Columbia Wins Prize for Affirmative Action

Columbia has been awarded the "Commitment Award" from the Association of Minority Enterprises of New York for exceeding affirmative action contracting and employment goals in constructing the Audubon Business and Technology Center (the Mary Lasker biomedical building).

William A. Polf, deputy vice president for external relations and strategic programs at Health Sciences, accepted the award on Columbia's behalf at the association's annual dinner in November. The association represents more than 1,000 small, minority, and women-owned businesses in New York.

In accepting the award, Polf said Columbia reached out to such firms "because it is good business to do so. The quality and value that small, minority, and women-operated businesses can bring to a project is proved by the fact that the building came in on time and on budget. Columbia believes it has a special responsibility to help the development of new business that invests in New York and hires the people who live here."

Original projections were to attain a 35 percent participation of minority, women, and local residents, but the Audubon project achieved more than 44 percent participation. Polf says credit should go to Columbia's team of Mitch Gipson, Audubon's executive director; Ivy Fairchild, director of community affairs; and Carlos Cortes, project manager for the Audubon facilities.

Columbia University Record -- December 8, 1995 -- Vol. 21, No. 12