A prominent advocate of affirmative action, Lee C. Bollinger led the University of Michigan's historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. These Supreme Court decisions upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. President Bollinger's continued dedication to the value of educational diversity has resulted in a variety of initiatives at Columbia designed to recruit and support a community of students, faculty, and staff that is diverse in every way.
Columbia's undergraduate community is among the most diverse in the country. Underrepresented students have access to numerous resources, including:
Faculty Diversity and Inclusion
To make diversity a central focus in every aspect of the University's endeavors, President Bollinger established the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity Initiatives in 2004, which has expanded to become the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. Programs addressing faculty recruitment and development include:
"At Columbia, as at most of our peer institutions today, admissions officers value a kaleidoscope of talents and nontraditional backgrounds, including those possessed by military veterans, artists, and individuals who have overcome the obstacles of geography or family circumstance. We are proud that we have been able to achieve high levels of both socioeconomic and racial diversity."- Lee C. Bollinger