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Long Island University Appoints Robert Altholz Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

St. Louis University VP for Business and Finance/Treasurer to Head Finance
Operation beginning December 1, 2003


Paola Curcio-Kleinman,Associate Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations
University Center,
Long Island University

Brookville, NY. - After conducting a nationwide search, Long Island University, the seventh-largest private university in the nation, has named Robert Altholz, vice president for business and finance, and treasurer of Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, to the position of vice president for finance and chief financial officer. He replaces Mary M. Lai, who served in this capacity for 57 years an extraordinary record unequalled in American higher education.

In his new role, Mr. Altholz will oversee the University’s financial affairs and provide executive leadership as one of nine officers on the University’s senior management team. Responsible for developing long- and short-term financial programs in support of the University’s mission, he will manage all treasury and central financial administrative functions; maintain banking and investment relationships; and interact with bond rating agencies and external auditors. He will take a leadership role in implementing the University’s Best Practices Initiative, helping to spearhead a conversion of existing financial systems through an Enterprise Resource Planning system.

"Rob Altholz possesses the leadership skills, business acumen and technological savvy to manage the University’s financial operations in a new era of integration," asserts David Steinberg, president of Long Island University. "We are delighted that he will be joining us and look forward to benefiting from his expertise in this critical area. He is a worthy successor to Mary Lai, a legend in her own time."

A certified public accountant who originally worked for Edward Isaacs & Company, Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen, Mr. Altholz began his career in higher education finance at Yale University, rising to assistant comptroller. His experience supervising investment accounting, disbursement, payroll, funds administration, and financial analysis and reporting at Yale led to his appointment at Saint Louis University in 1987.

Assuming the role of associate vice president and treasurer at Saint Louis, he was responsible for all treasury functions including investment management, debt management, charitable giving, bank relations and real estate management. In 1995, Mr. Altholz was promoted to vice president for finance and business, while retaining the title of treasurer. As chief financial officer, he has managed the financial functions, policies and procedures of a multi-campus institution with an operating budget of $500 million and an endowment of approximately $650 million. Four years after he assumed the role of CFO at Saint Louis, Moody’s increased the university’s rating to A1 (top 60 in the country)  a level at which it has remained throughout his tenure. In 2000, he worked with the provost to develop a five-year financial and operational plan, providing for a $100 million investment which will significantly enhance the university’s academic and information technology resources and improve its infrastructure. In addition, Mr. Altholz created financial models for major auxiliary activities, such as housing and parking, which ensured that such services are self-sustaining.

"Long Island University’s proud tradition of access and excellence is truly inspirational," Mr. Altholz declared. "I am eager to play a significant role in securing a bright financial future for this great institution."

Mr. Altholz earned a B.S. in economics from New York University and an M.B.A. from Bernard Baruch College, City University of New York. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Mr. Altholz’s wife, Cathy, has a lifelong love of theatre and was instrumental in the establishment of Stray Dog Theater, a St. Louis theatre company. Her undergraduate degree is in graphic design and she is, at present, self-employed in that field. They have a son, David, who also earned his degree in graphic design and works in the field; he lives in Chicago. Their daughter, Sarah, holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees in music education and trumpet performance and lives with her husband in Illinois. Rob and Cathy will make their home in Brookville, NY.

Posted 10/01/2003

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