Update 7:50 p.m. EDT:
White House press secretary Josh Earnest released the following statement regarding speculation that President Barack Obama will be returning to Columbia University in 2017:
"The President has long talked about his respect for Columbia University and his desire to continue working with them. However, at this point no decisions have been finalized about his post-Presidency plans."
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT:
Columbia University released a statement in regard to university President Lee Bollinger's comments about President Barack Obama's potential return to Columbia. The statement is as follows:
"Lee Bollinger’s comment at Convocation today that he was looking forward to welcoming back Columbia’s most famous alumnus only reiterated the May 12 statement by the Barack Obama Foundation that it 'intends to maintain a presence at Columbia University for the purpose of exploring and developing opportunities for a long term association' and reflected no further developments concerning President Obama’s plans."
President Barack Obama will return to Columbia University in 2017 in an “official capacity,” Metro reported Monday afternoon. Obama had transferred from Occidental College in Los Angeles to Columbia as a 20-year-old junior in 1981 and graduated from the university in 1983. He previously taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago.
Obama would be returning to the university in an “official capacity in 2017,” said Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia, according to tweets from the Columbia Spectator and Bwog, which serves as a breaking news and campus gossip Twitter account for the University. Bollinger spoke briefly on Obama’s return to Columbia during Monday’s convocation on the steps at Low Memorial Library, but did not elaborate, Metro reported.
The Twitter account for Bwog tweeted “PrezBo stated the Obama’s would be returning to Columbia in an official capacity next year. No further details. #nsop2015” followed by “Is Obama going to take over teaching PrezBo’s class next year? Will he have as many body guards as PrezBo? So many questions!” The Columbia Spectator account also tweeted, “Bollinger says at convocation that Obama might be coming back to campus in 2017. Unclear about what capacity.”
PrezBo stated the Obama's would be returning to Columbia in an official capacity next year. No further details. #nsop2015
— Bwog (@bwog) August 31, 2015
— Spectrum (@CUspectrum) August 31, 2015
Is Obama going to take over teaching PrezBo's class next year? Will he have as many body guards as PrezBo? So many questions!
— Bwog (@bwog) August 31, 2015
Speculation about Obama’s return to his alma mater began circulating in late April when the New York Post reported there were rumors that Obama would move to New York to teach as a professor at Columbia Law School after he leaves the White House. Michelle Obama had been spotted in February touring the upper Manhattan campus with daughter Malia, according to the New York Post, and the pair also reportedly toured Barnard College and New York University.
However, former presidential aide Reggie Love told BuzzFeed in late March that Obama's younger daughter, Sasha, will still be in high school until 2019, which is a factor he believes will affect Obama's post-White House plans.