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Columbia University

Columbia University in the City of New York, commonly referred to as Columbia University, is an American private Ivy League research university located in New York City, New York, United States. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.Today the university operates seven Columbia Global Centers overseas in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Santiago and Nairobi.

The university was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain. After the American Revolutionary War, King's College briefly became a state entity, and was renamed Columbia College in 1784. The University now operates under a 1787 charter that places the institution under a private board of trustees, and in 1896 it was further renamed Columbia University.That same year, the university's campus was moved from Madison Avenue to its location in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, where it occupies more than six city blocks, or 32 acres (0.13 km2).The university encompasses twenty schools and is affiliated with numerous institutions, including Teachers College, Barnard College, and the Union Theological Seminary, with joint undergraduate programs available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as the Juilliard School.

Columbia annually administers the Pulitzer Prize and has been affiliated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other academic institution in the world.The university is one of the fourteen founding members of the Association of American Universities, and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree.Notable alumni of the university include nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court;20 living billionaires; 25 Academy Award winners; and 29 heads of state, including three United States Presidents.

Academics

Undergraduate admissions and financial aid

Alma Materis a well-known statue on the steps of Low Memorial Library.

Columbia University's acceptance rate for the class of 2016 (Columbia College and Engineering) is 7.4%,making Columbia the fourth most selective college in the United States by admission rate behind Harvard, Stanford and YaleThe undergraduate yield rate for the class of 2015 is 60%.According to the 2012 college selectivity ranking by U.S. News & World Report, which factors admission and yield rates among other criteria, Columbia is tied with Yale, Caltech and MIT as the most selective colleges in the country.Columbia is a racially diverse school, with approximately 52% of all students identifying themselves as persons of color. Additionally, 50.3% of all undergraduates in the Class of 2013 receive financial aid. The average financial aid package for these students exceeds $30,000, with an average grant size of over $20,000.

On April 11, 2007, Columbia University announced a $400m to $600m donation from media billionaire alumnus John Kluge to be used exclusively for undergraduate financial aid. The donation is among the largest single gifts to higher education. Its exact value will depend on the eventual value of Kluge's estate at the time of his death; however, the generous donation has helped change financial aid policy at Columbia.Annual gifts, fund-raising, and an increase in spending from the university's endowment have allowed Columbia to extend generous financial aid packages to qualifying students. As of 2008, undergraduates from families with incomes as high as $60,000 a year will have the projected cost of attending the university, including room, board, and academic fees, subsidized by the university. That same year, the university ended loans for incoming and current students who were on financial aid, replacing loans that were traditionally part of aid packages with grants from the university. However, this does not apply to international students, transfer students, visiting students, or students in the School of General Studies.In the fall of 2010, admission to Columbia's undergraduate colleges Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, formerly known as SEAS, began accepting the Common Application. The policy change made Columbia one of the last major academic institutions and the last Ivy League university to switch to the common application.

Scholarships are also given to undergraduate students by the admissions committee. Designations include John W. Kluge Scholars, John Jay Scholars, C. Prescott Scholars, Global Scholars, Egleston Scholars, and Science Research Fellows. Named scholars are selected by the admission committee from first-year applicants. According to Columbia, the first four designated scholars "distinguish themselves for their remarkable academic and personal achievements, dynamism, intellectual curiosity, the originality and independence of their thinking, and the diversity that stems from their different cultures and their varied educational experiences."

Organization

Columbia University is an independent, privately supported, nonsectarian institution of higher education. Its official corporate name is "The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York." The university's first Charter was granted in 1754 by King George II; however, its modern Charter was first enacted in 1787 and last amended in 1810 by the New York State Legislature. The university is governed by 24 Trustees, customarily including the President, who serves ex officio. The Trustees themselves are responsible for choosing their successors. Six of the 24 are nominated from a pool of candidates recommended by the Columbia Alumni Association. Another six are nominated by the Board in consultation with the Executive Committee of the University Senate. The remaining 12, including the President, are nominated by the Trustees themselves through their internal processes. The term of office for Trustees is six years. Generally, they serve for no more than two consecutive terms. The Trustees appoint the President and other senior administrative officers of the university, and review and confirm faculty appointments as required. They determine the university's financial and investment policies, authorize the budget, supervise the endowment, direct the management of the university's real estate and other assets, and otherwise oversee the administration and management of the university.

The University Senate was established by the Trustees after a university-wide referendum in 1969. It succeeded to the powers of the University Council, which was created in 1890 as a body of faculty, deans, and other administrators to regulate inter-Faculty affairs and consider issues of university-wide concern. The University Senate is a unicameral body consisting of 107 members drawn from all constituencies of the university. These include the president of the university, the Provost, the Deans of Columbia College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, all who serve ex officio, and five additional representatives, appointed by the President, from the university's administration. The President serves as the Senate's presiding officer. The Senate is charged with reviewing the educational policies, physical development, budget, and external relations of the university. It oversees the welfare and academic freedom of the faculty and the welfare of students.

