Our Continued Commitment to Enhancing Faculty Diversity

October 05, 2017

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

It is a fundamental premise of modern U.S. higher education, and it is most certainly true of Columbia University, that scholarship and teaching are strengthened immeasurably by having a diverse faculty and student body.  This is also an imperative of any reasonable conception of justice, given our history and its continuing consequences.  To turn this premise into reality, we have taken many steps, but none is more important than the commitment of financial resources to this end.  Accordingly, since 2005, the University has dedicated a total of $85 million to supporting faculty recruitment, career development, and a pipeline of prospective professors and doctoral and post-doctoral students who traditionally have been under-represented in American colleges and universities.  This longstanding initiative has now become inseparable from our institutional practices and achievements, for which Columbia has been properly recognized as a leader.

I am writing now to announce that we are committing an additional $100 million over the next five fiscal years to continue this effort.  This has been and will continue to be a shared obligation, with contributions from the University to be matched by investments from individual schools and their academic departments.  

A commitment of this magnitude will expand the types of initiatives and programming essential to the evolving needs of our University.  Each of our schools is dedicated to using these resources for recruiting the most talented faculty, retaining our diverse community, and supporting critical research.  Undoubtedly, everyone, across all disciplines and schools, will benefit greatly.  I want to express my deepest thanks to the many deans, faculty members, alumni, and senior administrators who have dedicated themselves to making Columbia a place of openness and inclusion, for which we can all take enormous pride, especially at this moment.


Lee C. Bollinger