China, which allows selected Hofstra students to intern at a multinational corporation in Dongbei over the summer and to earn degrees from Hofstra and DUFE simultaneously.
The School of Health Professions and Human Services launched two new master’s programs: Occupational Therapy, which began in fall 2015 with an inaugural class of 10 students, enrolled 25 new students in fall 2016, and Health Informatics, which gained NYSED approval in August, launched this fall with 11 students. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has earned reaccreditation for the full eight-year maximum, and the MSEd in Rehabilitation Counseling in Mental Health program is now under joint accreditation through 2020. The Master of Public Health program most recently received full accreditation as well.
The Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies accepted its first class in fall 2015 with tracks in Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. It recently received NYSED approval for a third track in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Nursing also received a major grant award in the amount of $1,644,223 for Advanced Nursing Education Grants by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). The Physician Assistant Studies program was reaccredited by ARC-PA for the maximum period of 10 years. The provost worked with the deans of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, the School of Education, and the vice dean for Health Professions and Human Services, to move many parts of these three schools into Hagedorn Hall, making better use of space and bringing the three units closer together for future collaboration and expansion.
Dr. Sina Rabbany, after his excellent service as acting dean, was appointed dean of the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. At a recent convocation, the school was named in honor of visionary builder Fred DeMatteis, the longtime chairman and chief executive officer of The DeMatteis Organizations, to recognize his leadership, his contributions to construction and real estate development in the New York metropolitan area, and his strong commitment to charitable causes through philanthropy and volunteerism. This past spring, the University was awarded a $25 million New York state grant to assist in the construction of a 65,000-square-foot home for the DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, which has seen enrollment more than double since it was launched in 2012. This new facility, for which plans are now being formulated, will help address the demand for highly skilled engineering and computer science professionals by providing students with access to state-of-the-art laboratories and other space, including new bioengineering and civil engineering labs, a soils and foundation lab, and a structures and vibrations lab.
The Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science launched its Co-operative Education (Co-op) program with 20 participating undergraduates in the first year, and with a larger group expected to participate this year. The Co-op program is partnering with nearly 100 corporate partners, including Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Northwell Health and Skanska. In the school, the Center for Innovation, directed by Kevin Craig, has contracts with major companies to find technological solutions to design and production issues using the expertise of DeMatteis School faculty.
The Maurice A. Deane School of Law achieved its best employment outcome in more than five years for its Class of 2015. The law school ranked 52nd nationally and sixth among New York’s 15 law schools for job success. I am working closely with the dean and Law School leadership to help navigate the school through an extremely difficult environment for all law schools.
The school’s newly named Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics recently hosted Dean Strang, one of the lawyers for Steven Avery, whose case was featured in the hit Netflix show Making a Murderer, for an extraordinary discussion on criminal defense. The event was organized by new faculty hire Ellen Yaroshefsky, executive director of the institute and a nationally recognized scholar in ethics, criminal law and civil rights. Led by the Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, the Center for Children, Families and the Law launched a new mediation project to promote out-of-court resolution for separation and divorce matters, and a guardianship project for indigent and developmentally delayed youth. The Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine has successfully marked another academic year of continued growth and development. In response to its expanding size and reputation, the School of Medicine has added a diverse group of new faculty members to expand our expertise across basic and clinical sciences. Several new clinical department chairs have been recruited to facilitate academic and clinical excellence. An Office of Alumni Affairs has also been established to connect our growing pool of alumni with the medical school community.
The Class of 2016 successfully placed into residency programs at teaching institutions close to home and nationwide such as UCSF, Weill Cornell Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Wake Forest University, Vanderbilt, University of Washington, and University of Pennsylvania. We are pleased to report that feedback regarding our graduates confirms that they are doing extremely well in their programs, with many receiving accolades for their performance and teaching skills. Collectively, the School of Medicine student body continued its community service initiatives. These include a life saved as a result of a program in which our students teach local athletes hands-only CPR; over $23,000 raised for St. Baldrick’s Day to support pediatric cancer research; cancer walks; and other fundraisers in honor of an inaugural class member who lost his battle with cancer. Of particular note is the opening of the Hofstra Northwell student-run free clinic in Rego Park, Queens, offering care to the uninsured and undocumented workers in our community. Finally, the School of Medicine welcomed the Class of 2020 in August 2016. Selected from a highly competitive pool of over 6,000 applicants, 99 students comprise the class, of which 55 percent are male, 45 percent are female, and 18 percent are from groups underrepresented in medicine. The class’s statistics include an average MCAT of 34 on the old exam and 513 on the new exam, and average GPA of 3.71.
