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LEE BOLLINGER Printer Friendly Page
Major Introductory Resource:

Being Lee Bollinger
By Matthew Continetti 
September 26, 2002


Additional Resources:

An Extreme Case at Columbia
By Martin Kramer
April 26, 2009

Lee Bollinger's Policy
By Scott
September 26, 2008

Confusion at Columbia
By Marter Kramer
March 10, 2008

Columbia's Israel Problem
By Charlotte Allen
March 7, 2008

Columbia's Israelis
By Martin Kramer
February 25, 2008

Ahmadinejad's Academic Pilgrims
By Robert Spencer
January 17, 2008

Columbia Profs to Visit Iran to Apologize to Ahmadinejad, Reports Say
By Patrick Goodenough
January 9, 2008

Columbia Professors To Apologize to Ahmadinejad
By Peter Kiefer
January 9, 2008

Columbia Professors Plan to Visit Iran to Apologize to Ahmadinejad
By Winfield Myers
January 8, 2008

Columbia Professors Plan to Visit Iran to Apologize to Ahmadinejad
By MehrNews.com
January 8, 2008

Columbia's Concern
By John McCormack
November 29, 2007

Greatest Victory, Even in Defeat
By Paula Stern
November 15, 2007

Academic Freedom Still an Issue
By Tom Faure
November 15, 2007

The French Revolution Returns to Columbia
By Phyllis Chesler
November 13, 2007

Bollinger and His Faculty, Poor Fella
By Jamie Kirchick
October 31, 2007

Bollinger Reaffirms Stance on Ahmadinejad
By Melissa Repko
October 29, 2007

Free Speech for Terrorists
By Christopher B. Lacaria
October 25, 2007

Columbia Professor Calls Bollinger White Supremacist
By Annie Karni
October 15, 2007

Mahmud Takes Manhattan!
By Burt Prelutsky
October 15, 2007

Nazi Youth at Columbia
By Mary Grabar
October 14, 2007

What Does the First Amendment Require?
By William Rusher
October 11, 2007

God and Ahmadinejad at Columbia: Supreme Leader Sees God's Hand in Speech
By CNSNews.com Staff
October 4, 2007

When Lee Met Mahmoud
By Dennis Prager
October 2, 2007

Columbia, Duke and the Media
By Thomas Sowell
October 2, 2007

The Tough-Guy Liberal
By Harvey Mansfield
October 2, 2007

Was Bollinger Mean to Ahmadinejad?
By Mona Charen
September 28, 2007

Speech Disorder
By Jonah Goldberg
September 28, 2007

Bollinger: 'Free Speech At Its Best'
By Annie Karni
September 27, 2007

Columbia's Loss
By Ralph Peters
September 27, 2007

Tase Him, Bro!
By Ann Coulter
September 26, 2007

Mahmoudapalooza: The Good, The Bad And The Craven
By Michelle Malkin
September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad Benefits from Petty Insults
By Barry Farber
September 26, 2007

Columbia Prez Should Have Stood Up for America, too
By Ed Koch
September 26, 2007

Notes on an Outrage
By P. David Hornik
September 26, 2007

Columbia's Arrogant, Ignorant Decision
By Ben Shapiro
September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad on Broadway
By Jonathan Tobin
September 26, 2007

Bollinger the Coward?
By Sam Schulman
September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad and the Suicidal Left
By Tony Blankley
September 26, 2007

Ahmadinejad - and How to Beat Him
By Rich Galen
September 26, 2007

Columbia: Why Are You So Stupid?
By Austin Byrd
September 26, 2007

Columbia: Same Idiots, Useful as Ever
By Mary Katharine Ham
September 25, 2007

A Maniac in Morning Side Heights
By Jacob Laksin
September 25, 2007

Of Free Speech And Academic "Progressives"
By Bill Murchison
September 25, 2007

Intolerance in the Name of Tolerance
By Cal Thomas
September 25, 2007

Columbia University's Selective First Amendment Affinity
By David Limbaugh
September 25, 2007

Getting Tough in the Ivy League
By Wesley Pruden
September 25, 2007

Lee Bollinger, Tough Guy
By Wall Street Journal
September 24, 2007

Hitler's Muslim Nephew Comes to New York
By Kenneth R. Timmerman
September 24, 2007

