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. vjh

    Take note HRC, Obama did not 'misspeak'. He doesn't have to exaggerate or lie, he isn't dillusional.

    March 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Desperation!

    Severe Desperation.

    It is getting a little sad. Her campaign tries to dig and dig. Then Hillary is caught lying.

    I will not vote for her if she gets the nomination.

    She should get out.

    March 28, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    Not under sniper fire...not mis-spoken.

    March 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. AA

    there is a big difference in the 2 titles. Obama has a JD and not a PhD. He should not be called a Professor.

    March 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Ben

    surely the Clinton campaign would at least give Obama the chance to say that he "misspoke" when he said he was a professor, after all he says literally millions of words a day. no? hypocrisy at its finest.

    March 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. MCNEIL

    HE IS GOOD AT SPEECHES......A LECTURER............

    March 28, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. cathy/texas

    The clinton camp makes me want to vomit. At this point, I can't stand the sight or sound of her.

    I have come to expect nothing but dirty tricks, dirty politics, race baiting, manipulation of facts and outright lies from those people. Enough.

    I agree with the comments made that she is looking to take down Obama and the party in order to try to force herself upon us.

    I'd call it blonde ambition, but let's face it – even that's not real.
    Why doesn't someone just put her out of our misery once and for all.

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Vick

    Obama..you are a perfect president...Go for it

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Johnson

    If these are the dirt that Hillary camp can come up with on Obama, he should already be in the white house.

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. fairandstraight

    Why would a man like this need to embellish accomplishments? Unlike, Sen. Clinton, he does not need to create stories to impress people for votes.

    I am very thankful that the school was able to verify his service.

    Obama 08!!!!!

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. aware

    Give me a break!

    Obama went to two Ivy League schools, spent 20 years in a church with a black liberation ideology, allied himself with JW who not only voiced oral racist rants but put them in the church bulletin and in the church magazine as well. He took his wife and young daughters to this same church.

    Obama has a lopsided view of race and of America! :(

    He has nothing to teach but a lot to learn!

    He is not electable in 08!

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Tony in NM

    one for Obama, the professor

    zero for Clinton, the liar

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. A

    clinton just sucks....she tries to smear and gets served.

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Juan from L.A.

    Stupid Clinton Campaign!!! Stupid just get out of the race now before you hurt the party more. Thanks for aiding McCain. Then you cry when Obama start digging up the so much dirt your candidate has with her family.

    March 28, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Rosalynd

    The Clinton Campaign and Dan Abrahms of MSNBC 'The Verdict' owe Senator Obama an apology for claiming he was fabricating his creditials on this.

    March 28, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Did you ever notice that Clinton supporters really really really want to believe that "all politicians lie"....I think they need to – as the one they support does it daily....(or are they calling that "misspeaking" today?)

    March 28, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Dr. Vincent Petrosino

    As an academician myself, I know that statement from the University of Chicago is true as it is true in many other universities across this country. A senior lecturer who teaches three courses is a professor albeit without tenure or on tenure track. He has presence on campus, must hold office hours if necessary and students take his courses per requisite or as electives knowing he is teaching them. So Hillary has misfired again. Senator Obama has not "embellished" as she has lied about her role in Belfast, her sniper-fire in Bosnia and Chelsea jogging around Central Park on 9/11. Nice try but it did not work. As a parent with a daughter who has a post graduate degree from the University of Chicago I can also attest to the excellent reputation and high quality of instruction from the University of Chicago, This institution does not employ anything but high quality professionals.

    March 28, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Jean in Texas

    Why are the Clintons digging in further and further for dirt, it seems to be backfiring all the time. If one of my lecturers is qualified to teach, upper level courses I call the Professor. Students always refer to them as professor. It does not matter whether Junior snr etc.

    So bring out the issues Clinton, not stupid, silly things like professorship vs snr lecture, that is just a title, the fact is that he taught in the University of Chicago.

    Please please please HRC and Barack, Its about time you stick to the issues, the past is gone, lets deal with the now (Economy, immigration, health care, Iraq, Uniting American), the issues are endless.

    CNN please post!

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  19. It's all politics

    Professor Obama...President Obama. Sounds great to me!

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Orlando

    It's fair to say that the Clintons are grasping at straws here. She lie and go caught.

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Oh, so he didn't embelish? So much for equating Obama's professor with Hillary's single-handed salvation of Ireland and her dodging of sniper fire.

    That's gotta hurt!

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. Linoq

    It is ironic but true, the Dems know how to lose, even if everything is for them they find a way to lose...

    McCain is a terrible candidate, so many gaffes.... But Bill and Hillary are praising him and denigrading Obama..... How come the DNC allows that? If McCain was praising Hillary and denigrading a fellow Republican (say Huckabee or Romney) he would be in deep trouble. THAT IS WHY REPUBLICANS WIN MR. HOWARD DEAN! They have balls, and it seems you don't. You are afraid of the CLinton's who for their part do not mind in destroying the DNC if the race does not go their way.

    People are not stupid and the damage is done. People do not like to vote for whimps, that is why at the end of the day Republicans will win.

    Shame on you DNC!

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. vp

    There you go. A good answer to another twist from Clintons

    March 28, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Luke Brown, Charleston SC

    The race for the Democratic nomination is over. There is no way Senator Clinton is going to be able to make up the delegate numbers. This bickering by the Clinton campaign is dragging down everyone. The party needs to unite behind Obama

    March 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  25. DR. JEWELL

    I CANT BELIEVE HIL AND HER PEOPLE WANTING TO GET ALL DETAIL ORIENTED. SHE SHOULD BE DOGGED ABOUT HER BLATANT LIE ABOUT THE SNIPER SHOOTING. SHE DID SAY AFTER ALL THAT SHE CLEARLY REMEMBERS THE EVENT. NOW IT A DIFFERENT STORY.

    March 28, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
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