Hofstra University appoints Susan Poser as new president

Robert Pelaez
Hofstra University appointed Susan Poser as the ninth president in the school's history last week. (Photo courtesy of Hofstra University)

Hofstra University’s board of trustees unanimously appointed Susan Poser as the school’s president last week.

Poser, who grew up in New York City, currently serves as the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Poser’s accomplishments over the past five years were headlined by the 2019 acquisition of the John Marshall Law School, the first and only public law school in Chicago.

“It is a great honor to be named the 9th President of Hofstra University,” Poser said. “Over the past two decades, Hofstra has benefited from outstanding presidential, board, faculty and alumni leadership, creating an excellent platform to meet the challenges of higher education in the post-pandemic world.  I am looking forward to joining the Hofstra community and building on this legacy for years to come.”

Poser earned a law degree and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991. Poser also clerked for Dolores K. Sloviter, who was chief judge of the U.S. Court Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

Her scholarly work has been published in law journals such as the Michigan Law Review and Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.

Poser served as a law professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where she served as the associate to the university’s chancellor from 2007 to 2010.

Nebraska’s College of Law moved up 35 points in the U.S. News rankings during her tenure as the school’s dean from 2010 to 2016. Financial contributions to the school also “increased significantly” during Poser’s tenure, according to a Hofstra news release. 

Poser’s appointment, which is effective on Aug. 1, came after a year-long nationwide search conducted by Hofstra’s 13-member search committee, including faculty and student body members, according to the news release.  The committee looked at more than 270 candidates and solicited feedback from the Hofstra community during the spring and early summer.

“In Dr. Poser, we have found a higher education leader of exceptional experience, a collaborative and visionary person, and a scholar of great depth and intellect,” Hofstra Trustee and search committee Chairperson Donald Schaeffer said. “Dr. Poser’s leadership skills make her well prepared to succeed President Stuart Rabinowitz, whose extraordinary service has led to years of growth and development for Hofstra University.”

Rabinowitz will end his tenure at the end of the 2020-21 academic year, completing two decades at the university, which has seen notable growth and expansion over that time.

Since Rabinowitz assumed office in June 2001, Hofstra opened the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, the Hofstra/Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies, the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, just to name a few.

Hofstra has also been the host of three presidential debates (2008, 2012, and 2016), making it the only university in the United States to host three consecutive presidential debates. Rabinowitz touted Poser’s experience and expressed confidence in the abilities she brings to Hofstra.

“I am extraordinarily pleased to welcome Dr. Susan Poser to Hofstra University,” Rabinowitz said. “Her experience and ability will serve Hofstra University exceptionally well. I have had the privilege to work with the Hofstra University community – students, faculty, administration and staff, families, alumni and community – for many years, and know that under her leadership, Hofstra University will flourish for years to come.”

“It will be a privilege to work with the Hofstra faculty, who provide an outstanding liberal arts education and a wide array of graduate and professional degrees that lead to satisfying and successful careers for Hofstra graduates,” Poser said. “I’m looking forward to working on the Hofstra campus, with its state-of-the-art facilities and arboretum, and as a native New Yorker, this will be a very happy homecoming.”

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