Documents published this week reveal that Columbia University plans to spend an additional $100 million on diversity efforts.
An email obtained by The College Fix reveals that Columbia, the prestigious Ivy League university in New York City, plans to spend another $100 million on diversity-related initiatives over five years. The university has spent $85 million on diversity efforts since 2005.
In the email, Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, wrote that “scholarship and teaching are strengthened immeasurably by having a diverse faculty and student body,” that such a goal “is also an imperative of any reasonable conception of justice.” He added that nothing is “more important than the commitment of financial resources” to diversity-related efforts.
“I am writing now to announce that we are committing an additional $100 million over the next five fiscal years to continue this effort,” he continued.
The financial undertaking “will continue to be a shared obligation,” Bollinger wrote, “with contributions from the University to be matched by investments from individual schools and their academic departments.”
Despite the significant spending, only nine percent of Columbia’s faculty were African-American, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander. In addition, only 30 percent of the school’s professoriate is female.
In the email, Bollinger announced that the university will be celebrating faculty members who advance the cause of diversity at Columbia with a new award. In a blog post on the university’s website, Dr. Dennis A. Mitchell argues that diversity is vitally important to Columbia.
Why is diversity so important? My answer is that we cannot truly embody excellence, a hallmark of our storied institution, without diversity. This is much more than aspirational rhetoric—it is an evidence-based statement. We all benefit from the accelerated pace of innovation spurred by interdisciplinary research; we encourage students to work and study in groups because we know that diverse perspectives and collaboration enhance learning.