Lee C. Bollinger became the nineteenth President of Columbia University in 2002. He is also a member of the faculty of the Law School. One of the nation’s leading scholars of First Amendment issues, he has taught and written on freedom of speech and press for over thirty years.
As the named defendant in the twin 2003 Supreme Court cases that clarified and upheld affirmative action in higher education, Bollinger became a national advocate for diversity and integration. In recognition of his leadership on these issues, he 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 Education Fund. He is the recipient of the Clark Kerr Award, the highest honor conferred by the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, for his service to higher education, especially on matters of freedom of speech and diversity.
President Bollinger has received numerous honorary degrees from universities in the U.S. and around the world. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Prior to the Columbia presidency, he served as President of the University of Michigan, where he also Dean of the Law School and a law professor.