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Presidential Search Updates

A message from Chair of the Board of Trustees Donald Schaeffer

Just as the Covid-19 pandemic was developing, I was planning to send out the following letter to the Hofstra community regarding the search for a new president of Hofstra University.  Seeing how the world has changed in just a few weeks and seeing how well the University has and continues to respond in these challenging times prompts me to make two key observations.  First, we have a very strong University that is able to deal with seismic changes and continue to move forward.  And second, it is the Hofstra community that makes this happen.  We are fortunate to have the strong leadership of President Rabinowitz and his senior associates as well as the entire administration and staff; we have an outstanding faculty that has risen to the remote teaching and learning challenge in record time; and we have a student body that adopts well to change and keeps moving forward.

As we and the entire globe deal with the current challenges, we must also plan for the future.  It will be an enormous challenge to find another president that can move Hofstra forward as well and as far as President Rabinowitz has done. But to assure our future, we must do so.  Therefore, as you see in the following letter, the search for a new president is starting and we will do everything possible to find a leader that can build on the outstanding record of the last two decades.  

With your help and support, we will continue to move our University forward even in the most challenging of times.

Message from Donald M. Schaeffer, Chair, Board of Trustees, Hofstra University

Dear Hofstra Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am writing to update you regarding the process for the search for our next President, following President Rabinowitz' retirement on August 31, 2021. We are grateful that President Rabinowitz will continue to lead our University for the next year and a half and we have the time necessary to plan for a smooth transition to a new president.

The Board of Trustees views the selection and hiring of a President as one of our most important responsibilities. In order to fulfill that responsibility, we want to engage the entire Hofstra community and hear your thoughts, ideas and aspirations for Hofstra so that we are able to select the best person to lead our University. We want to continue the extraordinary development and growth that we have achieved to date, and take the University to even greater heights.

As a first step, we have organized a Presidential Search Committee that will be responsible for overseeing the search process. The Search Committee includes the following:

  • Donald M. Schaeffer, Chair of Board of Trustees and Chair of Search Committee
  • Herman A. Berliner, Provost
  • George A. Giuliani, Speaker of the Faculty
  • Diana E. Lake, MD, Trustee
  • Stella Mendes, Trustee, Hofstra Alumna
  • Janis M. Meyer, Trustee, former Board of Trustees Chair, Law School Alumna
  • Marilyn B. Monter, Trustee, former Board of Trustees Chair, Law School Alumna
  • Michael Roberge, Vice Chair of Board of Trustees, Hofstra Alumnus
  • Leonard Shapiro, Trustee
  • Kathleen A. Wallace, Chair of Chair's Caucus
  • Frank G. Zarb, former Board of Trustees Chair, Hofstra Alumnus

In addition, as the process continues, we will invite a student leader to participate in the interview process.

The Search Committee has engaged a national search firm, Spencer Stuart, charged with the responsibility of helping to develop a robust pool of well qualified candidates. We expect to be able to select from a broad range of highly qualified, diverse candidates who are able and willing to lead our University to even greater successes in the years ahead.

As the Search Committee begins its work, we will schedule Town Hall meetings to solicit the input of our students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders who will help us identify the key characteristics, including credentials and experience, that are needed as we seek to identify and attract qualified candidates. We will also continue to actively seek your input and support throughout the process.

While the search process must remain confidential in order to ensure that we attract the most qualified candidates, the Board of Trustees is committed to keeping you updated and informed as we continue this important work.

Thank you.

Donald M. Schaeffer
Chair, Board of Trustees
Chair, Presidential Search Committee



Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz Announces Retirement Effective at the end of his Term, August 31, 2021

January 28, 2020

President Stuart Rabinowitz has notified the Hofstra University Board of Trustees that he will be retiring from the Presidency of Hofstra at the conclusion of his term on August 31, 2021.  The Board of Trustees has reluctantly accepted his decision to retire and will immediately begin planning the process for selecting a successor.

President Rabinowitz stated:  “By the date of my retirement, I will have had the honor and privilege of serving our wonderful University for 50 years: 19 years as a member of the law school faculty, 11 years as its Dean and 20 years as its President.  In every position I have held, I have devoted all of my professional energies towards helping the University and its students reach their full potential.  My tenure as President has been especially meaningful to me as I have done all I could to help the University achieve deserved international recognition as an educational institution of the highest quality in all respects.  I believe that my administration, with the generosity and unwavering support of the Board of Trustees, has made significant progress towards that goal even during very difficult times for all of private higher education.  While I will be very sad to leave the University, I am confident that we have developed, and will continue to develop, the new programs, facilities and financial strength needed to allow Hofstra to flourish in the future.” 

Donald Schaeffer, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said:  “What President Rabinowitz has done for Hofstra in all of his roles culminating with the Presidency is extraordinary and has significantly contributed to the preeminence that Hofstra has achieved, in particular over the past 20 years during his presidency.  President Rabinowitz has built an incredibly strong foundation from which the University will continue to grow and excel.”

President Rabinowitz assured the Board that he will continue to devote his full energy and attention to the Presidency during his remaining tenure, and he will assist the Board in ensuring the smoothest of transitions.  Chair Schaeffer noted that the Board of Trustees will promptly develop a plan for a Presidential search, and the Board will seek input from the entire community to ensure that Hofstra selects a new President of the highest caliber.