News | Administration

Schiller named co-chair of board of trustees

  • MR. CO-CHAIRMAN | Jonathan Schiller (center) will serve as co-chair of Columbia’s board of trustees with William Campbell, the board announced Thursday.

Updated, Dec. 19, 7:50 p.m.

Jonathan Schiller, CC ’69, Law ’73, has been elected co-chair of Columbia’s board of trustees, the board announced today.

Schiller will serve alongside William Campbell, CC ’62, M.S. ’64, and the board’s chair since 2005. When Campbell chooses to retire, Schiller will become sole chairman of the board.

“I'm honored to take on this responsibility at an institution that has meant so much to me and my family,” Schiller, a managing partner and co-founder of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, said in a statement.

Schiller, who was named to the board in 2009, also serves on the Dean’s Council for Columbia Law School and has been awarded the University’s two highest honors—the John Jay Award in 2006 and the Hamilton Medal in 2012.

Campbell said in a statement that the University is “extremely fortunate to have a person of Jonathan’s talent and character take on this role on our Board.”

“Our Board and the University will benefit from Jonathan’s expanded role, and I am looking forward to collaborating with him to build on the substantial progress of recent years,” Campbell said.

In a statement, University President Lee Bollinger said that Schiller was “familiar with the initiatives that are essential to Columbia’s future.”

“We look forward to benefitting from his leadership together with Bill Campbell who, in his distinguished service on this Board over the past decade, has been an extraordinary resource to this University and a close friend to me personally,” Bollinger said.

Schiller told Spectator back in 2001 that he had an “unremitting love” for his alma mater.

While at Columbia, Schiller was a member of Columbia’s Ivy League championship-winning basketball team in 1968.

His co-chair, Campbell, also has a history with Columbia athletics—Campbell captained the football team when the University won its first and only Ivy championship in 1961 and coached the team from 1974 to 1979.

Once he left his basketball career and Columbia behind, Schiller became notable for his success in the courtroom. His firm represented former Vice President Al Gore during the Bush v. Gore proceedings in 2000, and Napster during the music sharing site’s lawsuit in 2001.

Still, Schiller has stayed connected to his alma mater through his roles on the board of trustees and at the Law School—and his three children all graduated from Columbia in recent years.

At the Hamilton Dinner in his honor in 2012, Schiller said, “Columbia—from the time I first walked through the gates, past the majestic architecture, and into my first Lit Hum class—has excited me and challenged me.”  |  @sammcooney


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Sartorious posted on

Who has the worse haircut? PrezBo or Schiller?

Winner (Loser?) gets a SuperCuts gift coupon

Alum posted on

The Columbia University "rat pack"! They look like the are performing in a Las Vegas lounge.

Rich Forzani '66C posted on

Our compliments and best wishes to Mr. Schiller, on behalf of the Committee for Athletic Excellence at Columbia. We also extend thanks and appreciation to Mr. Campbell for the financial and personal effort he has expended on behalf of CU over the years. Both individuals have long, proven records of support for Alma Mater as well as extraordinary career accomplishment.

We also earnestly hope that with their shared memory of athletic accomplishment, the two will work together until such time as Mr. Campbell hands over the reins to assure that CU athletics (including campus facilities) are treated with the intelligence and foresight they deserve, rather than the ad hoc and systemically ineffective methods historically and currently deployed.

We all want to see success for Columbia. CAEC stands ready to support intelligent initiatives to help this happen.

Rich Forzani '66C
Chair, CAEC

CU_Alum posted on

"Schiller became notable for his success in the courtroom. His firm represented former Vice President Al Gore during the Bush v. Gore proceedings in 2000, and Napster during the music sharing site’s lawsuit in 2001."

He has had many notable successes. So why does Spec support this statement by citing two cases he lost?

Anonymous posted on

Because Spec wants to show him to be a blustery old windbag.

protestfolk posted on

Coincidentally, among the corporate clients whose special corporate interests Columbia University Board of Trustees' co-chair and his law firm have apparently represented in recent years have been Goldman Sachs and Raytheon. The website of Columbia Board of Trustees Co-Chair Schiller's law firm describes in more detail than does this Columbia Spectator article the kind of legal work he has done, by noting the following:

"Mr. Schiller was lead counsel for the successful defense of The Bank of New York Mellon against a $22.5 billion RICO Claim...

"Mr. Schiller is leading the defense of Barclays in numerous lawsuits filed after the bank’s $453 million LIBOR settlement, including ten consolidated class actions, an action regarding Yen LIBOR and a securities fraud action, all in the Southern District of New York Mr. Schiller previously represented Barclays Capital Inc. in a $13 billion trial surrounding the Lehman bankruptcy...,He also represented Barclays Bank PLC in the successful resolution of a dispute with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in the Lehman bankruptcy.

"Clothing magnate Tory Burch retained Mr. Schiller in a closely-watched dispute involving intellectual property rights regarding her former business partner and ex-husband Chris Burch and his C. Wonder clothing brand...

"Mr. Schiller also successfully defended Goldman Sachs & Co. against New York Stock Exchange seat holders...

"Mr. Schiller also represented the Board of Directors of RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based reinsurer, in connection with federal and state governmental investigations of securities law matters in the insurance and reinsurance industries and the related defense of private security class actions.

"In 2004, Mr. Schiller successfully represented YES Networks...

"Mr. Schiller successfully represented Florida Power & Light against two Indonesian state companies, Pertamina and PLN, seeking contract damages for cancellation of a geothermal power project.... He also successfully represented Westinghouse (now CBS Corporation), Siemens and Raytheon in parallel international arbitration and federal court proceedings, securing a federal court order staying enforcement of a $1.4 billion Pakistani court judgment in contravention of an arbitration agreement, and a declaratory judgment of $4 million in damages. He later obtained an injunction against any re-entry of a Pakistan judgment in the United Statesand, in 2005, secured dismissal of the Pakistan proceeding by the Pakistani Supreme Court.

"Mr. Schiller has also successfully represented a Kuwaiti oil company..." .

So don't expect Columbia University's new co-chair to do to much about transforming Columbia University from a corporate university that primarily serves as a manpower training school/real estate development and investment firm for "the 1 percent" and external special corporate, military and government interests into a community of scholars that primarily serves as an anti-corporate/anti-war, democratically-run center of critical inquiry for "the 99 percent" of New York City.

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