The White House on Monday tried to tamp down remarks by Columbia University's president that President Obama would return to the New York-based campus in some capacity after leaving office in 2017.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement Monday evening that said no final decisions had been made about an affiliation with Columbia after Obama leaves office.

"The president has long talked about his respect for Columbia University and his desire to continue working with them," Earnest said. "However, at this point, no decisions have been finalized about his post-presidency plans."

The Columbia Daily Spectator student newspaper Monday reported that the university's president, Lee Bollinger, said at a Convocation that afternoon that he is looking forward to "welcoming back our most famous alumnus … in 2017."

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