Within the announcement of Mr. Bollinger’s pending departure, Columbia stated it had labored with communities surrounding the brand new campus “to assist priorities like housing and schooling and to construct alliances which are creating very important bonds with our neighbors and defining a brand new period of collaboration and progress.”
Nonetheless, these sentiments disguise. At first, the enlargement threatened to change into a brand new chapter in Columbia’s lengthy historical past of friction with the encircling Harlem neighborhood in a city and robe battle between the privileged world of academia and the customarily forgotten world of the poorer neighborhood round it.
A spokeswoman for Columbia, Victoria Benitez, stated the college had tried to handle group issues by serving to companies to relocate or preserving them, stepping up assets for nativeand constructing for residents within the affected space.
Keith Wright, a state assemblyman from Harlem for 44 years, was intimately concerned in negotiating with Columbia over the enlargement, which Harlem residents feared would displace them and native companies. Mr. Wright, now a advisor, recalled that negotiators had spent virtually 24 hours locked in a room earlier than they got here out with an settlement over the undertaking.
The purpose of group leaders, Mr. Wright stated on Thursday, was “to create a pipeline so Columbia College could be accessible to of us down within the valley.”
“I feel we obtained lots of group giveback,” he added.
Mr. Bollinger additionally attracted consideration in 2007 by inviting the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to talk at Columbia after which attacking Mr. Ahmadinejad’s file as he sat close by. No less than one professor at Columbia accused Mr. Bollinger, a First Modification scholar, of inappropriately dabbling in politics.
Mr. Bollinger was a outstanding determine in two pivotal affirmative motion admissions instances, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, as president of the College of Michigan earlier than he arrived at Columbia.