Welcome to the Office of the Secretary of Columbia University.
Established in 1895, the Office of the Secretary has primary responsibility for facilitating the governance of the University. The office directly supports the work of the Board of Trustees, including the staffing of quarterly board meetings, annual board retreats, committee meetings, and orientation for new Trustees. The office also maintains a directory of trustees and updates the University Charters and Statutes.
In addition, the office oversees the process for selecting honorary degree recipients and the winners of the University Medal for Excellence. The Office of the Secretary also undertakes, from time to time, special projects on behalf of the president and the University Trustees.
This week marks the end of what will undoubtedly be one of the most consequential periods in the history of Columbia. Lee Bollinger has led this University to astonishing new heights and now leaves it primed for even greater excellence. The Trustees are immensely grateful for his leadership and proud of all that was accomplished during his presidency.
To everyone who gave us their time and shared input and ideas, thank you. By working together across the University and with our many stakeholders, we conducted a search not on behalf of any single group, but one that was in the overall interests of Columbia and with the very best result.
I Need Help With
Appointment or reappointment of officers of instruction and the terms of appointment are first confirmed in writing by the department chair or dean. They are then subject to approval by the Provost of the University. Upon approval, the Office of the Provost issues formal letters of appointment on behalf of the Secretary of the University.
Obtaining Blue Seal Letters
Blue Seal Letters enable faculty to receive appropriate courtesies for observation and study while traveling; they are addressed to officials in charge of archives, government agencies, institutes of health, and institutions of learning, libraries, and museums.
To obtain a Blue Seal Letter, send a request via email to [email protected] with the following information:
- Tenure Status
- Travel Dates and Requested Permissions
- Contact Information
Processing takes approximately one week.
Frequently Asked Questions
An official list and official biographies of University Trustees are available on the Board of Trustees page.
Information regarding the process, background, and form for nominating candidates can be found in the Honors and Prizes section of our website.