March 28th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
3 years ago

University of Chicago: Obama was a 'professor'

The University of Chicago said Friday Obama was considered a professor at the school.
The University of Chicago said Friday Obama was considered a professor at the school.

(CNN) – The University of Chicago said Friday Barack Obama accurately described himself as a onetime law professor at the school, despite the fact his formal title was "Senior Lecturer."

The university's statement comes after the Clinton campaign recently suggested on several occasions that the Illinois senator was embellishing his role at the school by calling himself a professor.

The campaign also sent out a press release quoting a 2004 Chicago Sun-Times column that stated of Obama's professor claim: "Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter."

But in a statement, the university said its senior lecturers are considered professors.

"From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School," the statement said.

"He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track," it also said.

– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Peter Hamby


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. Wayne

    Obama tells the truth about his background while Clinton lies and embellishes her background. It's that simple. Honest politician and decent guy against a dishonest politician binded by her own ambition.

    OBAMA 08

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Dee from NY

    And anyone with the least familiarity with academia would know this – Hillary Clinton's people are either ignorant or shameless – or maybe both!

    March 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. B. Rabbit

    He shoots... HE SCORES!

    Obama '08

    March 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Obama belongs in a Professorship of a Law School. Perfect Vocation for Obama; however, he is NOT qualified, because of his total lack of experience, to be the President of this great Nation.

    March 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Margi

    He was a professor, not just married to a professor.

    March 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Jordan

    Uh-oh... Hillary was caught lying again!~ I believe that's the fourth one exposed this week! No wonder her rating as trustworthy is at a 7 year low!

    March 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Peter T

    Can we please not get riled up about this?

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. jasper

    Well , by this argument Hillary is overwhelmingly more qualified to lead the country than Obama.

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  9. Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    This should closed the issue to his status as a law professor.......or will Hillary have a rebuttal to the University of Chicago's statement?

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. David

    Is it anybody's fault that Billary and Hillam (including Chelsea) can not even tell their shadow or mirror image the truth. They need to realise everybody is not pathetic liars as they are. Americans how noble will it be to have a second lying president be sure you ve got someone out to double check whatever they tell you, even when it is day check to be sure it is really really really...day.

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Texas Al

    President Professor Obama!!! I like the sound of that. Such better than all the other options. Certainly better than what we have now.

    Obama '08

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Pro Pundit

    I guess Clinton will be "under sniper fire" after this...

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. liar

    Like always...just a bunch of hot air.

    Obama supporters generally consider embellishments lies.

    But not when it is Obama

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. Debo

    There she goes again, trying to get everybody in the mud with her. She fabricates (or lies, however you want to label it) and then tries to get everyone down in the gutter with her. What an inspirational leader she is? NOT!

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. jj

    of course it's from IL, they'll back what he says. Maybe the news will ask other PROFESSORS, if that's true, but not use their names as they might get fired for correcting their golden boy.

    March 28, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Ken

    Anyone else find this funny? Clinton is telling everyone details matter, while at the same time talking about running for cover in Bosnia. Hilarious.

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Abi

    Shame on the Clinton Campaign!

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. ndlily

    The Clintons saying "details matter" is a little like David Duke calling someone a racist. But more seriously, maybe they should have done a little more fact checking before making fools out of themselves–yet again. Then again, since Hillary couldn't be bothered to read the entire report on something as important as the Iraq war, how could we expect her or her campaign to be expected to expend energy checking what this university considered a professor.

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Vee

    haah...Hillary..HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    I hate you..girl...

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. yeah

    This man DOES NOT lie.

    He just constantly distorts and reshapes the truth.

    He just constantly re-spins words to excuse what he actually said.

    Gimme Hillary

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Latina Democrat

    Obama supporters always ask Clinton to quit everytime she is about to win a primary hmmmm.........Not this not patriotic!

    March 28, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Keish

    Now what? What else are they going to try and dig up...should have done their research before even putting it out there. I will ceratinly be gald when this mess is doen and over with. It is really taking too much time and attention of what really matters.

    March 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  23. Fabienne

    One more time, minus one for the Clintons. Obama just proved he is a reliable person. Anything else you want prove of Mrs Clinton?

    March 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Jane Henson

    When I worked for the music department at a major university, the top professional musicians who taught academic courses there had the title Senior Lecturer. They were considered faculty members on an equal footing with the tenure-track faculty. I never heard one of them call himself a professor, but it doesn't seem out of line to describe oneself that way to people who may not be familiar with the other term.

    March 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Marissa

    me to the Clinton campaign: really? REALLY?

    Details matter when you're discussing your trip to Bosnia, or when you're talking about peace deals you DID NOT broker in Ireland. Details such as your tax returns matter....shall I go on?

    UGH.

    Obama, the Professor, in 08.

    March 28, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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