Claude Steele was the Provost of the University and a professor of psychology. He succeeded Alan Brinkley and came from Stanford University. After only two years on the job, Steele resigned to return to Stanford in 2011. Subsequent reports suggested that Steele left when it became apparent he would have little say in the university budget, and therefore little power.
In 2010, Steele's salary was $552,418.
In 2013, Steele was quoted in article about EVPAS Nicholas Dirks as saying “Columbia is an ambitious university and it tried to expand into a new campus and that strained resources. When you have strained resources, you have tensions. And tensions can be taken out on people.” 
Born and raised in Chicago, Steele went to Hiram College in Ohio on a swimming scholarship. He went earned his doctorate in psychology from The Ohio State University, and, since then, has taught at many institutions. During his tenure at the University of Michigan, he overlapped briefly with Bollinger. (Steele recalls first meeting his current boss in the UMich gym.) His most recent post has been at Stanford University, where he directed the school's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. As a social psychologist, Steele has focused on stereotype threat, a stream of research that elevated his name in the field.
- Stanford Psychology Professor Claude M. Steele Appointed Columbia University’s Next Provost, Columbia University News, May 13, 2009.
- Incoming Provost Claude Steele Brings Practical Outlook to Post, Columbia Spectator, May 19, 2009
|Provost (Arts and Sciences)