Columbia to Create Climate School

Overhead shot of Upper Manhattan and Central Park
Eileen Barroso

President Lee C. Bollinger, acting on the recommendation of a faculty task force set up to explore what Columbia can do to address global climate change, announced in January that the University plans to create a new school that will serve as its “central location for climate research and teaching.”

While details of the new school’s structure and operation are still being worked out, a 104-page report issued by the task force suggests that it will initially focus on creating climate-related courses for both undergraduate and graduate students. Most of its faculty will hold joint appointments with other Columbia schools and departments, and though it will not grant bachelor’s degrees at first, the school will likely offer joint master’s degrees in areas like climate and law, climate and journalism, or climate and the arts. 

Bollinger also announced that Columbia is creating the new position of chief climate officer to guide the University’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.