Columbia University has received a $10 million gift to establish the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary academic center that will be jointly administered by Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School.
The grant was awarded by the Richard Paul and Ellen S. Richman Private Family Foundation. Richard Richman, a graduate of both Columbia Law School (’72) and Columbia Business School (’73), is chairman of The Richman Group, one of the largest owners and developers of rental housing in the nation. He serves on the Dean’s Council at the Law School and is a member of the Business School’s Board of Overseers.
The new center will encourage collaboration among Columbia’s most prominent business and legal scholars to generate research that will inform public policy and help connect scholarship with real-world applications. The center will also provide a platform for dialogue and the exchange of ideas on timely and relevant issues, while inspiring future students to pursue careers at the nexus of business, law, and public policy.
“The complex challenges in public policy need to be informed by the pragmatic perspectives of both business and law,” Richman said. “Columbia’s intellectual capital in these two disciplines is unparalleled and represents a powerful tool to address today’s problems as well as lay the foundation for a well-planned future.”
The Richman Foundation will also help fund two new professorships — one at each school — the Richard Paul Richman Professorship of Law and the Richard Paul Richman Professorship of Business. The professors honored with these chairs will conduct innovative curricular and research initiatives in business, law, and public policy. The Richard Paul Richman Professorship of Law will be established with a matching gift from the H. F. Lenfest Professorship Match, and the Richard Paul Richman Professorship of Business will be established with a matching gift from the Arthur J. Samberg Faculty Development Fund.
“Columbia Business School faculty members frequently play important roles in policy discussions in areas of utmost importance to our economy, including housing, monetary policy, and economic stimulus,” said Dean Glenn Hubbard. “Our student body learns to be keenly aware of the role that policy plays in the economic health of various markets. The Richman Center will provide even more opportunities for the School to help form the policies that generate the business opportunities of tomorrow.”
To ensure the Richman Center’s ongoing presence at the University, the endowment will be used to underwrite administrative, personnel, marketing, and publication costs. A portion of the gift will also support the launch of activities at the center, which will include curriculum development, the funding of faculty research projects, and extracurricular programming such as panel discussions and academic or industry conferences.
A celebration of the center will take place on campus on May 19, 2011. To learn more about the event, please contact Janet Rossbach, director of alumni relations, at jbr2123columbia.edu.