Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Message From Dean Salvatore F. Sodano

In the last newsletter, I reflected on the significant progress made in three areas crucial to the continued success of the Zarb School: national rankings, alumni relationships and graduate programs. I am pleased to report that during the fall 2009 semester, faculty, students, administrators, staff and alumni jointly contributed to even greater progress on these priorities. In addition, important initiatives are now in place to enhance the Zarb student experience on both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

When I became dean more than three years ago, despite the undeniable strength of our programs, the Zarb School was not ranked in any meaningful way. Today, the caliber of our school has been formally recognized by BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes, which recently ranked the Zarb M.B.A. program #51 in their listing of the top 75 M.B.A. programs based on return on investment. (For a complete listing of our rankings, see hofstra.edu/zarb.) Our alumni network, bolstered by the efforts of the newly reorganized Zarb Alumni Association, has significantly expanded networking activities for alumni and students. Two alumni networking events were held during the fall 2009 semester (see Highlights of Recent Events). More importantly, Zarb alumni have generously donated their time and expertise to mentor students by participating in resume reviews, mock interviews and discussion groups. A dedicated alumni group headed by Reginald Andre (B.B.A., ’04) has formed ZAAP – The Zarb Alumni Advisor Program – which collaborates with undergraduate organizations to assist students in career planning (see Dedicated Group of Alumni Form ZAAP).  In addition, we continue to attract accomplished students to our graduate programs. The 59 students in the second cohort of our full-time, day M.B.A. program form a talented and diverse group with an average GMAT of 611 and 3.32 grade-point average. Close to 70 percent are international students from countries such as China, India, Greece and Russia.

Enhancing the total student experience has been a major focus at the Zarb School. We kicked off the fall semester with the Zarb Welcome Back Barbecue where more than 250 students enjoyed socializing with friends, faculty, administrators and alumni. During the fall semester, the Zarb Student Leadership Council was formed, capitalizing on the enormous leadership potential of our undergraduate students. Three new undergraduate and two graduate student organizations were formed bringing the total number of groups to 17 and 16, respectively.

We continue to complement our curriculum with a cutting-edge Executive Speaker Series, where students have the opportunity to interface with leading industry professionals. In response to the real estate crisis, the Zarb School ─ through The Center for the Study of International Financial Services and Markets and the Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies ─ hosted Real Estate and Other Investments: 2009 and Beyond. The seminar featured Scott Rechler, chairman and chief executive officer of RXR Realty, Dr. Robert H. Edelstein, Maurice Mann chair in real estate, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and 10 other leading real estate professionals (See Highlights of Recent Events).

The Campus Entrepreneurial Challenge kicked off in September 2009, providing a unique opportunity for business students to gain a real-world perspective. Funded by Capital One, Zarb entrepreneurship students have teamed up with students from Uniondale High School to design and run their own businesses. The program concludes in May when judges from Capital One will assess the businesses’ success.

Hofstra University marks its 75th anniversary in 2010. As part of this celebration, the Zarb School will host a major conference: Social Responsibility in Business in the 21st Century. Slated for December 1, 2010, a group of high-profile speakers from industry, government and academia will address the crucial issues impacting this very timely issue. Gerald Hassell, president of the Bank of New York; Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and Scott Rechler have confirmed their participation. We hope you will join us.

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