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. DC

    Looks like the Clinton Campaign needs to go back to school.

    March 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. clinton now obama

    NOW THE TRUTH IS KNOW, WHAT HAVE THE CLINTON'S TO SAY NOW.

    OBAMA "08

    March 28, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. if so

    If so... why doesn't he support the constitutional right to vote and have your vote be counted?

    If so, why is he being so UN American?

    March 28, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. HankInTexas

    Yet more non-news.

    March 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. D

    So he was the "professor?"

    So what???

    Even our Hillary Clinton could have become Professor

    She JUST chose to be the fighter and go to Bosnia and fight with snipers...

    Hillary for Receptionist (to pick up that 3 Am call)

    March 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Stephanie, PA

    Wow...can you say "egg on their faces"? Seems like it's still silly season. The Clinton camp really needs to focus on the issues at hand and stop spending so much valuable staff time looking up useless and factually wrong information in their ongoing attempt to tarnish the charactor of Sen. Obama.

    March 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. The Lady

    Ok. Is she serious? The kitchen sink strategy is severely flawed if this is the hardest they can come at him.

    March 28, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Chicago Graduate

    Speaking as someone at UC while Obama was teaching there. Yes, he was a professor.

    Also speaking as someone who lived in Chicago, the Sun Time is/was/always has been full of it.

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Whatever... It's not like he fancied himself running under bullets or anything like that...

    Look, Barack is not the embellishing candidate, Hillary is. Don't even try to go there...

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. James McBride

    Senator Clinton is really stretching to find flaws with her opponent. Perhaps she would like to mention a small detail of her own – that she only moved to Arkansas to marry Bill after she failed the bar exam in Washington D.C.

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. matt

    The Clintons are a complete joke now.

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    This is just semantics. Ask the students if he was their instructor, lecturer, or professor. Ninety five percent are going to say professor. The nomenclature has to do more with salary ranges and tenure requirements.

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Dave, Milwaukee WI

    I can't wait for all the Clinton nut jobs to compare this to Hillary's blatent LIES about her role in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. There's a HUGE difference.

    March 28, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Mike

    Of course he was a law professor. The Clinton campaign is grasping at straws, try to inflict damage to Obama wherever and however they can, regardless of what the truth is. The only thing they are accomplishing is further elevating Hillary's "negatives" rating. I know that they have done that for me.

    March 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. Slept in Church for 20 years

    Like those "politics" aren't tainted? Support the hometown boy. Way to go UoC. Your statement carries as much weight with the educated voters as saying what he had for breakfast.

    He lied again. He is NOT a professor.

    March 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Rom,NY

    That's funny !!!
    The Clinton campaign does strongly think that to succeed in politics all candidates should lie so easily as Hillary does.
    All politicians lie as every other person does in general but some of them lie too much that most of people don't trust them anymore, that's unfortunately what happens with Hillary

    Sorry, Hillary might have other qualities that Obama doesn't have but he's definitely more trustworthy, that's undeniable !!!
    Try something else !!!

    By the way, we're still waiting for your earmarks and your latest tax return, your opponent already released both of them, you did not. People do think you're hiding something so don't blame them if they don't trust you, that's the fact!!

    March 28, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. Apple Pie

    I have been a senior lecturer at a state university. The difference between senior lecturer and professor is like the difference between major and colonel in the Army. They are both officers, they both command troops, but a major is obviously not a general.

    March 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Jonah

    The Clinton campaign is really grasping for something. It's not like he lied about braving sniper fire, or being a prominent player in brokering peace deals...

    March 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Nice try Hillary. You can't remember if you were under "heavy sniper fire" when traveling to Bosnia so you try to go after Obama to show that he's misleading (just like you!). Unfortunatly, you manged to get this wrong as well. I loved your husband as president but really wish you would just go away.

    March 28, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Kitty

    Let's see...

    1) "I taught law at a major university. I am a professor, albeit not on tenure-track."
    OR
    2) "I dodged a hailstorm of bullets and ran screeching, head-down, to shelter as my young daughter ran behind - in a locale too dangerous even for the President of the United States!"

    ...I think Ill take the law professor.

    March 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. AJ

    So the school considers them "professors" does it? The sitting Lecturers should take that statement to court and demand tenure track. The Universtiy of Chicago would say anything to help Obama. What, like it wouldnt be good press to be able to say that a President was a "Professor" there. Please folks, use some common sense. A professor is a professor a lecturer a lecturer. Thus the seperate titles.

    March 28, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Matt

    This is why McCain needs to win. Democrats lie.

    March 28, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Texas4Obama

    Today, the University of Chicago released the following statement:

    "The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer." From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. 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. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

    March 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. corin

    This is so silly! He was a professor/lecturer ok! I would prefer that than i ran from sniper fire!

    March 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Dem

    OBAMA IS PADDING HIS RESUME?

    Hmmmm. What else is he doing?

    March 28, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9