Hofstra’s many centers and institutes produced significant conferences and publications while enhancing their mission by obtaining contracts and grants. The Digital Research Center directed by John Bryant hosted its first Digital Research Exchange (DREx) conference in March, to foster discussion of digital humanities research in the greater NYC area. The Center for Climate Study (Director: E. Christa Farmer) produced a major Elsevier publication titled Learning From the Impacts of Superstorm Sandy, edited by Dr. J Bret Bennington and Dr. E. Christa Farmer. The Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy (Director: Greg DeFreitas) hosted two symposia, one on the impacts of the 1965 Immigration Act and the other on Equal Pay Day, and a film festival on work and working people. It is now in its 19th year of publishing the biannual Regional Labor Review. The Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency (Director: Meena Bose) held a major symposium to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including a keynote address by LBJ biographer Robert A. Caro. The Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice, directed by Jonathan Lightfoot with Associate Directors Benita Sampedro and Santiago Slabodsky, was approved and will be organized this fall to launch in spring 2017.
The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University (Director: Larry Levy) received nearly $250,000 in grants and gifts to study childhood obesity in Roosevelt and health and housing in Hempstead, and to provide (in collaboration with faculty from the School of Education) professional development for teachers in Hempstead Middle School. And last but not least, the Center for STEM Research (Director: Dr. David Burghardt) continued its successful Engineering for All project involving technology education teachers throughout the nation in conjunction with the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA).
Center for Entrepreneurship
One year ago, Hofstra University created a new multidisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship to provide Hofstra students, faculty and alumni with the skills and training necessary to become accomplished entrepreneurs and to establish Hofstra University as a leader in Long Island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The center builds upon Hofstra’s commitment to entrepreneurship education, which led Forbes magazine to list Hofstra as one of the most entrepreneurial universities in the nation. The head of the center, Mark Lesko, was recently appointed Hofstra’s vice president for economic development. In his new role, Vice President Lesko will oversee Continuing Education, the Scott Skodnek Business Development Center and the Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies, as well as continuing to serve as executive dean of the Center for Entrepreneurship.
In just one year, the Center for Entrepreneurship worked with hundreds of students and fostered the creation of many new student-run companies. The center assembled a team of entrepreneurs in residence – composed of serial entrepreneurs and seasoned executives – who conducted over 130 mentoring sessions with students. A diverse group of over 60 student teams worked for over 300 hours on their business ideas and pitched at a number of different business plan competitions on campus, including the $50,000 Hofstra-CPXi Venture Challenge and the Hofstra-CPXi Lion’s Den Shark Tank-style pitch competitions. The center also hosted a regional InnovateHER business plan competition sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and sent more student teams to the New York Business Plan Competition regional finals than any other college or university on Long Island.
The center opened Hofstra’s first business incubator, the 3,000-square-foot IdeaHUb, which serves as a collaborative work environment for students and startup companies. The IdeaHUb hosts all of the center’s programming and events and houses a high-tech makerspace equipped with a 3-D printer, laser cutter, milling machine, drone, and programming devices. Hofstra recently received START-UP NY designation for the IdeaHUb and will use the designated space to locate technology-based startup companies at Hofstra University.
The center is working closely with faculty in the Frank G. Zarb School of Business to develop a new experiential learning curriculum focused on entrepreneurship. In addition, the center partnered with the Maurice A. Deane School of Law to launch an Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Practicum in the fall of 2016.
Diversity InitiativesIn the spirit of promoting diversity and dialogue, Student Affairs and the Provost’s Office together led a series of conversations with students and faculty about diversity issues this past year. A Diversity Advisory Board for the Dean of Students was also created; the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion was founded; and 50 Hofstra students, alumni, faculty and administrators marched in the NYC Pride Parade for the first time ever. The self-study of Hofstra’s global initiatives through the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Lab is continuing, led by Terri Shapiro and Neil Donahue as well as Anthony Santella from HPHS and Brenda Elsey from HCLAS.
