To the Editor:
I’m writing to point out numerous factual errors in the story about the Frank G. Zarb School of Business published in the April 10, 2018 edition of The Hofstra Chronicle. These factual errors contributed to a story that is misleading, inaccurate and unfair.
As I explained prior to publication, we do not comment on specific, confidential personnel matters. However, the factual errors in this story are matters of public record that I could have corrected – had we been asked about any of them.
• Ralph Polimeni has never been head of the Department Personnel Committee for the Department of Accounting, Taxation and Legal Studies in Business.
• Gioia Bales did not replace Elizabeth Venuti as Senior Associate Dean. Gioia Bales was already an Associate Dean when Dr. Venuti was appointed. Dr. Janet Lenaghan replaced Dr. Venuti.
• Dr. Mohamed Gomaa was not a candidate for tenure, nor was he ever awarded tenure during his time at Hofstra.
• Dr. Daniel Tinkleman was not replaced as Department Chair by Dr. Jacqueline Burke. He was replaced first by Dr. Victor Lopez, who served as interim chair, and then by Dr. Martha Weisel, who served for a year. Dr. Burke succeeded Dr. Weisel.
• Patrick Socci’s resignation as dean was not “sudden”; he provided the University with appropriate notice and an orderly transition took place.
• I did not “make the final decision” about my successor as Provost. To support this claim, you cite as evidence a line at the very end of a Hofstra Chronicle article published in October 2014 – a story that outlined how the search process involved a 21-member committee that made final recommendations to President Rabinowitz. I was not involved. The reference to my involvement in the provost search in that 2014 Chronicle story, which is not attributed to any official source, was incorrect then and it is now.
In addition to the above, the story states that multiple faculty members say they were “driven to resign”. Yet, the story quotes only one faculty member saying this. In fact, two other former faculty members contacted by The Chronicle declined to comment.
The thesis of the story – that a negative atmosphere existed that led to faculty departures – is based in no small part on information that is incorrect or exaggerated. The Hofstra community expects, and deserves, better than carelessly reported stories and unsubstantiated allegations.
I also want to emphasize that any internal differences among colleagues have never affected the high-quality academic program we deliver to our students. I know I speak for every faculty member when I say that first and foremost, the Zarb School is fully committed to providing a first-rate educational experience for our students and that excellence in teaching is our highest priority.
Dean, Frank G. Zarb School of Business
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