The school year’s first University Senate meeting opened with a speech by Prezbo where he gave his perspective on the present and future of Columbia. He said that Columbia is in one of its “greatest eras.” He gave compliments to the new and some of the returning deans, praised the architectural changes around Columbia, and commented on the improvement of SEAS. While he cannot right now release financial data, he is confident that Columbia will retain the largest return on its endowment among universities with endowments over $1 billion and will remain in the top 5 of universities in terms of dollars coming in. He also stated that the university’s recent capital campaign was the 2nd most successful in US history.
On sexual assault, Prezbo stated that the there was a nationwide movement around the issue where every school needs to step up, and he believes Columbia has stepped up. He noted that he had discussions with students about sexual assault policy over the summer and wants to have more, but he had to institute a new policy before the beginning of the school year.