The President of Columbia University, who is selected by the Trustees in consultation with the Executive Committee of the University Senate and who serves at the Trustees' pleasure, is the chief executive officer of the university. Assisting the President in administering the University are the Provost, the Senior Executive Vice President, the Executive Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, several other vice presidents, the General Counsel, the Secretary of the University, and the deans of the Faculties, all of whom are appointed by the Trustees on the nomination of the President and serve at their pleasure.Lee C. Bollinger became the 19th President of Columbia University on June 1, 2002. A prominent advocate of affirmative action, he played a leading role in the twin Supreme Court cases—Grutter v Bollinger and Gratz v Bollinger—that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. A leading First Amendment scholar, he is widely published on freedom of speech and press, and currently serves on the faculty of Columbia Law School.

Columbia has three official undergraduate colleges: Columbia College (CC), the liberal arts college offering the Bachelor of Arts degree, Columbia Engineering, formerly known as SEAS, is the engineering and applied science school offering the Bachelor of Science degree, and The School of General Studies (GS), in which nontraditional students obtain a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science through either full-time or part-time study.The university is affiliated with Teachers College, Barnard College, the Union Theological Seminary, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, all located nearby in Morningside Heights. Joint undergraduate programs are available through the Jewish Theological Seminary of America as well as through the Juilliard School.Two affiliated institutions – Barnard College and Teachers College – are also Faculties of the university.

Students

For the 2010 academic year, Columbia University's student population was 27,606, with 35% of the student population identifying themselves as a minority and 23% born outside of the United States. Columbia enrolled 7,934 students in undergraduate programs, 5,393 students in graduate programs, and 12,090 students in professional programs.

On-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years as an undergraduate. Columbia College and Columbia Engineering, formerly known as SEAS, share housing in the on-campus residence halls. First-year students usually live in one of the large residence halls situated around South Lawn: Hartley Hall, Wallach Hall (originally Livingston Hall), John Jay Hall, Furnald Hall or Carman Hall. Upperclassmen participate in a room selection process, wherein students can pick to live in a mix of either corridor- or apartment-style housing with their friends. The Columbia University School of General Studies and graduate schools have their own apartment-style housing in the surrounding neighborhood.

Columbia University is home to many fraternities, sororities, and co-educational Greek organizations. Approximately 10–15% of undergraduate students are associated with Greek life.There has been a Greek presence on campus since the establishment in 1836 of the Delta Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi.The InterGreek Council is the self-governing student organization that provides guidelines and support to its member organizations within each of the three councils at Columbia, the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council. The three council presidents bring their affiliated chapters together once a month to meet as one Greek community. The InterGreek Council meetings provide opportunity for member organizations to learn from each other, work together and advocate for community needs.

Publications

One of the earliest logos of Columbia University Press

Columbia University is home to a rich diversity of undergraduate, graduate, and professional publications. The Columbia Daily Spectator is the nation's second-oldest student newspaper;and The Blue and White, a monthly literary magazine established in 1890, has recently begun to delve into campus life and local politics in print and on its daily blog, dubbed the Bwog.

Political publications include The Current,a journal of politics, culture and Jewish Affairs; the Columbia Political Review,the multi-partisan political magazine of the Columbia Political Union; and AdHoc,which denotes itself as the "progressive" campus magazine and deals largely with local political issues and arts events.

Arts and literary publications include the Columbia Review, the nation's oldest college literary magazine; Columbia, a nationally regarded literary journal; the Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism;and The Mobius Strip, an online arts and literary magazine. Inside New York is an annual guidebook to New York City, written, edited, and published by Columbia undergraduates. Through a distribution agreement with Columbia University Press, the book is sold at major retailers and independent bookstores.

Columbia is home to numerous undergraduate academic publications. The Journal of Politics & Society, is a journal of undergraduate research in the social sciences, published and distributed nationally by the Helvidius Group; Publius is an undergraduate journal of politics established in 2008 and published biannually;the Columbia East Asia Review allows undergraduates throughout the world to publish original work on China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam and is supported by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute; and The Birch,is an undergraduate journal of Eastern European and Eurasian culture that is the first national student-run journal of its kind; Columbia Political Review, the undergraduate magazine on politics operated by the Columbia Political Union; Columbia Economics Review, the undergraduate economic journal on research and policy supported by the Columbia Economics Department; and the Columbia Science Review is a science magazine that prints general interest articles, faculty profiles, and student research papers.

The Fed a triweekly satire and investigative newspaper, and the Jester of Columbia,the newly (and frequently) revived campus humor magazine both inject humor into local life. Other publications include The Columbian, the undergraduate colleges' annually published yearbook the Gadfly, a biannual journal of popular philosophy produced by undergraduates;and Rhapsody in Blue, an undergraduate urban studies magazine.Professional journals published by academic departments at Columbia University include Current Musicology and The Journal of Philosophy.During the spring semester, graduate students in the Journalism School publish The Bronx Beat, a bi-weekly newspaper covering the South Bronx. Teachers College publishes the Teachers College Record, a journal of research, analysis, and commentary in the field of education, published continuously since 1900.

Founded in 1961 under the auspices of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) examines day-to-day press performance as well as the forces that affect that performance. The magazine is published six times a year, and offers a deliberative mix of reporting, analysis, criticism, and commentary. CJR.org, its Web site, delivers real-time criticism and reporting, giving CJR a vital presence in the ongoing conversation about the media. Both online and in print, Columbia Journalism Review is in conversation with a community of people who share a commitment to high journalistic standards in the U.S. and the world.

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