The important work of the University’s LGBTQ+ Task Force continues with a campuswide Climate Survey, which will launch during 2016-17. Under the leadership of Professors Jonathan Lightfoot, Santiago Slabodsky and Benita Sampedro, a new Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice will begin in the spring of 2017. Efforts to support the hiring and retention of a diverse faculty and to work with faculty to create a supportive learning environment for our increasingly diverse student body will be hallmarks of the work of Academic Affairs for years to come.
There were four winners of the 2016 Faculty Diversity Research and Curriculum Development Grants ($2,500 each):
- Amy Catalano, EdD, Library Services: Learning Disabilities and Distance Education in Post-Secondary Education: Using Participatory Research Methods to Improve DL Course Design for Students With Learning Disabilities
- Jessica Holzer, PhD, Department of Health Professions, School of Health Professions and Human Services: Rating Cycling and Pedestrian Infrastructure in Nassau County
- Theresa McGinnis, PhD, Specialized Programs in Education, School of Education: Political Engagement With Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth at Hempstead High School
- Karyn Valerius, PhD, Department of English, School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts: Stephen Crane’s Anti-Gothic: Disability and Race in the Monster
The winner of the $5,000 LGBT Research Award for 2016 was Christina Ventura-DiPersia from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies for her project Examining the Role of Sexual Identity Openness and Social and Institutional Support in Shaping Health Outcomes in LGBQQ College-Aged Young Adults.
The University continues to distinguish itself in national and program-based rankings. Hofstra is in the top 11 percent (and ranked in the top 75 private schools) of private colleges and universities nationwide for mid-career salary of graduates with a bachelor’s degree, according to the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report. PayScale further reported that Hofstra is in the top 24 percent nationwide for return on investment, according to the 2016-17 College ROI Report.
For the eighth consecutive year, Hofstra was named among “Great Colleges to Work For” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2009-2016). Diversity and inclusiveness have also earned Hofstra 4.5 out of 5 stars for fostering an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender)-friendly campus environment (LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, 2008-2016). And for the ninth year, the University and our students were recognized for community service in the President’s Higher Education & Community Service Honor Roll (2008-2016).
Hofstra continues to be included on best college ranking lists such as U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, The Princeton Review, Fiske Guide, Forbes, Colleges of Distinction and Washington Monthly. In a new ranking, Hofstra was ranked in the top 31 percent of U.S. colleges by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education (2017 U.S. College Ranking).
School and Program Recognitions
The Frank G. Zarb School of Business is consistently ranked among the best business schools in the region, and indeed, in the United States. The Online MBA program at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business is ranked 15th in the nation for the second year in a row, according to The Princeton Review’s (2017) third annual ranking of such programs. This year’s ranking was done in partnership with Entrepreneur Magazine.
PayScale also ranked the Zarb School in the top 18 percent of the nation’s Best Schools for Business Majors (for graduates with a bachelor’s degree) according to the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, and ranked in the top 9 percent nationwide among Best Schools for Business Careers, based on the 20-year return on investment of graduates with a bachelor’s degree, according to the 2016-17 PayScale College ROI Report.
The Zarb School is ranked in the top 70 colleges nationwide on mid-career salary for alumni with MBAs according to the2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report.
The School of Education was ranked #132 for best graduate education (U.S. News & World Report 2017 edition) and #110 in the nation for online graduate education programs (U.S. News & World Report 2016 Best Online Programs).
The Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science was ranked 55th among non-doctoral engineering programs (undergraduate) (U.S. News & World Report 2017 edition)
The Maurice A. Deane School of Law was ranked in the top 8 percent nationwide on mid-career salary for alumni of advanced degree programs, according to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report.
The Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine was ranked 82nd nationwide for best medical schools - research (U.S. News & World Report 2017 edition) in the first year we qualified for ranking.
The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication was ranked #6 for median salary of communications majors (2015-2016 PayScale College Salary Report). WRHU-88.7 FM ranked #3 college radio station in the nation (The Princeton Review 2017 edition) after two consecutive years at #1. In 2016 the station was again named a finalist for the Marconi Award, after winning top non-commercial station in the United States in 2014.
