Columbia Extends Contract for President

Columbia University’s Board of Trustees and President Lee Bollinger have agreed to continue his service for four additional years beyond 2018 to 2022, according to Trustee Chair Jonathan Schiller.

“The Board of Trustees makes the decision to extend Lee Bollinger’s term as president with great enthusiasm and conviction,” said Schiller. “Under Lee’s exemplary leadership, Columbia is firmly established as one of the world’s indispensable research universities. Wherever one looks around Columbia, we see progress that his continued service will sustain and amplify. Over the past decade, Lee has led the development of one of the most diverse and accomplished communities of students and faculty in the nation. At the same time, he has secured a future in Manhattanville that will ultimately double the space available on our Morningside campus.”

Schiller noted that the first buildings on the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem will be opening in the year ahead, as will innovative education buildings also under construction at the Medical Center in Washington Heights. An important result of these developments will be the opportunity to address critical space needs of academic departments on the University’s Morningside and medical campuses. Complementing this smart, sustainable growth in New York, he said, is Columbia’s distinctive Global Center approach to education and engagement around the world.

The Trustees take special pride, Schiller said, in President Bollinger’s leadership among peers in advocating and building diversity across the university—including Columbia’s 10-year, $85 million investment in expanding the number of faculty from underrepresented groups; enhanced student financial aid that makes a Columbia education accessible; and the appointment of the now-majority of Columbia deans who are women.

“The excellence of the University’s teaching, scholarship and research is on full display on every new academic frontier, including interdisciplinary initiatives in neuroscience and precision medicine that bring together researchers, clinicians, engineers, and scholars in the humanities, social sciences and our professional schools,” Schiller said. “Unprecedented levels of alumni engagement and financial support have provided a foundation for Columbia’s continued progress, including financial aid for our students, and faculty recruitment and retention.”

“We believe Lee’s compelling intellectual vision and his record of fiscal management and fundraising success have made Columbia the most dynamic place in higher education. We want to continue without pause this extraordinary forward momentum in the years ahead.”

“It is, for me, the highest privilege to be able to play a role in one of the great eras in Columbia’s long and distinguished history,” said President Bollinger.  “Above all, however, what captures my complete dedication is the still-to-be-realized potential of this extraordinary institution to benefit humanity in new as well as traditional ways, but always through the core mission of advancing knowledge and understanding, educating the next generation of youth and serving the public good.  I am grateful to the Trustees and the University for their confidence and support, and, I must add, to my wife, Jean, for her ever wise counsel in the work and life we share together.”