Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University in New York, has announced a major new commitment to increase the diversity of the university’s faculty. Over the next five years, Columbia University will invest $100 million in the effort to support recruitment and career development for professors, doctoral, and postdoctoral students who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education. The new program comes on the heels of $85 million invested in similar initiatives since 2005.
Some of the funds will be earmarked for faculty retention programs. Additional funding will provide for the recruitment of dual-career couple and for mid-career research grants.
President Bollinger stated that “the aim is to develop new leaders and expand scholarship, initiatives and programming to meet the needs of the University. This is a longstanding initiative inseparable from Columbia’s identity and core values.”
Dennis Mitchell, vice provost for faculty diversity and inclusion at Columbia University, added that “diversity changes the climate and the culture of the university. We can’t have excellence without diversity, and the belief that they are separate things is a fallacy.”