A Message from President Kwang-Wu Kim

Dr. Kim

In 2015-16, Columbia College Chicago took its first steps to fulfill the vision set out in Achieving our Greatness: A Strategic Plan for Columbia College Chicago, 2015-2020, which the Board of Trustees approved in May 2015. We made significant progress in streamlining the curriculum, revamping our institutional marketing program, and strengthening our information technology infrastructure. A select committee of faculty and staff began the vital work of developing a strategy to embed the college’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in its curriculum, programming, operations, built environment, and institutional culture. After a period of broad community input, a campus-wide advisory group endorsed programming priorities for the proposed new student center. Most importantly, the Faculty Senate approved a statement of universal learning outcomes that articulates the core principles of a Columbia College Chicago education. This is perhaps the single most significant initiative in the strategic plan—few other institutions of higher learning would attempt it in earnest—and one that will inform the comprehensive revision of the curriculum that will take place over the next few years.

As this work has unfolded in all of its complexity, I have been heartened by the campus’s response to it—the willingness of faculty to work with each other, the community’s openness to ambitious conversations about curriculum and other strategic goals, and above all, the intense engagement of our students. What we are creating at Columbia will truly define our educational value to the world in a compelling and powerful way.

I also want to use this message to pay tribute to two individuals who have left a profound mark on the life of this community. With the resignation and subsequent passing of Dick Kiphart, our board chair, the college lost a beloved advocate, colleague, and friend. And after a remarkable 32-year tenure at Columbia, Mark Kelly accepted a mayoral appointment as Commissioner for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Both are dearly missed.

Kwang-Wu Kim
President and CEO