FEBRUARY 2018 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 87
LIU President Kimberly Cline:
Caring creates opportunities
By TIMOTHY BOLGER
As president of Long Island
University, Kimberly Cline, the
first woman to hold the title in
its 92-year history, oversees 1,460
faculty members teaching nearly
16,079 students on the Brooklyn
and Brookville campuses. We
recently caught up with Cline, who
discussed the university’s goals to
become a research institution, how
she, a North Carolina transplant,
views LI, and the importance of an
Long Island Press: What do you
tell students about the importance
of pursuing a higher education?
Kimberly Cline: It’s not an option.
They’re not only earning their
degree, but they’re also picking up
liberal arts and science skills that
will help them throughout their
lives with critical thinking skills,
the ability to write and to think.
Employers call them soft skills,
but they say that they’re much in
demand today. It really opens the
door to opportunity and I believe
it’s the great equalizer.
LIP: LIU recently announced its
biggest expansion of the Brooklyn
campus since it was founded in
KC: The timing and the stars all
lined up. It gave us the ability to
provide additional resources to our
students and our faculty. It gives us
the ability to not only secure our
campus strength but also to be able
to bring more of our programs to
the community. It’s a win-win.
LIP: The Tilles Center for the
Performing Arts and the Global
Institute have attracted some big
names to the Brookville campus.
Who’s on your wish list?
KC: We are bringing in Joe Biden
and President Bush this year. Those
were on my wish list and we just
secured them. People will continue
to see more world leaders.
LIP: You’ve been a pioneer in
promoting entrepreneurship and
student-run businesses. How is that
KC: It’s really important for
everyone to have an entrepreneurial
spirit. You can have an
entrepreneurial spirit and not be
an entrepreneur. On the studentrun
businesses, they’re able to get
experience early on, even before
they have that internship, so it
makes them a stronger applicant.
We want to have our students
prepared past the classroom, past a
normal degree and have the ability
to walk into opportunities in their
LIP: What is your long-term vision
for the university?
KC: We want to be recognized as
a national teaching and research
institution. We feel that that’s
within our reach. We have a
very strong pharmacy school.
We’re looking forward to having
a Science, Engineering and
Technology school at Post in the
near future. And we just hired a
gentleman named Randy Bird, who
was an executive at the University
of Arizona, and he’s going to be
leading our research initiative.
LIP: Can you explain LIU’s impact
on the region?
KC: We’re one of the largest
employers in the region. Think
about the impact of a large-scale
research institution. First, students
have the ability to learn and grow
and be more prepared for graduate
and doctoral programs, but it also
creates a lot of jobs.
LIP: What sets LIU apart from
KC: We’re really focused on our
students. I call it a student-first
mentality. And that means making
sure that they have the right
opportunities in the classroom,
that the classroom not only has
lectures, but it has engaged learning
so they get to practice what they
learn. We have a unique arm of
our institution, called LIU Global,
LIU President Kimberly Cline was No. 16 on the most recent Long
Island Press Power List ranking the most influential Long Islanders.
(Photo by Bob Giglione)
where students can study for seven
semesters around the world. There’s
no other program like it in the
LIP: Many Long Islanders are
moving to North Carolina, but you
did the opposite. How have you
found the transition?
KC: I moved here many years ago.
I came to New York after college,
married my husband and stayed
for nearly 30 years. I love the area,
I would not live anywhere else. It
gives you the opportunity to be
near the city, beautiful beaches
out east, see a Broadway play. It’s a
lovely place to live.
LIP: Do you have any sayings?
KC: Charlotte Frank, who was a
longtime senior leader at McGraw-
Hill, used to say, “You can do
anything you want as long as you
care enough.” And I believe that. If
we’re really focused on our students
and we care about them and we
care about our future, I think we
can make this institution one of the
greatest in the country.