Without mincing words, Donald Trump has let the world know how he really feels about Columbia University President Lee Bollinger.
Before Bollinger became president in 2002, Trump was in talks with the university to sell it land behind Lincoln Center for several new buildings. But when Bollinger assumed power he nixed the idea, opting to look for locales closer to the school's Morningside Heights campus. In a letter to the Columbia Spectator's Eye magazine, Trump rails on Bollinger as a result of the failed sale:
The new President of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, who came in from the University of Michigan, didn't like the [Lincoln Center land] idea. Instead, he wanted to build Columbia's new buildings in a lousy location on land which, in certain instances, he did not even own. Once the project was announced, it became virtually impossible to acquire the holdings because everybody wanted top dollar. He actually announced his project before buying the land--dummy!
In any event, Columbia Prime was a great idea thought of by a great man which ultimately fizzled due to poor leadership at Columbia. Just like the University of Michigan was lucky to get rid of Bollinger, so will be Columbia - someday in the future!
Trump also wrote "Bollinger is terrible!" at the bottom of the letter and, in a phone interview with the Wall Street Journal, said the president was "a total moron."
Bollinger, meanwhile, offered his own response to the Wall Street Journal:
"All I can say is that we now have far more property for far less money in an area we care about and is proximate to our existing campuses, which is critically important to great academic research and teaching," [he] said.
New York's top court recently upheld Columbia's $6.3 billion plan for expansion in Harlem -- mostly on land which the university already owned.
What's your take? Whose side are you on, Trump or Bollinger?