The School of Health Professions and Human Services was ranked 37th in the nation among rehabilitation counseling graduate programs (U.S. News & World Report 2016 edition) and 108th in the nation for graduate programs in speech-language pathology (U.S. News & World Report 2016 edition).
Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies was ranked 70th nationwide for physician assistant programs (U.S. News & World Report 2016 edition).
Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ranked in the top 23 percent nationwide on mid-career salary for humanities majors, according to the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report.
Many faculty members had books published, which resulted in numerous stories and profiles: Kara Alaimo with international public relations; Julie Byrne and her work The Other Catholics; Julia Markus with her biography Lady Byron and Her Daughters (one of whom was noted computer scientist Ada Lovelace), to name but a few. Faculty also gained recognition in important leadership positions: Susan Yohn served as president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Tomeka Robinson as president-elect of Pi Kappa Delta National Honor Society, and Christopher Eliot as executive editor of Philosophy and Theory in Biology.
Numerous faculty had countless opportunities with the media during the presidential debate, including Meena Bose (presidential politics), Richard Himelfarb (U.S. politics), Carolyn Dudek (Latin America), Paul Fritz (NATO and internationalism), Julian Ku (trade agreements), Tomeka Robinson (debates and messaging), Anthony Santella (health policy) and Joe Peyronnin (media). Other major stories included the occurrence of sinkholes in Florida (Robert Brinkmann), the funding of the Triangle Fire Memorial (Mary Anne Trasciatti), the opening of the IdeaHUb and the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the John Kasich town hall during the New York primary, as well as commentary on the media and the campaign through the primaries (Peyronnin, Bose, Byrne).
Other honors and awards for members of our community included:
- Billboard magazine included Hofstra University’s Music Department and its BS in Music Merchandising program in a roundup of the “12 Elite Music Business Schools Shaping the Industry’s Future.” Hofstra was included with schools such as Berklee College of Music, New York University, UCLA, and University of Southern California.
- David Lalama, professor of music and director of the Hofstra Jazz Ensemble, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 18th Annual Educators Awards and Scholarship Celebration held by the Association of Italian American Educators
- Valeria Luiselli, a faculty member in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has been awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for a work of fiction for her second novel, The Story of My Teeth. Earlier this year, Luiselli was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award (NBCC) – and had the distinction of being the first author of Mexican heritage to receive this recognition for a work of fiction.
- Aashish Kumar, a documentary filmmaker and associate professor in The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, was selected as a Fulbright specialist in communications and journalism at Durban University of Technology (DUT) in South Africa – the second time he has been chosen for the prestigious program.
- Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, executive director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and special advisor to the dean, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Lawyers Who Lead by Example dinner on September 20, 2016.
- Alan Singer, Hofstra University School of Education director of social studies secondary education programs, won the 2015-2016 New York Distinguished Social Studies Educator Award from the New York State Council for the Social Studies
- Neil H. Donahue, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and professor of German and comparative literature, traveled to Japan this summer as part of a prestigious Fulbright summer program. One of 10 selected participants from the United States, Vice Provost Donahue spent two weeks meeting with local university, government, and corporate officials and received a systematic overview of higher education in Japan.
- Stavros Valenti, J Bret Bennington and Terri Shapiro presented the innovative methods the General Education Task Force is developing to assess general education outcomes to a wide audience at the annual Middle States Commission on Higher Education annual conference, as well as at the annual Assessment Conference at Drexel.
- Hofstra’s Speech and Debate Team won 14 awards at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament, with two team members placing first and second in the nation in their categories. Senior Victor Parbat won first place in the Junior National Parliamentary Debate Speaker contest, while first-year competitor Sophia Papadopoulos ’19 finished second as the Novice Public Forum Speaker. The Hofstra team competed against teams from 86 colleges and universities across the nation in the tournament, which was held in Lexington, Kentucky
- Student staffers at The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication’s WRHU-88.7 FM, Radio Hofstra University, won almost a dozen honors, including best student news radio broadcast, at the Press Club of Long Island’s (PCLI) annual journalism awards dinner on June 2, 2016. Student journalists at WRHU also won four national Gracie Awards for outstanding programming by, for or about women. The prestigious honor, given annually by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognizes work in television, radio, and online media on the national, local, public, and student levels.