Mistake to Give Ahmadinejad Platform to Spew Hatred, Israel Says
By Julie Stahl
September 24, 2007

Columbia Alumnus Freed in Iran in Advance of Ahmadinejad's Speech
By Susan Jones
September 24, 2007

Columbia and Ahmadinejad: The New Woodward and Bernstein
By Lisa De Pasquale
September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad Is In, ROTC Is Out
By Dinesh D'Souza
September 24, 2007

Eyewitness to Nonsense
By Lisa Schiffren
September 24, 2007

The Iran Exception
By Rich Lowry
September 24, 2007

Aid and Comfort by Any Other Name
By David J. Feith & Jordan C. Hirsch
September 23, 2007

Ahmadinejad Arrives for New York Visit
By NewsMax.com
September 23, 2007

Columbia's Disgrace
By Hugh Hewitt
September 21, 2007

Ground Zero Is Not for Crashing
By Wesley Pruden
September 21, 2007

Monday Mission for Columbia Students
By The NRO Editors
September 21, 2007

Engel 'Disappointed' by Ford Forum for Mearsheimer
By Annie Karni
September 10, 2007

Time to Send Lee Bollinger to Dubai
By Steven Plaut
March 31, 2005


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Bollinger's Visual Map
 

  • President of Columbia University
  • Former President of University of Michigan Law School
  • Proponent of racial preferences in college admissions



Lee Bollinger has been the President of Columbia University since June 2002. He is among academia's most outspoken defenders of affirmative action programs.

Born in 1946 in Santa Rosa, California, Bollinger graduated from the University of Oregon and Columbia Law School. He was a law clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in the early 1970s. In 1973 Bollinger joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School, where he would be named dean fourteen years later.

Bollinger made his debut on the national political stage during Robert Bork's Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1987. Arguing before the Senate that Bork's interpretation of the First Amendment could eventually roll back legal precedent, Bollinger helped derail Bork's nomination.

In 1988 the University of Michigan (UM) became mired in controversy when its governing body adopted a stringent speech code stipulating that speech offensive to an individual on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender was a punishable offense. The code was in effect for only fifteen months it was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal court but a number of students were nonetheless penalized for offensive speech.

During his tenure as UM dean, Bollinger never questioned the legitimacy of his school's speech code. "The failure of the dean of a law school, especially one with an expertise in the First Amendment, to speak up against a patently unconstitutional speech code is a blight on his record that should be mentioned until he explains himself," said William Rice of the American Academy for Liberal Education.

After a brief stint as Provost of Dartmouth College, Bollinger returned to the University of Michigan in 1996 as the school's President. In 2003 he was named in the landmark Supreme Court lawsuits of Grutter v. Bollinger  (where the Court upheld UM's affirmative action admissions policies) and Gratz v. Bollinger (where the Court found that UM's point system was too mechanistic and thus in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment).

Bollinger responded to these Court rulings by arguing passionately in defense of affirmative action. "This principle of [affirmative action] is a deep part of the educational philosophy of American higher education," he told the Christian Science Monitor in 2001. "Without the diversity it provides, the character and the quality of our great public universities would decline."

Also during his tenure at UM, Bollinger in 1999 defended the actions of thirty anti-sweatshop activists who had stormed his office. He told The New York Times that the activists were "terrific students They're just the kind of students you want on your campus. They were interested in a serious problem, they were knowledgeable about the problem, and they really wanted to do something about it."

In June 2002 Bollinger was named President of Columbia University, where in 2004 he was at the fore of an on-campus controversy centered on the concept of academic freedom. The David Project, a Boston-based pro-Israel group, had recently produced a documentary titled Columbia Unbecoming that featured student supporters of Israel recounting the harassment and intimidation that allegedly had been directed at them by faculty members in the University's Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC) Department. Bollinger was criticized by a number of Columbia professors for his reluctance to speak out about the problem. 

Eventually, Columbia organized an ad-hoc committee to review the allegations. "This is a completely new process that has been set up," Bollinger said. "This is a very important, careful, delicate process to think about behavior in the classroom."

In addition to his role at President of Columbia, Bollinger sits on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. He has authored the books The Tolerant Society and Images of a Free Press.

 

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