Jonathan R. Cole is the John Mitchell Mason Professor of the University. Has has previously served as Provost, Dean of Faculties, and Vice President of Arts and Sciences at Columbia.
Cole’s scholarly work focused principally on the development of the sociology of science as a research specialty. His published works focused on science include Social Stratification in Science (with Stephen Cole) (1973); Peer Review in the National Science Foundation: Phase One of a Study (1978); Peer Review in the National Science Foundation: Phase Two of a Study (1981); Fair Science: Women in the Scientific Community (1987); and The Outer Circle: Women in the Scientific Community (1991).
In recent years, Cole’s scholarly attention focused on issues in higher education. His edited book, The Research University in a Time of Discontent (1994), contains essays by prominent educators. Cole’s other books include The Great American University: Its Rise to Preeminence, Its Indispensable National Role, Why It Must Be Protected (2011) and Who's Afraid of Academic Freedom? (2015), which he co-edited. Cole lectures throughout the world on topics related to higher education and publishes opinion pieces for The Huffington Post and The Economist.
Cole served as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1975 to 1976. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1975 and spent the 1986–1987 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. In 1992, Cole was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Cole received his B.A. in American history from Columbia College in 1964 and his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia in 1969. He served as the University’s Adolphe Quetelet Professor of Social Science from 1989 to 2001 and as an adjunct professor at Rockefeller University from 1983 to 1985.