Columbia University's Office of Government and Community Affairs has announced that Larry Dais will retire from his post as assistant vice president and director in that office. Dais, who has served at Columbia for 37 years, will continue in his current position until the end of the fall semester.
"Larry's leadership and guidance have helped forge important, lasting partnerships between Columbia and our neighbors," said Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger. "He leaves a legacy of which he should be proud and on which all of us can build in the years ahead."
Maxine Griffith, executive vice president of Government and Community Affairs said, "I want to thank Larry for his commitment and service, and for the many years he has dedicated to Columbia. He has established and maintained dialogue with community groups, civic organizations and government officialsŚwork that has contributed to Columbia's connection to our neighbors and our city. We wish Larry the best in his future endeavors."
Next, Dais will work as a consultant on special projects related to community outreach and participation for the University's intercollegiate athletics program. He will report directly to Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Columbia's director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. Dr. Murphy said, "Larry Dais has a proven record of building strong relationships between Columbia University, the local community and many important New York City organizations," says Dr. Murphy. "We are excited to be able to utilize Larry's considerable expertise and knowledge to further the athletics program's service to the people of New York."
Larry Dais served Columbia under four University presidents, including Michael I. Sovern, President Emeritus of Columbia University and currently the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law. Mr. Sovern commented, "I was lucky enough to work closely with Larry Dais for 13 years; with his wise guidance and inspiring commitment, we transformed Columbia's community relations, strengthening Harlem Hospital, nurturing Columbia Community Service and working cooperatively with elected official and local leaders to make our neighborhoods better for all."
"Columbia benefited in many ways from Larry Dais' deep dedication to fostering mutually valuable relationships with the many constituents in our communityŚnot least in his unswerving support for Columbia Community Service," said Lisa Anderson, dean of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the James T. Shotwell Professor of International Relations. "In both supporting CCS's annual campaign to raise money among Columbia employees and in fostering our longstanding relationships with the recipient agencies, Larry broadened our scope, enhanced our impact and won us lasting friends within, and well beyond, the University."
Dais, who began his career at Columbia in 1970, said that there were many people who were instrumental in his professional and personal development. "I was fortunate to be blessed with an excellent network of friends who also were cherished role models," he said, referring to mentors such as his parents, the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and the late Dr. Betty Shabazz. "These are some people who exemplified the leadership and advocacy for the rights of disadvantaged individuals that served as a blueprint for my own career."
Before his appointment as assistant vice president, Dais served as director of Double Discovery Center at Columbia College (now known as Double Discovery Center at Columbia University). Under his guidance, he managed a program for talented, low-income students of color, which received recognition for its success, and eventually led to Dais' election as president of the National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations. This group provided the leadership for the protection and expansion of the TRIO (Upward Bound, Talent Search and Special Services) programs. His community service has been acknowledged by local, state and national elected officials, and he has received numerous honors and awards throughout his career in community service.
Prior to his tenure at Columbia, Dais served as resident administrator both at Hofstra University in Long Island and State University of New York at Farmingdale. He earned his graduate degree from Columbia Business School and completed his undergraduate work at Baruch College.