Dr. Susan Poser
Jean Peden Christodoulou
Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the President
- Campus Living
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Event Management
- Facilities & Operations
- Financial Affairs
- General Counsel
- Human Resources
- Information Technology Services
- Institutional Research
- Public Safety
- Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Success
- Student Financial Services
- University Relations
Dr. Susan Poser
Dr. Susan Poser is the ninth president of Hofstra University. She assumed the office of the president on August 1, 2021.
Dr. Poser served as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), a Carnegie Research One university with 16 colleges, including seven health sciences colleges, and over 33,000 students, from 2016-2021. At UIC, Dr. Poser’s major accomplishments include UIC’s 2019 acquisition of the John Marshall Law School, creating the first and only public law school in Chicago. Another major focus was the creation of several initiatives to support faculty and enhance diversity, including establishing pipeline programs for underrepresented faculty; overseeing a bridge program to hire underrepresented postdoctoral fellows and transition them to faculty positions; creating the Faculty Administrator Leadership Program to mentor faculty; and creating a new Center for Teaching Excellence with a special focus on assisting faculty in creating inclusive classrooms. She also played a key role in creating two new cultural centers on campus – one focused on Arab American students and another focused on students with disabilities. An advocate of interdisciplinary work, Dr. Poser has created regular forums for faculty from across the disciplines to meet and share research in order to generate interdisciplinary research and scholarship.
Dr. Poser’s work supporting data-driven student success using innovative approaches led to increases in student retention and graduation rates. Under her leadership, UIC developed a multifaceted Student Success Initiative, which enhanced first-year and first-gen programming for undergraduates as well as promoting college completion. As the Principal Investigator on a $1 million grant from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation, she created the Engaged Humanities Initiative at UIC, an undergraduate program where students work with faculty to connect the humanities to their own lived experiences.
Prior to becoming Provost at UIC, Dr. Poser served in several positions at the University of Nebraska. She was the Dean of the College of Law from 2010-2016, the Associate to the Chancellor from 2007-2010, and a law professor for over 15 years. While she was dean, the College of Law moved up 35 points in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and annual giving to the school increased significantly. Among her other accomplishments were the creation of an Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, an addition to the law school building to house the law clinics, and the formation of two new alumni boards, including the 2044 Alumni Board of Advisors, to make recommendations about diversity in admissions and culture at the law school.
Dr. Poser grew up in New York City and majored in Ancient Greek at Swarthmore College, graduating with honors. She earned a JD and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Before beginning her academic career, Dr. Poser clerked for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, and served as the Zicklin Fellow in Ethics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Poser’s scholarly work is primarily in the areas of legal ethics and tort law and she has published widely, including in the Michigan Law Review and Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.
Dr. Poser has a history of institutional service and regional leadership, including an appointment to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s delegation to Israel. A member of the Economic Club of Chicago, her board service, past and present, includes the International Women’s Forum (Chicago chapter), the Nebraska Humanities Foundation, the Strategic Air & Space Museum (Omaha) and the ACLU (national board and Nebraska chapter). In Nebraska, she served as the Reporter for adoption of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct by the Nebraska Supreme Court, and received the Shining Light Award from the Nebraska Bar Foundation for this work. She is a member of several bar associations and has served in leadership positions for the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities, the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education, and the Association of American Law Schools.
Dr. Poser is married to Dr. Stephen DiMagno, an organic and medicinal chemist. They have two grown daughters. Dr. Poser is an avid swimmer and plays classical piano.
Dr. Charles Riordan
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Riordan serves as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The provost and senior vice president for academic affairs is second in command to the President at the University. In this role, Dr. Riordan is responsible for the academic enterprise of the University, our Schools, Colleges, and academic programs, as well as the Libraries, the Hofstra Museum, the Saltzman Community Center, and Institutional Research all fall under his responsibility.
