Letter from Edward Travaglianti (Chairman, Board of Trustees)
To Members of the Long Island University Community:
Late last week, President David Steinberg submitted a letter to me announcing his intent to retire at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year. This planned transition represents the culmination of a series of discussions that Dr. Steinberg has had with the Board over the last five years. The goal was to ensure a well-organized succession plan that allowed for the completion of various milestones that would best be finished under his able leadership, namely the implementation of the ERP system, the revamping of the web site and the rebranding initiative. The last threshold event targeted for completion under his presidency was the University’s decennial Middle States accreditation. We are now approaching the completion of that final key milestone, and both Dr. Steinberg and the Board agreed that the timing of his retirement should coincide with the conclusion of the Middle States reaccreditation process.
Dr. Steinberg’s leadership of Long Island University during his 27-year tenure has been both indispensable and transformational. I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside him as a trustee for 20 years, with the last seven years as board chair. President Steinberg is a brilliant scholar, esteemed and respected leader throughout academia, and a superb academic visionary who has been at the center of LIU’s growth, progress and evolution. He has led the University’s vast expansion and improvements in academic programs, physical plant and widespread campus enhancements. David’s passionate commitment to the University’s mission of access and excellence serves as the driving force behind our advancement and achievement, as has his ability to always focus on the best interests of our students in selfless and intelligent ways. Dr. Steinberg’s core decency, integrity and tireless efforts to positively change the trajectory of our students’ lives continue to be an inspiration. On behalf of a very proud Board of Trustees, I convey to President Steinberg our gratitude for his exceptional guidance and wise counsel, along with our enduring support as we look forward to working with him through the balance of this academic year.
To prepare for the University’s transfer of leadership, I am establishing a presidential search process that is transparent, inclusive and anchored in best practices. I have appointed a Trustee Search Committee, which will be responsible for identifying a candidate or candidates for president to be presented to the Board. This committee will be chaired by Eric Krasnoff, Retired Chairman, President & CEO of Pall Corporation. As many of you may know, his father, Abe Krasnoff, was also a trustee and served as Chairman of the Board, and Eric has a long and close relationship with the University. Eric has contributed 20 years of distinguished service to the University’s Board of Trustees. Most recently, he has chaired the University’s Planning Committee, playing an instrumental role in advancing the institution’s strategic planning process.
Other members of the Trustee Search Committee include Michael Emmerman, Managing Director, Neuberger Berman; Michael Gutnick, Senior Vice President for Finance and Assistant Treasurer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Leon Lachman, Chancellor, LIU Pharmacy - Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences/Chairman & CEO, Lachman Consultant Services, Inc.; Theresa Mullarkey, Chancellor, LIU Post; Joel Press, Chancellor, LIU Brooklyn/Founder, Press Management; Thomas Pulling, Senior Vice Chair, LIU Board of Trustees; and me. Dr. Daniel Rodas, Vice President for Human Resources/Vice President for Planning, serves as Staff to the Committee.
I am forming a Presidential Search Advisory Committee composed of the leadership of the three academic senates, the heads of the faculty collective bargaining units, as well as student leaders and non-faculty staff. I will be distributing invitations within the next day to these 30 stakeholders, who represent a cross-section of the University. This group will be at the center of shaping and defining the profile of the institution’s next president as well as providing feedback and advice to the Trustee Committee throughout the search process. These individuals have a deep love and knowledge of the University – its strengths, weaknesses, challenges, opportunities and potential – and will help guide the Trustee Search Committee by their suggestions on how to position the University and recommendations of candidates for consideration. Their individual and collective wisdom will be critical to the success of recruiting the next president.
To facilitate the search process, the University has engaged the firm of Witt/Kieffer, the largest firm specializing in senior-level search assignments in higher education and health care and one of the ten largest executive search firms nationwide. Witt/Kieffer’s clients include major colleges and universities, arts and cultural organizations, national associations, other non-profit organizations, and leading hospitals and health systems. Within higher education, the firm specializes in searches for presidents, chancellors, provosts, deans, senior advancement officers and leaders of major academic and administrative units. John Thornburgh, Senior Vice President and Co-director of the firm’s higher education practice, will personally lead this search. He will be assisted by Dr. Jean Dowdall, a former university faculty member and college president, who is well known for her writing on academic searches. They are among the most seasoned, best known and accomplished executive search consultants in the nation, and we are pleased that they will support this search.
As the search progresses, the committee will offer additional ways for members of the campus and alumni constituencies to provide input, such as open forums and surveys. In addition, a presidential search website (www.liu.edu/presidentialsearch) has been created to provide periodic updates to the University as the process unfolds.
Over the course of this upcoming academic year, there will be formal opportunities for us to celebrate Dr. Steinberg’s exceptional contributions to the University. At this time, I would like to convey on behalf of the Board of Trustees our appreciation and gratitude for his outstanding record of achievement. The trustees look forward to working with the Long Island University community to identify our next president who can build on Dr. Steinberg’s outstanding accomplishments.