Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Uris Transformation

Uris Hall sits at the very center of Columbia’s Morningside campus, adjacent to Science and Engineering quadrangles, next door to Avery Library, and a short walk from virtually every academic and student space from East Campus to Broadway. The building sits on the footprint of what was planned, in the 1890’s, to be a grand University Hall, a building that was finally built on a small scale (and to general ridicule—it was called “The Steamboat on the Hill”) in the 1920s due to lack of funding and then demolished in 1959 when Uris was built. Its central location, if not its architecture, has thus long been understood to be special, with the potential to define the university community and gather its people in an inspiring space at the heart of Morningside.

President Lee Bollinger’s gift of Uris to the Arts and Sciences represents a once-a-century opportunity to seize this potential, to unify Morningside campus with truly common space. A transformational renovation of the lower floors of Uris Hall would allow the building to unite and inspire Columbians for the century to come. Just as Low Steps serve as the beloved outdoor common space for students, faculty, and community, a commons at Uris, occupying the lower floors of Uris Hall, could become their indoor counterpart. If resources are not available for transformational renovation that would make the space itself more inspiring, a more modest renovation, focusing on the priorities of common space and classrooms, can still fundamentally change the sense of unity in Arts and Science.


Uris Vision Committee - 2019




Committee Co-Chairs

Jean Howard | Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Maya Tolstoy | Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, Dean of the Faculty (Interim), Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Committee Members (in alphabetical order):

Michael Cole | Professor of Art History and Archeology
Farah Griffin | Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies
Christopher Washburne | Associate Professor of Music

Social Sciences
Peter Bearman | Professor of Sociology
John Huber | Professor of Political Science
Pamela Smith | Professor of History

Natural Sciences
Ruben Gonzalez | Professor of Chemistry
Oliver Hobert | Professor of Biological Sciences and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Tian Zheng | Professor of Statistics

Barbara Rockenbach | Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

Ex Officio
Carlos Alonso | Vice President for Graduate Education, Dean of GSAS, Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Carol Becker | Dean of The School of Arts, Professor of the Arts
Lisa Rosen-Metsch | Dean School of General Studies, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences
James Valentini | Vice President for Undergraduate Education, Dean of Columbia College, Professor of Chemistry
Eugene Villalobos | Executive Director, Space Planning, Facilities
Jason Wingard | Dean of the School of Professional Studies, Professor of Professional Studies

Mike Ford | Student Representative, GSAS
Aja Johnson | Student Representative, Columbia College
William Veitch | Student Representative, School of General Studies

Carolyn S. Keen | Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President, Arts & Sciences
Rose Ra
zaghian | Dean of Academic Planning and Governance



Arts & Sciences Space Report

URIS committee presentation (3/30/16)

URIS floorplans

Business and Economics Library Report

URIS 2016 Library Use Data (xls)

- URIS Vision Report, Spring 2019

- Response to the Uris Vision Report by EVP, Spring 2021





Minutes Sept. 24, 2018

Minutes Oct. 8, 2018

Minutes Oct. 15, 2018

Minutes Oct. 29, 2018

Minutes Nov. 19, 2018

Minutes Dec. 3, 2018

Minutes Jan. 29, 2019

Minutes Apr. 1, 2019

Minutes Apr. 8, 2019






A&S/Libraries Committee - 2021

Committee Charge

The Uris Library Joint Steering Committee, co-chaired by Ann Thornton, Vice Provost and University Librarian, and Jean Howard, the George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, will convene in the spring term of 2021 to set the course for program and design development of the spaces shared by the Library and Arts and Sciences in Uris Hall.  The committee will evaluate, among other things, the opportunities for student and faculty space conducive to innovative forms of research and teaching, and the question of when and if outside consultation might be useful to the program design process.  It will be informed by the report of the Uris Visioning Committee from 2019 and by ongoing consultation with faculty, students, research librarians, CTL and other research and teaching supports on campus. 