- The Hofstra University Dance Team, competing as Team USA in the 2016 International World Dance Competition, won the Freestyle Pom world championship, competing against 18 teams from around the globe, including Japan, Finland, Australia, China, Poland, Germany, Scotland, Mexico and Switzerland.
- Members of Student Affairs were recognized this year for their professional contributions and excellence by local, regional and national organizations: NASPA Region II (mid-Atlantic) gave the Outstanding Dean Award to Dean of Students Sofia Pertuz and the Undergraduate Rising Star Award to Kristen Klein ’16 (now pursuing a student affairs master’s degree at Rutgers); Amy Smith, associate director in The Career Center, was given the Millennial Award by Long Island Business News; Denise DeGennaro, assistant director in Student Leadership and Engagement, won the Educational Programming Award from the LI Council of College Student Personnel Administration (and The Career Center received the LICSPA Award for Civic and Service Learning Programming); and Vice President for Student Affairs W. Houston Dougharty was appointed to a three-year term as NASPA II Professional Standards chair.
Enhanced Campus Facilities
We remain committed to enhancing our campus through important investments in our physical facilities. The University is in the third year of a five-year, $25 million major capital improvement project to fully renovate and enhance our Netherlands and Colonial Square residential townhouses. This summer, we renovated the six townhouses in Netherlands North. These townhouse improvements include upgraded common lounges, new kitchen appliances, fully renovated suite bathrooms, new suite HVAC units, new suite and lounge furniture, and energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the building. In our six residential towers, the University continued a four-year capital project to renovate all student bathrooms and upgrade the building elevators, with the elevators and bathrooms renovated in VanderPoel this past summer.
In January we acquired the Oak Street Army Reserve property located immediately adjacent to our Netherlands residential complex. This Oak Street property comprises 4.3 acres, and includes one large administrative building and two (2) utility buildings. The University is renovating this facility for the intended use by our Continuing Education and ROTC departments. The spaces currently occupied by these two departments will be reallocated for use by Student Affairs and our School of Health Professions and Human Services.
At the Mack Student Center, the University completed important space improvements to serve students through the Student Success Collaborative. The Testing Center serving the Student Access Services Office was relocated from Memorial Hall lower level to the Mack Student Center in order to provide greater overall accessibility. In addition, new office space improvements and a new multipurpose meeting space for group advising were created in Memorial Hall to allow all Center for University Advising staff to be in one single campus location.
Hofstra continues its efforts to enhance our sustainability initiatives both on campus and within our community. We are excited to announce that the University received its first LEED-certified building citation for our construction of the new School of Medicine building last year. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a nationally recognized standard that utilizes a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance “green” buildings. It is also noteworthy to mention that the University, over the past three years, has increased, from 3 percent to 10 percent, our total campus purchases of power generated from clean renewable off-site energy sources.
The Division of Student Affairs is among only 19 divisions nationally named to the “Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs,” according to research by the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at The Ohio State University, the American College Personnel Association, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. This list reflects divisions nationally in 2016 that excel in their diversity, professional development, and employee satisfaction.
Student Affairs continues its important work in helping to create a vibrant, healthy, and secure learning environment for all of our students, assisting them to achieve their full potential. During this past year, a new, combined Student Health and Counseling Center was created, merging the resources and staffs of the Health and Wellness Center and Student Counseling Services. This holistic model is the best practice in higher education. Dr. John Guthman, longtime psychologist and counseling director at Hofstra, has been appointed the center’s executive director. The Center for University Advising continues to improve registration and advising experiences for Hofstra students. For the first time, advising deans met with nearly 1,000 first-year students in group advising sessions over the course of two weeks prior to spring 2016 registration, facilitating their accurate and smooth registration for their second year.
To enhance the living environment for our residential students, our Faculty in Residence program – featuring Psychology Assistant Professor Elisabeth Ploran living in the Netherlands – was initiated. This pilot program is highly successful, with assessment showing that residents value and learn from their interactions with her. This program is being continued, with plans for expansion under discussion.
Efforts to enhance the education and programming concerning sexual assault awareness and Title IX continue. This was the first year for a full-time Title IX Office and Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness. These offices work collaboratively to provide training, care, and support for all Hofstra students, promoting healthy choices, gender equity, and sexual assault prevention.
