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. old white lady for OBAMA

    WE KNOW FOR CERTAIN WARHILLIE WAS NEITHER AT ANY TIME.

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Demi

    Every dirty little trick Hillary tries to pull off seems to BACKFIRE! Really this is childish from the Clinton campaign, grow up!

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Kris from AZ

    Teach me Senator Obama. Fight the good fight

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. The Great One

    Wow...so clinton makes a "Mis-statement" on her "sniper trip" and they go after obama's educational record and wither he was a professor or not???? how childish is that? LOL and then she gets smacked in the face by the university for her campaign making a "Mis-statement" on obama's educational role....SHAME. lol

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Harrison

    HRC campaign can't get their facts straight. Grasping at straws, throwing sinks......makes them look deranged on some level.

    I hope she wins the nomination as it will be so easy for McCain in the Fall.

    McCain 08

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. Ted

    It's over Hillary... give it up. You are embarressing yourself now.

    March 28, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Arlington, TX

    Everyone must ask themself a simple question, why is it that Hillary Clinton's sending out her camp to try to dis out garbage on Obama.

    It hard for the Clinton's to be honest, truthful, and do what best for America they are selfish.

    I truly understand that their in debt and owe a lot of big wigs but simply thing they need to take on a second job to pay them back. But, not at the expense of the American people.

    Can the New Media just really investgate the Clinton's Business oversea. with Dubai Port World and settle the romur that Bill Clinton got paid..... And that how Hillary loan herself the $ 5 Million dollars?

    March 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  8. Tyler D.

    It must be noted that numerous officials at the University of Chicago, including the President and others who hold high offices, have contributed maximum donations to the Obama campaign. They should come to his aid! Take from it what you will but this important fact should be reported on with this story although it is not surprising CNN, excuse me it is now ONN (Obama News Network, positive Obama spin 24/7), leaves out this important detail.

    March 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. George, Dallas, TX

    In OBAMA we TRUST!

    March 28, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Jan

    Great News !

    Go Obama 08 !

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. Sergio from Seattle

    whether he was a professor or not it does not matter. What matters is Barack is a very smart man, who happens to have a Ph.D. in law, this something Senator Clinton cannot say about herself. I just can't think of why people think that Obama has no experience when he not only has a Ph.D. and has thought in the University of Chicago, he has been a civil right lawyer and has been a legislator longer than Senator Clinton, don't forget that not only has he served in the US Senate but also in the Illinois Senate. So the fact that he was a senior lecturer should be viewed as a plus not as a negative which is how Senator Clinton wants us to see it as.

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. John

    As a Brit and an external but fascinated observer to this Democratic contest I am constantly amazed at the lengths both camps (but mainly Clinton) are going to try to discredit their opponent – the damage that this can cause to the Democratic cause in the eyes of the voting public leading up to the Presidential Election will be devestating and could kill their campaign both from a financial and a popular vote perspective – McCain must be loving this especially as I see that he has just laucnhed his first presidential campaign advert – he has no diversions and can concentrate on taking the country with him.

    From an international perspective I would love to see Obama come home as I think he will bring a totally new perception of US politics to the rest of the world.

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Ross in MD

    Wow, the Clinton camp lying again. What a surprise...

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. charlotte

    Embellishment at the least.

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Ben Caswell

    Hillary's campaign is sad. Please urge her to give it up. She is making herself look very, very, very bad.

    March 28, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Carol

    The lying resume fudger can't even lie about her opponent's resume without get caught. She's so pathetic. I can't understand how anyone an be so dumb as to want her as their president.

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. David

    Hillary good try but as you see the university says he was a professor and being I work at a university myself, Senior lecturers who teach credited courses are considered to be professors. He did not misspeak like you often do.

    Donner

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. clare

    do the clintons see how ridiculous they are beginning to look ? they are like the bully in the school yard, picking on anyone, making things up, telling tales, crying......anything to get their own way. And i say that in the plural because anyone who thinks they are only getting Hillary is mistaken, the entire disfunctional family will be on the ticket,.

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Mike

    Give it a rest Hillary! Stop trying to tear this guy down!

    I'm sure she was trying to deflect the light away from her bogus military experience while landing under "sniper fire" in Bosnia.

    Give me a break. Hillary needs to bow out now.

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Rose - Baltimore, MD

    There we go ha ha! Clinton thought this was going to beat her Bosnia lies. HE WAS A SENIOR LECTURER ASLO REFERRED TO AS A 'PROFESSOR'. Next!

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Niky

    One more failed attempt from Clinton campaign to bring down Obama.

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Thanks to the university of chicago for going beyond the call of duty to define the term professor to pin heads, who ignore the monumental problems facing the country to chase after unnecessary smear implements. The continued popularity of Barack in spite of the kitchen sink strategy is further evidence that the voters are fed up with politics as usual and have embraced the message of hope and change.

    March 28, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Max

    As a TA with a Master's degree, I'm pleased that I can now refer to myself as a Professor!!! Ha ha. Shame on U of C for defending the label as anyone in academia knows there's a gulf between having a doctorate and/or being a tenured track instructor and being adjunct.

    March 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Go PSU

    The Clinton campaign....what a joke.

    March 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Mike Tacoma, wa

    Big deal what about him changing his story on his Pastor Wright again? He touts his judgment yet only now says if Wright hadn't retired he would have left the church?? Well that makes me forget about Wright being on Obama's Campaign Staff. And the fact that for at least the last 7 years he has been saying controversial stuff yet you continued to follow him. Any pastor who has said the hurtful things that Wright has from the pulpit should not be allowed to preach. If you can't keep your political leanings out of your Sermons then don't preach.

    March 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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