Columbia University Names Minouche Shafik 20th President

Minouche Shafik a leading economist and president of @LSEnews has

Shafik believes that diversity can be encouraged by opening “the door for others,” which results in “better workplaces, better decisions, and more impact.” To this end, she sees universities playing an important role “in social mobility and providing access and opportunity to everyone. There is much debate about this issue in terms of admissions, in terms of the costs of education, in terms of the impact and benefits of higher education. And we need to rise to that challenge because providing opportunities for everyone is a core part of what we do.”

Shafik is committed to Columbia’s Core Curriculum, which she sees as providing the “foundation for citizenship” and cultivating in people the “capacity to think for themselves.” She is looking forward to engaging with students, whom she said are “important partners in thinking about how to improve the student experience, what their education should encompass, as well as participating in the research and the intellectual life of the University.”

On a personal note, Shafik is excited to move to New York City. “When I met my husband, he was living in New York City. Three of our children are New Yorkers. So, my family feels we are coming back to the center of the universe. I have a lot of curiosity and eagerness to discover the city.” Columbia, she continued, “is a great University in a great, global city. And that combination is quite distinctive, and I think creates an openness to the world and a sense of dynamism and creativity that is unique.”

Over the next few days, before heading back to LSE to conclude her service, Shafik will be visiting all four Columbia campuses, talking with faculty, students, staff, and local community leaders. “I do a lot of management by walking around…meeting people, chatting, learning about what they’re doing and I look forward to doing lots of that at Columbia.”

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