Before joining Hofstra, Dr. Riordan served as the University of Delaware’s Vice President of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation. He was a member of UD’s faculty since 1997 and served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Vice Provost for Graduate and Profession Education. Throughout his career, Riordan has fostered efforts to recruit, retain and mentor faculty from underrepresented groups, while creating a climate of belonging.
Riordan is an internationally known inorganic chemist whose research has been supported primarily by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He is the recipient of a 1994 National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award (NYI). An elected fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he received the 2013 American Chemical Society Delaware Section Award for his scholarly research. Riordan was elected into Texas A&M University’s College of Science Academy of Distinguished Former Students. In 2022, he received the University of Delaware’s Medal of Distinction for his contributions to society and the University. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the College of Holy Cross, his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago.
Joseph M. Barkwill
Vice President for Facilities and Operations
Joseph M. Barkwill is responsible for providing leadership and overall management of the University's physical plant, new construction, renovation and maintenance of the University's buildings and grounds, custodial services, utilities, environmental and fire safety, regulatory compliance, and space utilization and analysis, as well as campus scheduling, conference services, auxiliary services and event management, and all related areas.
Mr. Barkwill has an extensive background in facilities management. He was named Assistant Vice President for Operations, Engineering & Utilities at Columbia University in 2004, and prior to that since October 2000 had been Columbia's Director of Physical Plant, Facilities Operations. Prior to his experience at Columbia, Mr. Barkwill served in varying capacities over 16 years at Brookhaven National Laboratory, including nine years as the Site Facility Manager.
Mr. Barkwill has an MBA from Columbia University, a Masters of Science in Engineering from SUNY Stony Brook, and a BE in Marine/Mechanical Engineering from the New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler. He also has numerous engineering and management licenses and certifications.
Melissa Kane Connolly
Vice President for University Relations
Melissa Kane Connolly, vice president for University Relations, joined Hofstra University in 2003 and is responsible for Hofstra’s communication, marketing and public relations efforts. She chaired Hofstra’s 75th Anniversary committee and helped lead the University’s hosting of the 2016, 2012 and 2008 presidential debates; chaired each debate’s award-winning companion event series, and several other major debate events such as the 2010 New York State gubernatorial debate at Hofstra.
In December 2009, Connolly was named PR Professional of the Year for an academic institution by PR News, the national publication for communications professionals, and in 2020, Public Relations Professionals of Long Island awarded her the Jack Rettaliata Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Connolly was named to Long Island Business News’ "50 Most Influential Women" Hall of Fame and as a "40 Rising Stars Under 40" in 2002. She has been honored by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County and Girls Inc. of Long Island and was an Athena Long Island finalist in 2013. Her former community service includes board service for the Long Island Women's Agenda (as a vice president and president); the YMCA of Long Island; the Long Island Visitors and Convention Bureau; and the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, where she served as a co-chair for their annual awards luncheon and as founding chair of the Girls Go the Distance Walkathon. She was awarded the Honor Pin by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County in March 2010 and the Thanks Badge in March 2014 for her work as a long-time community leader.
A past president of the International Association of Business Communicators’ Long Island chapter, Ms. Connolly received the Achievement in Communications award from the chapter in 2006. She has served as a co-chair for the CASE District II Accolade Awards committee, a judge for the PRWeek Platinum Awards, and a judge for PRSSA’s Bateman Competition. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America's Counselors to Higher Education and on the Government Advisory Team for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, as well as several fundraising and advisory committees for professional and charitable organizations. Ms. Connolly has also served as an Americorp Volunteer for Project Challenge in Long Beach. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Hofstra, and under her leadership, Hofstra University's communications team has won multiple higher education marketing awards, including a CASE Silver Circle of Excellence Award.
Prior to joining Hofstra, Ms. Connolly served as director of communications for New York State Senator Kemp Hannon and as the first director of marketing for Farrell Fritz, P.C., one of Long Island's largest law firms. Ms. Connolly received a bachelor of arts in communication arts from Hofstra University in 1989, where she was a member of Alpha Epsilon Rho, and an MFA in 2017.
