UC Berkeley News


Columbia’s Bollinger to receive Clark Kerr Award

26 January 2005

Lee Bollinger (Eileen Barroso photo)
Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, has been named the recipient of this year’s Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. Bollinger will receive the award at a ceremony in Berkeley on March 28.

The Clark Kerr Award recognizes an individual who has made an extraordinary and distinguished contribution to the advancement of higher education. It was established in 1968 by members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of Kerr, a former Berkeley chancellor and UC president. Kerr died Dec. 1, 2003, at the age of 92.

Past recipients of the award include former California Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, renowned American historian and race-relations scholar John Hope Franklin, Berkeley Nobel laureate Yuan T. Lee, and past Berkeley chancellors Ira Michael Heyman and Chang-Lin Tien.

Traditionally, the award has been given in alternate years to distinguished figures on the Berkeley campus and those from other institutions. The 2005-06 Kerr Award recipient will be a member of the Berkeley faculty; the Academic Senate has been soliciting nominations from the faculty in its aim to select a
colleague who epitomizes the Kerr legacy.

The Kerr Award is the latest of many honors and awards that have recognized Bollinger’s contribution to higher education. In 2002, following six years as president of the University of Michigan, he assumed the leadership of Columbia University, where he is also a member of the faculty of the law school. His primary teaching and scholarly interests are focused on free-speech and First Amendment issues, and he has published numerous books, articles, and essays in scholarly journals on these and other subjects.

For his national leadership in defending affirmative action in higher education, Bollinger has received the National Humanitarian Award from the National Conference for Community and Justice and the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.