Columbia University’s longtime legal advocate for LGBTQ rights and racial equity steps down from her role as Executive Vice President for University Life to join the Biden-Harris Presidential team.
Suzanne Goldberg, Executive Vice President of University Life, will be stepping down from her current University position to join the Biden-Harris Administration effective immediately, according to an email from President Bollinger this afternoon. She has also taken a temporary leave of absence from her faculty position at the Columbia Law School. Her new role has not yet been specified, and we at Bwog are waiting on clarification from Columbia’s communications department regarding Goldberg’s new role. We will update this article as we receive more information. The full text of the email from President Bollinger is provided below.
Goldberg is the founder and director of the Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic, co-director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, as well as a longtime proponent for LGBTQ rights in the United States. Her efforts were most notable in the Lawrence v. Texas case, in which anti-sodomy laws were declared to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Her contributions to the Columbia community, in addition to her role as the Herbert and Doris Weschler Clinical Professor of Law, include establishing the Office of University Life, the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, the Awakening Our Democracy event series, as well as overseeing the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative and collaborating on the reports regarding Columbia’s Commitment to Anti-Racism.
Radhika Patel and Joseph Greenwell of the Office of University Life will temporarily fill Goldberg’s former leadership role in order to aid with the transition.
President Bollinger’s Email, January 20, 2:05 pm:
Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I write to announce that Suzanne Goldberg, Columbia’s founding Executive Vice President for University Life, will be stepping down as EVP to join the Biden-Harris administration, effective this afternoon. We could not be more pleased and proud that she has chosen to bring her considerable talents and expertise to Washington, D.C.
Suzanne will be taking a temporary leave of absence from her faculty position at Columbia Law School, where she serves as the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, founder and director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, and co-director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. She has spent decades advocating for the rights of LGBTQ individuals. In Lawrence v. Texas, she successfully represented defendants prosecuted under an anti-sodomy law, with the Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional.
In the six years since she established the Office of University Life, Professor Goldberg has transformed it into a bedrock Columbia institution. Among other accomplishments, Suzanne has overseen the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative, created the University-wide Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, launched the Awakening Our Democracy event series, and co-produced reports on Columbia’s Commitment to Anti-Racism. This work and more will continue. We are fortunate to have in Radhika Patel, Suzanne’s long-time Chief of Staff, and Joseph Greenwell, Vice President for Student Affairs, exceptional interim leaders of the Office as we work through this period of transition.
I am personally deeply grateful for all that Suzanne has done for Columbia and the nation, and, on behalf of all of us, I congratulate her on this new role.
Lee C. Bollinger
Suzanne Goldberg via Columbia University