Executive Sponsors

Amy Hungerford | Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences
Ann Thornton | Vice Provost and University Librarian


Jean Howard | George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities
Ann Thornton | Vice Provost and University Librarian


Amanda Bielskas | Director of Science, Engineering, and Social Sciences Libraries
Jonathan Cain | Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning
Madiha Choksi | Research and Learning Technologies Librarian
Matt Connelly | Professor of History; Director, ISERP
Nicholas Dames | English and Comparative Literature
Tom DiPrete | Giddings Professor of Sociology; Director, ISERP  
Carol Gluck | George Sansom Professor of History and Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
SungYoun Ham | Senior Space Planner, Planning & Capital Project Management
Soulaymane Kachani | Vice Provost for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation; Senior Vice Dean and Professor, Columbia Engineering
Aline Locascio | Libraries Facilities Coordinator
Reinhold Martin | Professor of Architecture; Director of the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture
Richard Peterson | Project Manager, Planning & Capital Project Management
Rose Razaghian | Dean of Academic Planning and Governance, Arts and Sciences
Victoria Rosner | Dean of Academic Affairs, General Studies
Chris Semlies | Director, Planning & Capital Project Management
Michael Tuts | Professor of Physics
Gene Villalobos | Executive Director, Planning & Capital Project Management

EPPC Uris Classroom Subcommittee - 2021


The EPPC Advisory Group (AG) on Uris Classrooms will be making recommendations on the best utilization, upgrades and renovations AND/OR RECONFIGURATIONS of the Uris classrooms.  The AG will begin by understanding the current classroom inventory, including seating capacity, seating arrangements (e.g. fixed versus flexible), and the technology provided in these rooms and how those meet pedagogical needs.  The AG will work with departments, institutes and centers, to identify the types of classrooms and technologies most needed to meet the demands for modern pedagogy.  In addition, the AG will explore possible scheduling models to maximize use for classes as well as provide sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of academic units for conferences. The AG will report its findings to the EPPC, department chairs and at a faculty meeting(s) and will work closely with the Uris Design Faculty Group (to be established soon) and the architects for the renovation of Uris Hall (to be selected soon).


Jeremy Dauber | Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture 


Rachel Adams | Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Teresa Aguayo | Director of Academic Administration and Finance, Department of Sociology
Jason Gould | Director of Facilities and Space Planning
Barry Kane | Associate Vice President and Registrar
Rob King | Professor of Film in the Faculty of the Arts; Chair, Film Division
Wayne T. Lee | Lecturer in The Discipline of Statistics
Rose Razaghian | Dean of Academic Planning and Governance
Catherine Ross | Executive Director, Center for Teaching & Learning
Jutta Schmiers-Heller | Senior Lecturer in German in the Department of Germanic Languages

A&S Units in Uris - 2021

An open call to departments in spring of 2021 invited bids for a move to Uris’s academic anchor space. With the recommendations of the Policy and Planning Committee, the Executive Committee selected the following units to move to Uris: African American and African Diaspora Studies (AAADS), Psychology, and Statistics, as well the Institute for Research in African-American Studies (IRAAS), the Center for African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice (CARSS), the Center for Race, Philosophy and Social Justice (CRPS), and the Center for Jazz Studies (CJS).

In addition, several Centers and Institutes have been identified to move into Uris Hall, through an RFP process. RFP Proposals were reviewed by the Policy and Planning Committee who made recommendations to the Executive Committee. The following units were selected:

  • Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP)
  • Center for Science and Society (CSS)
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS)

Call for Proposals

RFP Results


Design Review Committee - 2021


Denise Cruz | Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Thomas A. DiPrete | Giddings Professor of Sociology; Director, Institute of Social and Economic Research and Policy
Juliana Driever | Dir, Academic Admin & Finance, Department of Classics
Jason Gould | Director of Facilities and Space Planning
Amy Hungerford | Executive Sponsor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Rose Razaghian | Dean of Academic Planning and Governance
Josef Sorett | Professor of Religion and of African American and African Diaspora Studies; Chair, Department of Religion
Maria Uriarte | Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
Chris Washburne | Professor of Music; Chair, Department of Music
Mabel O Wilson | Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies: Director in the Institute for Research in African-American Studies

Units receiving space in Uris, including the RFP winners, will be consultants on their spaces.