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO)
As the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO) Cornell L. Craig provides vision and leadership in promoting an institutional culture that values and supports diversity and inclusion. He guides the University’s overall diversity and inclusion agenda by developing and facilitating strategies and structures that advance diversity and equity within campus units, in collaborations across campus, and through engagement of the surrounding communities.
Prior to joining Hofstra in 2019, Mr. Craig served as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Counselor at Bellarmine University (KY), and as the Assistant Dean of Diversity & Inclusion at Pace University (NY).
Mr. Craig has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University (SIU-Carbondale) and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Bellarmine University.
Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
Denise Cunningham joined Hofstra University as Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) in 2017. She also serves as the Equal Rights and Opportunity Officer and the Title IX Coordinator for Employee Matters. As the CHRO, Denise is responsible for the strategic direction and operational efficiency of the University Human Resources function that provides HR support to approximately 2500 employees. Specific areas of oversight include benefits administration, employee and labor relations, compensation, learning and development and Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS). Denise has an extensive background in Human Resources. Prior to joining Hofstra, she was the Executive Director, Talent Services at Columbia University where she was responsible for providing Human Resources guidance to the Columbia University Information Technology division, specifically in the areas of organizational development, change leadership, workforce planning and talent management. Prior to Columbia, Denise held several HR leadership roles within the publishing industry. She received her Executive Masters in Social Organizational Psychology – Change Leadership from Columbia University Teachers College and her Bachelors of Business Administration from Hofstra University.
Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Success
As Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement, and Success, Ms. Eads is responsible for the student lifecycle from prospective to enrolled, and their successes beyond graduation.
Ms. Eads has a distinguished and varied career. She began her career in the dean's office at Hofstra's New College, managing the University Without Walls and Off-Campus Education programs. In 1999, Ms. Eads became Associate Dean for MBA/EMBA Recruitment in Enrollment Services, and in 2002, she became Dean of Undergraduate Admission Operations. In 2006, she assumed overall responsibility for undergraduate recruitment and enrollment management when she became Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.
Ms. Eads earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Hofstra University, a Master of Arts in Counseling and an MSEd in Educational Administration from Columbia University Teachers College.
Dolores Fredrich, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Ms. Fredrich is a senior administrator and previously served as general counsel. Ms. Fredrich graduated first in her class from Hofstra Law School, where she was Managing Editor of the Hofstra Law Review and recipient of the Most Distinguished Academic Record Award. She received her B.A., cum laude, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ms. Fredrich practiced law as a commercial litigation partner at Farrell Fritz for 20 years, where she represented individuals, businesses and local government in a range of matters. She also served as Law Clerk to the Honorable George C. Pratt, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- An active participant in the business, professional and not-for-profit communities of Long Island, Ms. Fredrich has served on the boards of the Long Island Coalition for Fair Broadcasting, the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls, the Maurer Foundation, the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and the Advisory Board of the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has been named one of Long Island’s Top 50 Women by Long Island Business News (3 times and Hall of Fame award). She has received the Hofstra University School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award and is a recipient of the Outstanding Women in the Law Award (2017). She has been named one of Long Island’s leading attorneys by Long Island Business News.
- Ms. Fredrich has also served on the Board of Directors of the Nassau County Bar Association and was a delegate to the New York Bar Association State House of Delegates. She is a past President of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, past Chair of the Federal Courts and Commercial Litigation Committees of Nassau County Bar Association and a member of the Nassau County, New York State and American Bar Associations.
Rick Cole, Jr.
Vice President and Director of Athletics
Rick Cole, Jr., an innovative leader with more than 20 years' experience at college sports programs across the New York metro area, serves as the vice president and director of athletics and was named to his position on March 28, 2018.
