A Guide to the Office of the Provost

The Provost is the University’s chief academic officer, charged with ensuring the excellence of academic programs and faculty.

With the support of several Vice Provosts, the Provost directs the development and implementation of the University’s academic plans and policies, and builds strong administrative support for academic activities.

As leader of the academic enterprise, the Provost:

  • Governs policies and processes for academic appointments and oversees academic personnel. The Provost decides, with the support of the Tenure Review Advisory Committee, who should be recommended to the President and Trustees for tenure.
  • Works in partnership with senior leadership to develop the University’s annual budget and long-term financial plans.
  • Oversees resources for educational advances and cross-disciplinary collaboration, helping faculty push the boundaries of knowledge, scholarship, and pedagogy.
  • Stewards the Faculty Diversity Initiative, Columbia’s $185 million commitment to build a more diverse and inclusive faculty through targeted recruitment, grants, and other efforts.
  • Oversees a range of units that support the academic life of the University, including the Libraries, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia University Press, and University Seminars.
  • Leads the administration of numerous programs to support faculty professional development as well as work/life needs, and guides the allocation of important resources for faculty, including housing.
  • Is the senior administrator for the Trustees Academic Affairs Committee.
  • Serves as the University's chief affirmative action officer.

Vice Provost Offices

The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs manages the University’s tenure review process and implements policies and processes for academic personnel, and oversees the Office of Faculty Retirement.

The most prominent responsibility of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs is supporting the Provost in their role deciding, with the assistance of the Tenure Review Advisory Committee, whom to recommend to the President and Trustees for tenure.

The office is also responsible for policies governing academic appointments. It approves salaries, leaves, and promotions of academic officers on behalf of the President and administers policies relating to them. The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs works with both the faculty affairs and human resources teams at individual schools.

[email protected]
[email protected]

The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement offers faculty development, diversity, planning, and community-building initiatives that help current and future faculty thrive.

This office administers the University’s Faculty Diversity Initiative, supporting the recruitment of scholars from historically underrepresented groups. Other projects include faculty pathways initiatives, new faculty orientation, and faculty grants and awards.

This broad portfolio also includes the Office of Work/Life, which is dedicated to the well-being of Columbia personnel, and supports faculty as they navigate schooling, childcare, and housing in the New York area.

Given its broad portfolio, this office works closely with a range of people at schools, including Deans, Diversity Officers, and Faculty Affairs leaders, among others.

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[email protected] 

The Office of the Senior Vice Provost advances the Office of the Provost’s mission by propelling excellence in teaching and learning, promoting global engagement, and supporting administration and planning.

It promotes excellence in teaching and learning through the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation and the Center for Teaching and Learning and spearheads initiatives to expand the University’s online and hybrid offerings, including Columbia+, Columbia University’s online platform for engaging alumni and learners from around the world.

It advances international engagement through developing and supporting global partnerships; assists international students, faculty, and researchers, and their families, throughout their time at Columbia; and provides pre-travel, operational, and emergency support to allow affiliates to focus on teaching, research, and learning abroad.

It supports many aspects of academic management of the University, including administrative planning, space planning, faculty housing, and K-12 schooling, and provides support to the Provost’s Office financial commitments and Human Resources support for employees of the Office of the Provost.

It also has direct oversight of several units that report to the Office of the Provost.

At individual schools, OSVP works with Deans and other leadership, including Education Deans on pedagogical innovation and student service-related issues, Faculty Affairs leadership and Deans on faculty housing and schooling issues, and Senior Business Officers on issues related to administration, planning, and financial management.

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The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP) is responsible for overseeing the University’s academic programs and educational partnerships and for leading the University’s accreditation process.  

The office supports the creation of new educational programs, working with schools to develop innovative curricula, and securing University approvals as well as approval from the New York State Education Department. OVPAP ensures that schools across the University have the support necessary to deliver high quality academic programs and serves as a platform to share information, innovation and best practices across and between units.

OVPAP is responsible for the conduct of periodic, rigorous academic reviews of schools, institutes, and other university-wide units. The office is also engaged in supporting faculty development, administering university-wide awards for faculty and graduate students, managing internal funding competitions for faculty, and facilitating interschool fellowships for graduate students. The office also has shared oversight of the Office of Planning and Institutional Research (OPIR) in partnership with the Office of the Senior Vice Provost. OPIR provides analytical and research support to the Provost and other senior administrators and reports historical and current information about the University for both internal and external audiences.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs works closely with Education Deans at each school.

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The Vice Provost for Communications and Engagement oversees the communications function of the Office of the Provost, manages the administrative support team for the Provost, and supports the Provost across a range of stakeholder groups and initiatives.

This office develops provostial communications and works with the various Vice Provosts to support their priorities and initiatives. The Vice Provost staffs the Provost on a number of governance and advisory bodies and university processes.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Communications and Engagement works closely with the Provost on a range of initiatives and thus is often in touch with many units at each school, including Deans.

[email protected]

The Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action works to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment. This office develops and implements policies and procedures that address discrimination, harassment, gender-based misconduct, permitted and prohibited relationships, the duty to report and the duty to act, in accordance with relevant federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws.

This office offers training with a focus on education and prevention, and also responds to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other policy violations.

At Columbia schools, when an EOAA-related issue arises, Deans, departmental leadership, as well as human resources staff work closely with this office.

[email protected]

The Vice Provost for the Fourth Purpose and Strategic Impact works to strengthen efforts to apply scholarly knowledge to benefit humanity, which Columbia has identified as its “Fourth Purpose,” alongside teaching, research, and public service.

The office develops academic and administrative infrastructure to strengthen collaboration and remove barriers to partnership across the University and with external partners, and also serves as a central University resource for projects advancing the Fourth Purpose.  

The Vice Provost for the Fourth Purpose and Strategic Impact is often a resource for Deans, Directors of Centers and Institutes, and Deans of Research.


The Vice Provost and University Librarian oversees Columbia’s academic research libraries, which host over 3 million in-person and over 20 million online visits annually. 

Collections – in 450 languages and spanning 4,000 years of human thought – plus library programs and services are informed by curricula, the needs of a diverse student body, emerging areas of research, and perspectives from diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations and communities. 

Columbia's library staff lead in many areas: digital preservation, global collection development, shared collections with partner institutions, support for research and digital scholarship, and metadata and resource discoverability.

The University Librarian meets frequently with the Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

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