President Bollinger’s Term Extended to 2023

Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger (Eileen Barroso)

The co-chairs of Columbia’s Board of Trustees, Lisa Carnoy ’89CC and Jonathan Lavine ’88CC, recently announced that President Lee C. Bollinger has agreed to extend his term through the 2022–23 academic year.

The board’s decision to ask Bollinger to stay on as president, Carnoy and Lavine wrote in a statement, reflects “both a recognition of his success in steering the University for nearly two decades, as well as a determination that his steady hand and wealth of experience will continue to provide critical leadership and stability” for Columbia during a time of “undeniable uncertainty here in the United States and around the world.”

Since becoming president in 2002, Bollinger has led the University through a remarkable period of growth, overseeing the development of the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem and the construction of several new buildings elsewhere, including the Northwest Corner Building for multidisciplinary science in Morningside Heights, a new home for Columbia Nursing School, and the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center on the medical campus. He also established nine Columbia Global Centers on four continents and championed the launch of ambitious new research programs in areas like neuroscience, data science, and climate change. On Bollinger’s watch, the University has also created one of the most diverse communities in higher education, driven in part by new investments in student financial aid and the recruitment of minority scholars.

“The fiscal management, fundraising success, and active alumni engagement needed to sustain this trajectory of growth are firmly in place, and are bolstered by the launch of two major capital campaigns, including the completion of one of the largest capital campaigns in the Ivy League,” wrote Carnoy and Lavine. “This fundraising success is more critical than ever now to help sustain students in need of assistance and to keep the campus healthy.”