Mr. Cole, known as a dynamic, creative manager with wide-ranging experience in athletics administration, brought expertise in external relations, including fundraising and marketing, and is dedicated to the success of student-athletes in their chosen sports and in the classroom with a goal of building champions in the classroom, on the field, and in life.
During his tenure at Hofstra, Mr. Cole has overseen academic and athletic success, as well as record fundraising and facility improvements to the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. Hofstra student-athletes have posted department-record grade point averages with 10 student-athletes earning Academic All-America honors since the Fall 2018. Hofstra has won six Colonial Athletic Association team championships under Mr. Cole’s leadership including the men’s basketball team in 2020.
Hofstra Athletics fundraising has seen strong gains over the last four years with record numbers of Hofstra Athletics Pride Club members and funds raised. Mr. Cole also oversaw upgrades to the Mack Sports Complex that included the installation of state-of-the-art video boards and sound system, as well as renovations to the men and women’s basketball locker rooms.
Prior to his arrival at Hofstra, Mr. Cole served for five years as vice president of athletics administration at Iona College. He previously was the vice president of athletics and athletic director at Dowling College, senior associate athletic director for external affairs at St. John's University and associate athletic director for external affairs and advancement at Stony Brook University.
Mr. Cole, a member of the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame, earned his bachelor's degree in political science and his master's degree in higher education, both from the University at Buffalo.
Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer
Reporting directly to the president, Vice President Hennessy serves as the University's chief financial officer. She oversees the development of the annual budget, as well as management and financial reporting of all fiscal operations, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, investments, payroll, purchasing, auxiliary services, and risk management. Working closely with the board of trustees, the vice president for financial affairs and treasurer is also responsible for monitoring the investment of University funds, and reporting the financial position of the University to external agencies.
Catherine Hennessy received her B.B.A. in 1981 from Hofstra University. She received her M.B.A. in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School. She comes to Hofstra after having served as vice president of finance and treasurer of Adelphi University since 1986. From 1985 to 1986, she served as controller and assistant treasurer at Adelphi. From 1984 to 1985, she was a senior financial analyst at Morgan Guaranty, and from 1981 to 1984, she was senior auditor and computer audit specialist at Peat Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Accountants, the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, the Metropolitan Region Professional Development Committee and has served on the Visiting Accreditation Teams of the Middle States Association since 1996.
W. Houston Dougharty
Vice President for Student Affairs
W. Houston Dougharty is vice president for student affairs at Hofstra University. He holds degrees from the University of Puget Sound (WA), Western Washington University, and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB). Before coming to Hofstra in 2014, he was a college admissions director for a dozen years, associate dean of students at Iowa State University, associate dean and acting dean at his undergraduate alma mater (Puget Sound), dean of students at Lewis & Clark College (OR), and vice president at Grinnell College (IA).
He received the Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer award from NASPA Region IV-East in 2013 and the Distinguished Service to the Profession award from the Iowa Student Personnel Association in 2011. In 2018 he was named a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA – Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, which is one of the highest honors NASPA bestows. In 2021 he was given the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean (SSAO) by NASPA Region II.
Over the past 39 years he has led and worked in the following areas of college student affairs: counseling & health services; substance abuse prevention; suicide and self-harming behaviors prevention; admissions; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally (LGBTQ+) student services; women's center; student legal services; off-campus and commuter student programs; intercultural affairs; service learning; student activities, leadership, unions, and centers; assessment and retention; residence life; religious and spiritual life; learning skills; career services; orientation; judicial affairs; campus safety and crisis management; academic advising; international students; parent and family services; career development; outdoor programs; student advocacy and prevention awareness; peer mentorship; and financial aid.
