Columbia University commits $100 million to faculty diversity

Columbia University recently announced that it will commit an additional $100 million in funds to promote a “diverse faculty.”

In a recent email to students, a copy of which was obtained by Campus Reform, President Lee Bollinger announced that the school will spend “$100 million over the next five fiscal years” to increase the number of professors at the elite institution who are from backgrounds that “traditionally have been underrepresented” in academia.

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“It is a fundamental premise of modern U.S. higher education, and it is most certainly true of Columbia University, that scholarship and teaching are strengthened immeasurably by having a diverse faculty and student body,” Bollinger asserted.

“To turn this premise into reality, we have taken many steps, but none is more important than the commitment of financial resources to this end,” he wrote, adding that the school has already spent $85 million on increasing faculty diversity since 2005.

Campus Reform reached out to Columbia University to ask whether revenue derived from student tuition, currently $54,504 per year excluding room and board, will be used to fund the effort, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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Bollinger did clarify in his statement, however, that the effort will be “a shared obligation,” with contributions from the university being “matched by investments from individual schools and their academic departments.”

“Each of our schools is dedicated to using these resources for recruiting the most talented faculty, retaining our diverse community, and supporting critical research,” he concluded, noting that such a step is important “especially at this moment.”

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