Lee C. Bollinger
Lee C. Bollinger became Columbia University’s nineteenth president in 2002. Under his leadership, Columbia stands again at the very top rank of great research universities, distinguished by comprehensive academic excellence, historic institutional development, an innovative and sustainable approach to global engagement, and unprecedented levels of alumni involvement and financial stability. President Bollinger is Columbia’s first Seth Low Professor of the University, a member of the Columbia Law School faculty, and one of the country’s foremost First Amendment scholars. As president of the University of Michigan, Bollinger led the school’s historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. These Supreme Court decisions that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education were reaffirmed in the Court’s 2016 ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. As Columbia’s president, Bollinger conceived and led the University’s most ambitious expansion in over a century with the creation of the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem. An historic community benefits agreement emerging from the city and state review process for the new campus provides Columbia’s local neighborhoods with decades of investment in the community’s health, education, and economic growth.