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Long Island University: Building for the Future

long island university
Long Island University President Kim Cline
Photo by Bob Giglione

Long Island University: Building for the Future

Building on Long Island University’s strong foundation, President Dr. Kimberly Cline is working to guide its direction and steady growth over the next few decades.

To that end, Cline, along with the board of trustees and university constituencies, has developed a strategic plan calling for the university to achieve a top 50 ranking in the United States by 2030.

“When you think of top 50, that sounds like a lot of universities, but when you add the Ivies and the major public universities, you’re already there,” says

Cline, noting that besides New York University, Columbia and Cornell universities, there are few elite private universities in the state.

Ranked in the top 7% of universities with high research activity, LIU now offers 220 different degree and certificate programs at its Brookville and Brooklyn campuses. Since its founding in 1926, the university has maintained one mission: to provide excellence and access in private higher education to those who seek to expand their knowledge and prepare themselves for meaningful, educated lives and for service to their communities and the world.

long island university
Long Island University

NEW SCHOOLS, NEW OPPORTUNITIES

The key to LIU’s plan is ensuring strong academics — including new programs that meet students’ needs and wants — and graduating strong academically prepared students, notes Cline, who’s been at the university’s helm for 10 years.

For example, replicating the successful anchor pharmacy program at its Brooklyn campus, LIU recently added a College of Veterinary Medicine to the 334-acre Post campus.

With equestrian barns, ample space for animals, and many clinics in the area where students can intern or do research, including North Shore Animal League of America, local shelters and the Bronx Zoo, veterinary medicine seemed like a natural fit for the Long Island campus.

“This fall, we will enroll our fourth class and next spring, we will be graduating our first class,” Cline says, adding that LIU’s veterinary school is one of just four in the Northeast.

Another endeavor is LIU’s Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment, a collaboration with music mogul Jay-Z, which has expanded its iconic brand into sports management and covers a wide range of musical genres, from hip-hop to country.

“The industries have supported the Roc Nation School tremendously, providing students opportunities to interact with leaders and artists,” Cline says. “People want to be associated with strong brands like Roc Nation,” Cline adds, pointing out that notable people in the industry, like NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, regularly show up on campus to mentor students.

“We also guarantee that 25% of each class will graduate tuition-free through the Hope Scholarships Program,” notes Cline. “And we are raising an endowment to fund the scholarship in perpetuity,” says Cline, adding that to that end, LIU has quadrupled their endowment in the last nine years.

The Roosevelt School, run by Tweed Roosevelt, great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, keeps expanding its mission of fostering civic engagement, and now offers degrees in fields such as International Relations and Diplomacy, Criminal Justice, and Public Health Administration.

EDUCATING BETTER CITIZENS FOR A BETTER WORLD

At the Hornstein Institute for Policy, Polling and Analysis, students engage in policy, government and political polling utilizing the latest tools to reach their subjects, resulting in remarkably accurate results. The Global Service Institute, which is run by Emmy-winning TV and radio host Rita Cosby, develops platforms for students interested in global service, and has developed an app that lets every nonprofit put in their information for free to help them connect with volunteers in their area.

Giving back to the community is a key aspect of university life and LIU students provide about 150,000 hours of service each year, says Cline. “We don’t require it, but we encourage service.
“We believe that part of the education for students is the broader responsibility of what your role is as a citizen. We don’t tell students what to think, but we teach them how to think critically.”

The School of Business, which includes a who’s who of business alumni, including Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund firm; Charles Zegar, co-founder of Bloomberg’s LP; and Howard Lorber, head of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, supplements classroom learning with student-run businesses, student investment funds, and other engaged learning methodology.

“They are learning and they are able to discuss business principles that most students would not be able to articulate until they were working for several years,” says Cline.

LIU’s accounting program — the first such program in the country — produces students and alumni at the top of their fields, joining LIU graduates at Big Four accounting firms.

“Our students have jobs usually lined up at the end of their junior year,” says Cline. “They already know where they’re going, because they are so well prepared.”

Partnering with Dassault Systèmes, a French Fortune 50 software corporation, the university has a new 3DS lab Long Island University’s new College of Veterinary Medicine  with virtual reality technology where they’re creating digitized models of body organs to advance health and science learning. Consequently, LIU was named one of Dassault’s five centers of Educational Excellence.

“Digital technology can change how people are treated and also, at some point, impact longevity itself,” Cline says.

THOUGHTFUL GROWTH, AFFORDABLE TUITION

Striving to develop niche programs that students won’t easily find at other universities, LIU stands out with unique programs, like its vet school, Roc Nation, and the year-old School of Film and Digital Media.

Available at both campuses, the film school, whose advisory board is headed by blockbuster film producer Michael Tadross, screens and analyzes iconic movies and requires students to complete a film each year, culminating in a senior year feature-length opus.

The musical theater program, which brought in 25 students a decade ago, now has 100 incoming students each year, many of whom take advantage of the plethora of opportunities in New York City and go on to stellar performances on Broadway.

“We are ranked in the top 30 musical theater programs in the country,” says Cline.

COOKING UP THE FUTURE

LIU recently received approval for a Culinary and Hospitality Management program, beginning in 2024, and LIU Post’s Fashion Merchandising and Business program will also be offered in Brooklyn, starting in fall of 2024.

“We are aligning our programs on both campuses, so students have the opportunity to choose their campus. A student who is attending the Post campus, may want to live in Brooklyn for a semester while completing an internship,” explains Cline.

Boasting 38 Division 1 sports, the university’s athletics play a vital role in campus culture. Recent team additions include women’s fencing, and both women’s and men’s ice hockey, all of which have garnered immediate successes.

“I believe team sports breed camaraderie and tradition on campus,” says Cline.

With more than 70 clubs and activities, fraternities, sororities and service organizations, not to mention dazzling performances at Post’s Tilles Center, campus life at Long Island University is perpetually abuzz with activity.

“We are building a comprehensive university where students can avail themselves of many opportunities,” Cline says.

In 2014, LIU decided to hold tuition increases to only 2 percent. That practice has continued for 9 years, making the University one of the most affordable among its peers.

“We are committed to spending most of our money on students and their academic programs. We spend less on the administrative side of the house,” Cline says, adding that they utilize data analytics to accomplish that goal.

And now, as 2026 beckons, plans are getting underway for Long Island University’s centennial, reports Cline.