Dr. Warrick L. Carter

President,
Columbia College Chicago

2000 - 2013


Warrick L. Carter, PhD, was appointed President of Columbia College Chicago in 2000. He was born on May 6, 1942 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Evelyn, who taught piano from the family home,  and Charles M. Carter, Sr., a railroad worker and founder of the Harry T. Burleigh Choir, specializing in spirituals and gospel.  He received a B.S. from Tennessee State University in 1964, performed advanced studies in percussion at the Blair Academy of Music at Tennessee State University in 1965, received a Master's degree Michigan State University in 1966, and a Ph.D. in music education from the school in 1970. He married his wife, Laurel, an interior designer and marketing expert, in 1993;  the couple had one daughter. 

He served as assistant professor and director of bands at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, teaching at the institution while completing his doctoral studies. At Governors State University, where he served from 1971 to 1984, he began as a professor of music and was promoted to chairman of the division of fine and performing arts. He then worked twelve years at Berklee College of Music in Boston, serving as dean of faculty and then as provost/vice president of academic affairs. He spent four years as Director of Entertainment Arts for Walt Disney Entertainment where he was responsible for developing global education and live arts programs.

An educator, composer and performer, he taught in East Lansing, Michigan and Chattanooga, Tennessee and consulted on music and arts education and minority issues in the arts for organizations worldwide. His projects included work with the Wisconsin Music Educators, the Michigan Council for the Arts, the Philadelphia Public Schools, the Los Angeles Board of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Minister of Culture, Paris, France. He published and lectured on the arts, music education, jazz, and African American music history and culture at such institutions as Northwestern University, California State University, University of Santa Catarina in Brazil, and at international conferences. He created commissioned works for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Chicago Symphony Orchestral Association and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra and his live performances include work with the Boston Pops Jazz Quartet, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, and Donald Byrd.

He was a two-time recipient of the National Black Music Caucus Achievement Award and was a member of the International Jazz Educators Hall of Fame. He served on the Boards of Directors of the International House of Blues Foundation, Rotary International and on the Advisory Boards of Interlochen, New City Bank, the Lincoln Library, and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. He also served as an International Advisor to the Jikei Group in Osaka, Japan. Dr Carter was the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Panel and the executive director of the National Black Music Caucus for ten years. 

Under his leadership, the campus of Columbia College Chicago grew to include classroom, office, exhibition, performance, and residence hall spaces, making the college the largest single presence in the downtown South Loop. During his tenure, the college purchased and refurbished several buildings and he also oversaw the development of Columbia's first newly constructed building, the Media Production Center, which opened for classes in 2010.
 
Dr. Carter  formalized the dean positions at the college and oversaw the creation of the college three school structure: School of Fine and Performing Arts, School of Media Arts, and School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and established the Student Affairs division that provides Columbia students with activities and support outside of the classroom. 

He retired from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 and retired to Florida, where he died on July 15, 2017.