Lee C. Bollinger became the nineteenth President of Columbia
University on June 1, 2002. A prominent
advocate of affirmative action, he played a leading role in the twin Supreme
Court cases—Grutter v Bollinger and Gratz v Bollinger—that upheld and clarified
the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative
action in higher education. A leading
First Amendment scholar, he is widely published on freedom of speech and press,
and currently serves on the faculty of Columbia Law
School. This past fall he taught a course, A Free Press for a Global Society, focused
on issues he addresses in his most recent work, Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A
Free Press for a New Century.
From November 1996 to 2002, Bollinger was the President of
the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor,
where he had also served as a law professor and dean of the Law School.
Under Bollinger’s leadership, Columbia launched the largest capital
campaign in its history, proposed its most ambitious campus expansion in more
than a century and received a record number of applications for its incoming
undergraduate class. Committed to
ensuring that, from its location in the nation’s most global city, Columbia
excels as a truly global university, he launched a number of new initiatives
that include: the World Leaders Forum, which invites prominent international
figures to the campus to engage in the major issues of our time; the faculty
Committee on Global Thought, to pursue scholarship and generate new curriculum
models that help students become better citizens of the world; as well as new
academic partnerships with institutions around the globe.
Long a supporter of the arts, Bollinger created the Columbia
Arts Initiative to enhance the role of the arts across many facets of the
student experience and university life. In
proposing that the University invest in long-term growth in upper Manhattan, he has committed to expanding Columbia’s
already extensive civic partnerships that work to improve education, health
care and economic opportunity in West Harlem, Washington Heights and other
local New York
Bollinger serves as the chair of the Board of the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York, a director of the Washington Post Company and a member
of the Pulitzer Prize Board. Bollinger
is also a fellow of both the American
Academy of Arts and
Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Widely published on legal and constitutional issues
involving free speech and press, Bollinger’s books include: Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the
Modern Era; Images of a Free Press;
The Tolerant Society: Freedom of Speech and Extremist Speech in America;
and Contract Law in Modern Society: Cases
and Materials. In January 2010, his
most recent work, Uninhibited, Robust,
and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New
Century, was published by Oxford University Press.
Bollinger has received the National Humanitarian Award from
the National Conference for Community and Justice and the National Equal
Justice Award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund for his leadership
on affirmative action. He also received
the Clark Kerr Award, the highest award conferred by the faculty of the University of California,
his service to higher education, especially on matters of freedom of speech and
diversity. He is the recipient of
numerous honorary degrees from universities in this country and abroad.
After graduating from the University
of Oregon and Columbia Law
School, where he was an
Articles Editor of the Law Review, Bollinger served as law clerk for Judge
Wilfred Feinberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
and for Chief Justice Warren Burger on the United States Supreme Court. He joined the University of Michigan Law
School faculty in 1973.
Bollinger was born in Santa Rosa,
California, and raised there and in Baker, Oregon. He is married to artist Jean Magnano Bollinger,
and they have two children and one grandchild.
Revised January 2011