Sept. 22, 1997
With an inaugural celebration that mixed formal pomp and circumstance with Frisbees, hotdogs and rock music, new University President Lee Bollinger officially took office Friday, demonstrating that a new era has begun at the University.
Bollinger was inaugurated as the University”s 12th president during a public ceremony in Hill Auditorium.
After officially signing himself in as president in a special inauguration book, Bollinger outlined principles of academic autonomy and the importance of having a transparent administration.
Participants of the 300-person procession leave the Rackham Building and walk toward Hill Auditorium Friday morning for the inauguration ceremony of University President Lee Bollinger. Below, Bollinger greets members of the University community on Ingalls Mall following the formal ceremony.
He emphasized five principles that should guide the University, including focusing on collective goals, the importance of independence from political interference, and instilling historic pride in the University before it gets lost.
“When someone comes to us with an idea that seems good, our response should not be first and foremost what will it mean for our school, our department or our group,” Bollinger said.
“Instead, there ought to be … a University perspective at heart and a sense of pride in helping make things happen without anyone having to know it happened,” he said.
Bollinger said the administration should take the attitude that everything it does should be “transparent or invisible to our faculty and students.”
“I share the view a few others have expressed that the greatest problem for the modern university is not its disordered, somewhat chaotic, structure, but its tendency towards bureaucracy,” Bollinger said. “Creativity abhors a bureaucracy.”
Physiology Prof. Louis D”Alecy, chair of the faculty”s governing body, said Bollinger”s insights on the importance of the autonomy of the faculty are significant and necessary.
“He”s just an intellectual shining light,” D”Alecy said, adding that Bollinger”s statements show his commitment to the faculty.