Work with Hofstra parents and families continues to expand. Parent and Family Programs hosted a record-breaking 1,845 family members for Family Weekend/Fall Festival, and 1,466 family members during summer Family Orientation sessions. More than 86 percent of parents surveyed confirmed that Hofstra engages them positively (an increase of 20 percent over eight years). Siblings Day also saw 40 percent higher registration this spring.
The Career Center continues to grow in its efforts to serve students and alumni, as well in its connections with employers, demonstrated by a 50 percent increase in employer attendance at the spring career fair at the Mack Complex. Student Affairs successfully launched the Seeking Purpose professional speaker series, welcoming luminaries from a variety of industries to give career and personal advice to Hofstra students.
Hofstra Athletics enjoyed a banner 2015-2016 year – making five postseason appearances, receiving numerous academic awards, and earning University recognition for its community service endeavors.
The work of Hofstra University student-athletes in the classroom was outstanding as the group compiled a record 3.26 grade point average for the entire academic year. The spring 2016 semester saw 114 student-athletes named to either the Provost’s or Dean’s List, while 94 student-athletes earned one of those distinctions during the fall 2015 semester. Fourteen Hofstra teams had grade point averages of at least 3.00, and eight reached a threshold of 3.30. The volleyball squad, with a 3.63 team grade point average, had the highest GPA of Hofstra’s 17 teams, while men’s tennis (3.57), women’s soccer (3.55) and field hockey (3.54) all averaged at least a 3.50 grade point average for the academic year. The 2015-16 year also saw a school-record 13 Hofstra teams have perfect single year scores in the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rates, and four teams posted perfect scores in the multiyear APR covering the four-year period between 2011-12 and 2014-15.
Many of our student-athletes were recognized for academic honors. In addition to Stella Schoen of the field hockey team being named a CoSIDA Academic All-American and four other students earning CAA Scholar Athlete of the Year in their respective sports, 38 student-athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom by their respective coaches’ associations, and the volleyball, field hockey, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s lacrosse programs earned team academic awards.
On the fields of play, Hofstra Athletics was quite successful in 2015-16. The men’s soccer team won the Colonial Athletic Association Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship, with Coach Richard Nuttall winning his first CAA Coach of the Year Award. Women’s soccer won the CAA regular season championship and also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship after earning an at-large bid to the postseason. The men’s basketball program earned a share of the CAA regular season title and qualified for the National Invitation Tournament for the first time since 2007. The women’s basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, marking the second time the program has reached the WNIT final eight, after also advancing to the quarterfinals in 2007. The wrestling team sent a pair of grapplers to the NCAA Championships, which was hosted by Hofstra at Madison Square Garden, marking the 20th consecutive season that Hofstra sent at least two wrestlers to compete for a national title.
Four Hofstra student-athletes – Leah Galton (women’s soccer), Joseph Holland (men’s soccer), Claudia Marin Samper (field hockey) and Juan’ya Green (men’s basketball) – earned All-American accolades in their respective sports, while 13 were named to all-region or all-district teams. In addition, Hofstra had 48 student-athletes earn All-CAA recognition in 2015-16.
Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, Hofstra student-athletes dedicated themselves to serving others. Between Hofstra’s 17 athletic teams and more than 300 student-athletes, the Pride took part in 47 community service projects and totaled more than 3,100 hours of service, partnering with many national and local charities to provide service to others.
With the assistance of consulting firm Sasaki Associates, the University has been engaged in working to develop a comprehensive master plan that will project and plan our space usage over the next 10-15 years. The consultants met with various constituencies in spring 2015, and after reviewing data, gathering further information and drafting, returned to present the draft master plan to the community this past spring. The final master plan will be presented to the Board of Trustees for its approval and then to the University community. The master plan will link the University’s mission and strategic agenda with the physical development of the campus, establishing criteria for campus improvements and facilities development in support of the strategic plan, and prioritizing immediate and long-term projects for implementation.