Houston is very active regionally and nationally in NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) and nationally in ACPA (College Student Educators International). He currently serves NASPA as a board member of the James E Scott Academy, along with 19 other accomplished senior student affairs officers. He is a frequently invited speaker at conferences and at schools and colleges and has taught at UCSB, Drake University (IA), and Hofstra. He has been cited in numerous publications (e.g., New York Times, Chronicle of Higher education, Seattle Times, USA Today, NASPA Leadership Exchange) and is published in a number of books, including: Linking Theory to Practice: Case Studies with College Students (2000, 2012), The Advocate College Guide (2006), Maybe I Should . . . : Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals (2009), and Executive Transitions in Student Affairs (2014).
He lives near Hofstra with his family – Kimberly and their son, Fen. Their daughter, Allie, is a graduate student at Tulane University (LA). Houston is a native of Santa Fe, NM, is a proud Seattle Seahawk season ticket holder, and sees as much theatre in the city as he can (often with Hofstra students)!
Vice President for Digital Innovation and Technology
Steve Fabiani has served as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, where he was responsible for the executive management and re-structuring of the IT division; management of new implementations and major system upgrades, modernizing the campus networking infrastructure and the establishment and implementation of new technology procedures and security policies. While at Colgate, he implemented technology upgrades to key digital academic spaces, including the campus planetarium and virtual reality production facility, the Ho Tung Visualization Lab, and to classrooms campus-wide.
Prior to his leadership at Colgate University, he had leadership roles in information technology and academic computing at Haverford College, La Salle University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Fabiani has a Master of Science in Educational Technology from St. Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Temple University. He has been a Fellow of the Frye Leadership Institute, holds certificates and advanced education in human resources and development.
Alan J. Kelly, CFRE
Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs and Chief Development Officer
As vice president for development and alumni affairs, Alan J. Kelly is responsible for all aspects of University fundraising, development and leadership recruitment. Prior to joining Hofstra, Mr. Kelly was employed by Community Counseling Service (CCS), fundraising consultants, since 1997, serving most recently as operational vice president of CCS. In the course of his career, Mr. Kelly has provided professional counsel to dozens of clients in the areas of higher education, and religious and health organizations, raising more than $650 million. He has conducted capital campaigns, major gift strategy solicitation programs, cultivation events and leadership training and most recently oversaw Hofstra’s two Capital Campaigns raising $113M (2008) and $232M (2018) respectively
Mr. Kelly recently served as the executive director of the campaign for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. Prior to his assignment at Hofstra, he served as the executive director of the CCS team during the capital campaign at the Archdiocese of Boston.
Mr. Kelly is a Redington Scholarship graduate of the University of Scranton, with a degree in history and minors in English and theology and a MA in Marketing from Hofstra University.
Jennifer Mone, Esq.
Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Jennifer Mone serves as the University’s Chief Legal Officer, overseeing the Office of General Counsel with responsibility for all of the University’s legal affairs.
Ms. Mone joined Hofstra in 2009 and previously served as Deputy General Counsel. Before joining Hofstra, Jennifer worked in a corporate legal department and at private law firms. She graduated from Fordham University School of Law, serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Fordham Urban Law Journal, and earned her B.A. from Tufts University where she graduated cum laude. She clerked for the Honorable Loretta Preska, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Jean Peden Christodoulou
Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the President
Dr. Jean Peden Christodoulou currently serves as Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff to the President. Working with internal and external constituencies, she helps develop and execute the President’s strategic agenda and manages operations of the Office of the President.
Dr. Peden Christodoulou joined Hofstra University in 2014 in the Division of Student Affairs and was most recently Senior Associate Vice President. Her portfolio included the Center for University Advising, the Center for Academic Excellence, the Center for Career Design and Development, International Student Affairs, Student Access Services, and Student Affairs Operations. In addition, Dr. Peden Christodoulou has led the University’s COVID-19 response as it relates to students.
Prior to joining Hofstra, Dr. Peden Christodoulou worked in academic affairs and student affairs in a variety of roles at Stony Brook University. She received her B.A and M.A. from Stony Brook University and her Ed.D in Educational and Policy Leadership from Hofstra University.