What’s on Lee Bollinger’s mind?
On Friday, Spectator sat down with University President Lee Bollinger. You’ve heard what he had to say about GS Class Day; here are some more highlights from the interview:
- Faculty members at the School of Engineering and Applied Science have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with SEAS Dean Feniosky Peña-Mora, continuing to call for his resignation despite the development of structural changes intended to alleviate their concerns. Bollinger acknowledged the problems, saying, “I know there are controversies, and we’ve been talking to Feni, and we’ve been talking to chairs and faculty and alumni.”
- Bollinger told Spectator last semester that it was possible Columbia would reverse its no-loan financial aid policy, as was suggested in McKinsey and Company’s report on the Arts and Sciences last summer. But now, Bollinger said, a reversal of this policy is “not being actively considered.”
- Bollinger continues to play an active role in the search for a permanent dean of Columbia College. He attended the committee’s most recent meeting on Thursday, although he said he is unlikely to attend the candidate interviews that will take place after finals. Committee members received a full list of nominations on Thursday and will meet this week to figure out which candidates they will interview. Bollinger said:
“My role is both to give them the plan for what I hope they would do and to try to, as best I can, describe what I think the procedure should be and, most importantly, speak to the kind of person we would want for this role. That really is a very big discussion about the future of undergraduate education, about the role of the college, about the relationship of faculty, about relationships with alumni. The substance of this is the crucial part.”
- At a town hall sponsored by the student members of the dean search committee, many students expressed concern that the process for selecting a new dean is moving too fast. Bollinger announced the committee’s formation in a March 28 email, the committee met for the first time April 6 and stopped accepting nominations April 15, and Bollinger said that he expects the process to conclude by the end of the semester. Bollinger said that this would be a “fair concern, but for the fact that it is an internal search,” adding that his decision to limit the search to internal candidates was necessary at this point in Columbia’s history because “we need people who are intimately familiar with that context and history to be successful.”
- Administrators are in the process of forming a new Committee on Financial Aid and Admissions for Columbia College and SEAS, which will include faculty and student members. “This is all part of my goal to have the Faculty of Arts and Sciences have greater engagement with the most important academic issues that concern the college and undergraduate education,” Bollinger said. “The faculty should certainly know about the policies and the issues and the way they’re implemented, and should be able to talk about them and advise.”
Leave a Comment
Be nice. Don't use HTML tags. And consider reading our full comment policy.