Cybersecurity continues to be our highest priority, and the University continues its vigilance to protect our data and systems. This year more efforts were taken to reduce the University’s risks than ever before. Significant effort was expended to reduce the number of Social Security numbers stored in our systems. Programs were developed to remove the leading five digits of Social Security numbers for inactive employees and students and for alumni, thereby making the data useless for cyber thieves. The University leadership participated in a Cyber Incident Tabletop Exercise and the IT team went through a very technical tabletop exercise to hone our process should an incident occur. Additional cybersecurity monitoring devices were installed as well as two-factor server authentication, file integrity, data loss prevention, penetration tests and more. The hofstra.edu website architecture was completely restructured to improve security and availability. The site is now served from more than 50 locations around the world as a way to handle potential cyberattacks.
Student Computing Services (SCS) continues to work with students to show them how technology can help in their learning. We offer events for students to explore real-life coding experiences through the annual Hack-a-Thon and MakerPark workshops, including 3-D modeling and Lego robotics. SCS continues to stress the importance for all students to increase their computer literacy by adding certifications to their credentials. SCS continues to offer certifications in Microsoft technologies such as Excel and Access and now SAS analytics.
Faculty Computing Services remains committed to providing services for faculty to explore how technology can be used in teaching. Many workshops, conferences, and boot camps were held to bring an understanding of how technology can most effectively be used in the classroom and distance learning. Virtual reality is being explored across disciplines and Blackboard has been enhanced with video conferencing services and e-portfolios inside of each course.
Our data and telecommunications networks have been enhanced and replaced. The speed to the internet was doubled from 2Gbps to 4Gbps, and the 20-year-old telephone system was replaced with an IP-based system. In the residence halls, commercial cellular reception was improved by adding interior antennas throughout the buildings.
The administrative negotiating team and the AAUP negotiating team spent much of the spring and summer in negotiations regarding a new agreement to follow the August 31 contract expiration date. The parties negotiated in good faith, worked with each other, and were able to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion. The agreement is fair to both parties and permits the University and faculty to move forward during this important next five-year period. In this constrained time for higher education, I am very pleased that we were able to agree on a contract that well serves the needs of the faculty as well as the University.
Enhanced Financial Condition
The University is again expected to finish the year with positive budget results, providing funding for capital improvements and future operations. As of August 31, 2016, long-term investments, which include the endowment and other long-term investments made in connection with post-retirement benefits, were valued at approximately $478.4 million, an increase of approximately $29.9 million, or 6.7 percent, for the fiscal year and a $377.9 million increase, or 376 percent, since 2002.
Beyond the growth in investments, the University has successfully addressed post-retirement benefits with the faculty agreement capping post-retirement health care for faculty, the last group to still retain this benefit, to Medicare eligibility. An accumulated unfunded deficit of $59 million in 2003 has been managed, through a series of plan design changes effectively negotiated with all of our unions without any interruption in service, down to approximately $33.4 million, which is now fully funded by an investment pool that will provide funding for the annual expense.
The University’s long-term debt remains manageable at $166.7 million, far less than financial resources, and continues to be at fixed rates, with no restrictive covenants.
This past year was a terrific one, with enrollment budgets fully met in the aggregate, and improving retention and graduation rates. We concluded negotiations with the faculty union resulting in a five-year agreement. Fundraising was excellent, and two schools were named, the Peter Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs, and the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science. Many thanks to the chair of our Board, who enhanced our efforts by matching new pledges made by other trustees. Despite this year’s successes, this remains a very challenging time for all private institutions of higher education as the effects of the economic recession continue to linger and families continue to remain price-sensitive and debt-averse. Addressing families’ concerns about affordability will require increased fundraising for scholarships and continued efficient management to reduce expenses where possible. Competition for students, particularly among private institutions of higher education, remains very intense. We are prepared to continue to address these difficult challenges. As we maintain and strengthen the core of the University, we are positioning ourselves to react to the needs of the 21st century workforce. With the foresight of the Board of Trustees, we continue to invest in the sciences, technology, and health care, which are growth areas that provide expanding career opportunities, and these areas continue to be attractive to our students. We offer diverse programs through our schools of engineering, business, law and medicine (and are only one of three schools in the metropolitan area to do so), plus so much more. 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 first-year 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 ahead, we are confident that we will be able to move forward successfully as we continue to increase fundraising and enhance recruitment and retention.