Wednesday, July 20, 2011

President's Message - Summer 2011

As we close the 2010-2011 academic year, and the celebration of our 75th anniversary, we look to a future filled with promise for our students, our alumni, our faculty and our entire community. We are seeing the realization of our vision of a fully textured, national university, equally strong in teaching and in research, come to life.

The celebration of our 75th anniversary brought thousands of people together, to celebrate scholarship, friendship, and our connections to each other and the world in which we live. The yearlong celebration began with the unprecedented, four-day Diamond Weekend celebration, continued through the year with all the academic ecognitions of our history, and finished with burying a time capsule and celebrating the launch of our newest school, the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University, during our annual gala. The 75th anniversary allowed our communities to come together in meaningful ways – whether it was through scholarship, reunions, celebrations or informal gatherings.

We had such a great time at Diamond Weekend that our new Fall Festival – a Homecoming parade, carnival, outdoor concert with activities for alumni, parents and students, fireworks and an evening of comedy – is modeled on Live at 75 and our Diamond Weekend celebration. We hope to see you there on Saturday, September 24, 2011! And now, with a renewed sense of “Pride and Purpose,” we move forward as a university united to create new opportunities, to innovate, to help our region’s economic development and grow our research capabilities. In short, we continue our excellence in business, social sciences, communications, law, education and human services, and expand our programs in the hard sciences.

Earlier this spring, we announced our application to host another presidential debate in 2012. In June we announced our plans to open a School of Engineering and Applied Science, and in August we will welcome our inaugural class at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. These events may appear unrelated, but in fact they are part of the rich academic mosaic we strive for at Hofstra, and will add value both to the education of our students and, ultimately, to your degree. The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University will welcome 40 students in its inaugural class this summer, the result of four years of planning a curriculum, gaining accreditation and building new facilities. Already, the innovative curriculum, the partnership between Hofstra and North Shore-LIJ, one of our nation’s largest health care systems, and the integral tie to research through The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, are attracting attention nationwide and adding to the University’s reputation for innovative excellence. The Board of Trustees approved the formation of the School of Engineering and Applied Science in June, which paves the way for an international search for a founding dean to begin in fall 2011. The new school will combine and expand the University’s Engineering and Computer Science Departments to develop a curriculum that emphasizes high-tech research, practical work experience and interdisciplinary study, integrating resources and faculty from other parts of the University, including the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and the Frank G. Zarb School of Business. The School of Engineering and Applied Science will be a model of cross-disciplinary study and co-op education that will provide students with substantial industry experience before they graduate. Establishing a School of Engineering and Applied Science will make Hofstra only the third university in the New York metropolitan area to have schools of law, medicine and engineering (the others are Columbia University and New York University).

In the same way that our medical school, with its practical, patient-centered approach and partnership with North Shore-LIJ Health System, is on the cutting edge of medical education, our School of Engineering and Applied Science will produce students who not only are firmly grounded in theory, but also understand and are prepared for the challenges of a constantly evolving business environment. We, with our medical school partner North Shore-LIJ Health System, have joined with business groups and the Island’s other research institutions, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University, to form Accelerate Long Island, a consortium of research and business designed to spur long term, high-tech, economic development in our region.

Hofstra University continues to innovate in all programs. Our new director of sustainability studies, Robert Brinkmann, joins us to create new degree programs with a unique focus that blends the University’s strengths in global studies and geography, biology, urban ecology and suburban studies. In addition, we are offering students more ways to maximize their education than ever before. Our internship programs in all courses of study continue to grow, and we are adding several new, five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree tracks, including journalism, business, economics and computer science. Beyond that, our Frank G. Zarb School of Business has launched an online Master of Business Administration program, and the School of Communications plans to add a master’s degree program in public relations. We continue to expand our online degree programs and undergraduate courses, to serve our current students better and to provide degree programs to students from across the nation and around the world.

Lastly, we continue to work with Nassau County and with thecommunities around Hofstra to encourage a mixed-use development and a renovated Coliseum at the Nassau Hub. The Coliseum, with its mix of professional sports, entertainment and exhibitions, is a great source of entertainment for our students and community. More importantly, however, a mixed-use development at the Hub is important to the University’s future. Entertainment, restaurants, retail businesses, and rental housing are important to attract and keep young people here on Long Island. Long Island has a wealth of resources, but does not offer young alumni or new faculty the mix of housing and entertainment they can afford or that interests them. The Hub, with its central location and access to education, retail, entertainment, museums and offices, would offer young people the opportunity to begin their careers and their lives on Long Island. This is “smart growth” in the truest sense – good policy not just for Hofstra but for Long Island’s future vitality.

Equally important is the continued commercial development of the Hub. The Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, The Feinstein Institute, and the new School of Engineering and Applied Science all offer the region opportunities for research and development, and ultimately commercial applications and economic development. I and the Hofstra Board of Trustees have been active advocates for smart growth for the Hub, and will continue to advocate for Hofstra’s interests. We have always known that Hofstra University has limitless potential – because of the potential of our students, the achievements of our alumni, the generosity of our donors and the accomplishments of our faculty. Hofstra University has increased in stature and capabilities each year because of the dreams and ambitions of our community. This truly is one of our nation’s most dynamic universities. I could not be prouder to lead this community into our next 75 years, and I am sure we will continue to be amazed by what we are collectively capable of at Hofstra University.

I hope to see you on campus this fall.


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