Presidential Search

President Bollinger Announces His Final Year

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

The time has come for me to say that the next academic year will be my last as president. I have informed the Trustees that I will step down on June 30, 2023.  

I cannot begin to express what it has meant to me to serve in this role for this magnificent University for over two decades. Certainly, it has been a defining experience of my life. It has also been an especially high pleasure to do so at the beginning of the new century and in a period of rising intellectual excellence across the institution. No university in the world is more committed to the life of the mind or possessed of the will to bring knowledge and ideas to the service of humanity. Columbia is remarkably agile, creative, fresh, and experimental. I am certain that the conditions are present for an even more brilliant future in the decades ahead.  And I will leave confident that our potential and aspirations will be realized. 

For myself, I entered academic life nearly 50 years ago believing that being a professor is a noble calling, and, so, I am thrilled to return to that mission full-time. I am profoundly grateful to everyone for their partnership and friendship, but I am especially thankful to my wife, Jean, whose contributions within and through Columbia have been many, whose life as an artist has been made at times somewhat more difficult by mine, and whose very existence makes me a better person. 

With so much to do in the remaining months, there is, of course, no time to rest. As always, I am eager to be part of Columbia’s amazing contributions to the world. 


Lee C. Bollinger

Read more about President Bollinger. 


Trustees Thank President Bollinger

Earlier today, President Lee C. Bollinger announced that he will step down at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, his 21st year as president of Columbia University. Lee’s presidency has proven to be one of the most consequential in all of Columbia’s 268-year history. His leadership has had a profound impact on the University and will leave behind a rich foundation upon which a new era for Columbia can flourish.

Building knowledge, creating space for the exploration of new ideas, and examining what is needed for the betterment of future societies are just some of the themes of Lee’s tenure. But at heart he is an educator, and every new building project, academic initiative, and fundraising campaign that he undertook was in service of creating a world-class environment for learning and teaching. Columbia’s four campuses have been transformed as a result.

Read the full letter.

Closeup of the Alma Mater statue on Low Plaza on Columbia University Morningside campus


Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger wearing a dark blue sports jacket and tie

A Legacy of Excellence and Achievement

Lee C. Bollinger has announced that he will conclude his service as Columbia’s president at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year, bringing to a close an historic era for the 268-year-old university that has brought extraordinary physical and intellectual transformation.

During his two-decade-long tenure, Columbia has flourished as a center of academic excellence that is redefining what it means to be a great research university in the 21st century. In service of this mission, President Bollinger has pushed for a thoughtful approach to global engagement, spearheaded record-breaking capital campaigns, and overseen the university’s most ambitious physical expansion in more than a century.

Read the full story.

Get Involved in the Search

Over the next few months, the Columbia University Trustees will assemble a search committee as well as advisory committees representing critical constituencies across the University. They will be gathering insight from the entire Columbia community about the qualities needed in the next president and important priorities for the University going forward. The Trustees welcome nominations and input from faculty, students, staff, alumni, and other friends of the University. Suggestions can be sent to