Message From the President

Why does art provoke state censorship? How can pluralism be harnessed for positive political change? What role does religion play in protecting women from gender-based violence? Columbia’s Global Centers are home to ongoing discussions of these and many other questions drawn from fields ranging from healthcare and sustainability, to social justice and armed conflict. These lectures and workshops, led by distinguished scholars from Columbia and other universities, are just one dimension of the rich intellectual life of the Global Centers. Our students are becoming proficient in foreign languages, and studying architecture and political science; researchers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds are collaborating to advance their scholarship.

As the world continues to change in ways that make us all feel more closely interconnected, and global society attains new levels of economic and technological integration, Columbia is evolving so that our scholarship and teaching reflect this reality. No enterprise at the University more fully embraces this future than our network of Columbia Global Centers. They are essential to expanding our understanding of the world and to preparing new generations to confront urgent problems that refuse to be cabined by national boundaries. The new perspectives that our faculty and students acquire in Columbia Global Centers stretching from Santiago to Beijing enrich the intellectual dialogue occurring on our New York campuses and bring all of us in closer contact with the rest of the world.

This is what we hoped for when we set forth to build Columbia Global Centers. With each passing year, we see a growing volume of innovative scholarship—in many instances, the product of collaborative programming involving multiple Centers. For this, we are indebted to you, our supporters, and to all of the remarkable faculty members and energetic students who are responsible, each in their own way, for creating this essential part of Columbia’s future.

Lee C. Bollinger

President, Columbia University