March 28th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
9 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. @americans

    talk about the Clinton spin machine smearing a straight and honest man...BARACK OBAMA, has not, will not, pad his resume just like Billary did with the Bosnia sniper fire and Ireland peace talk.

    Glad the university is coming out to get the record straight!



    March 28, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Belle

    Embellishments from Obama....Embellishments from Clinton

    Give it a rest and report REAL news

    March 28, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. Aaron

    The first time I heard Sen. Obama speak was during my graduate school orientation at the University of Chicago in 2002. As it was one of those moments I'll never forget, I can attest that he was introduced to us as a professor in the law department, as well as an Illinois state senator.

    March 28, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. David

    Maybe the Clinton campaign should have done their homework before opening their big mouths again, ie; Bosnia, Healthcare, Nafta, Ireland..etc..etc...etc. The University even said Obama was a Professor. Which means:

    Obama: 100
    Hillary – 5

    They cant seem to get anything right!

    Just drop out Hillary. You're a liar and the people running your campaign obviously have a lack of attention to detail!

    March 28, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Mike

    Obama is the most honest presidential candidate we have had in decades. I suggest people do their research before making claims that he is a huge liar. I can't wait for this country to get back on track with his leadership and honesty. Please, before making judgments, take some time to read his books and develop your own opinion instead of the one fed to you by news corporations.

    FYI, news agencies are large corporations and will only see benefit from a republican president. They are blowing the flames on this democratic battle. Take what you read with a grain of salt.

    March 28, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Eyes Wide Open

    Has the Clinton campaign really gotten that desperate? If after their extensive search to uncover dirt on Obama that's the best they can do, I think they'd have been better off saying nothing at all, because the absence of any real dirt only makes him look like an even bigger Boy Scout.

    Give it up, Hillary. It's over.

    March 28, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. charles

    Details matter? -Are you satisfied now.

    March 28, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Corey, Maryland

    If you teach at a college in any way, you are a Professor in my book.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    March 28, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. FrankSmith

    I guess there are no "bullets" or gunfire missing any body here; so, Obama needs no secret service to duck this bullet coiming at him! The point here is simple: can we validate what the candidate him/her-self says, not what someone else (Pastor Judas) says on behalf of the candidates?

    I had always thought of this nation as one that puts a premium on "individual responsiblity." So, are we saying that all parents who spend years raising "adolescents and young adults" (ages 18 and older) with severe societal problems should abandon them because they "kick against the rules of society?" Or, that the parents of serial killers should take "full responsibility" for the acts of their children? How screwed up our thinking has become truly amazes me!!!

    March 28, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. H


    March 28, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Obama all the way....


    Pack it in Hillary..time to go home...

    March 28, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Jay

    Wow. They really tried that???

    This is laughable!

    The Clinton campaign is looking worse and worse as the days go on.



    March 28, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Clinton is a fraud

    This, my friends, is the difference between a liar and a truthful person. There are always evidences to backup the truth, but never for those lies by HRC.
    The question is, "Who would you trust with your lives, A liar like GW Bush or Truthful person like Obama?

    It even turns out that this MAN was deeply loved by the University that they offered him tenure track several times but he refused. He wants to serve us, the populace. How refreshing this is.

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. PA

    Hillary LIED about her experience.

    Obama is honest about his experience.

    Why are people having a hard time with their choice?

    Obama 2008! We deserve a President we can TRUST!!!!!!!

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Brendan

    Clinton campaign should probably do a little research before accusing someone of embellishing anything (cough *Bosnia* cough). This is the leadership we are looking for in America? Finger-pointers? Maybe they could save us some time and make the top of the Democratic ticket just a 5-year old bully.

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Edwin G.

    Al Gore should be the compromised candidate. Give Obama the VP and Hillary the foreign affairsc secretary position. I think that makes everyone happy.

    Even if Obama wins the nomination, the Hillary or Bill Clinton followers are LUKEWARM in voting for him. Republicans will chew him alive during the general election campaign. And if he wins the Presidency, his administration will be riddled with controversies among black and white americans, among conservative republicans as well as rebellious democrats. He will only be embraced by youth and blacks and eventually will junk once he fails to restore faith in America and its economy. Many silent majority from big states who are not black or white are completely unhappy with his sudden surge and ambitious posture without any accomplishment in the Senate except for giving good speeches. A VP position is good enough for the greenhorn.

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Brigitte

    Well, that settles it. The school would be the authority on this one!

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Anurag

    Clinton and Co: Try another one. This one was a dud. 🙂

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Texas Independent

    OK...when is the Clinton SSS gonna realize Obama was never under sniper fire and would never say he was...if he says he was a professor AND the university says he was a professor...HE OBVIOUSLY WAS A PROFESSOR. Did you ever think the man just tells the truth...plain and simple...not need to claim sleep deprivation or misspeaks...just the truth.

    Go away Clintons...we are sick and tired of your old school politics.

    March 28, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |

    Obama is a fantastic teacher and lecturer. People sit up and want
    to listen to him. That is a great character trait for "A President. His voice is calming.

    Obama/Edwards 2008
    From a Retired Professional White Woman of 63.

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Tina NC

    I'm glad they cleared that one up! Really, is this all Hillary has left in the kitchen sink? She goes around fabricating stories of sniper fire and she wants to argue over whether or not Obama can call himself a Professor. She is so desperate.
    Hillary, please do everyone a favor and drop out.

    OBAMA '08

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Amy in Iowa

    Unlike Hillary Clinton, Obama doesn't need to embellish. It was a bottom of the barrel tactic for her campaign to make this an issue.

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Eddy

    TAKE THAT CLINTON CAMPAING! that was a Shut up please.!

    Obama 08

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Oddsmaker

    I'm taking odds on how long it takes before the first Rodham supporter uses the words "Rev. Wright."

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. monti

    Haha, that "dirt-attack" didn't work out too well. The Clinton campain basically just proofed that they can't even do a proper research. Let's see what comes next.

    March 28, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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