A Message from President Kwang-Wu Kim

My observations about the 2012-13 fiscal year at Columbia College Chicago must be limited, given that my close exposure to the life of the institution only began with my on-campus interview for the presidency in early February 2013. I came away from that visit, and from my subsequent visits for the spring Board of Trustees meeting, Manifest, and Commencement, engaged and stimulated by my interactions with faculty, staff, trustees, and especially students. Since assuming the presidency in July, I have become more familiar with the stories, statistics and achievements that shape the institutional narrative about the college. They describe a vibrant place with a distinctive mission—a claim that many institutions make but that we can back up—and a firm commitment to the core values of access to excellence, diversity and inclusion, and engagement with the varied communities that make up the city of Chicago.

Dr. Kim

We will have to draw on all of the creativity and resourcefulness for which Columbia is known.

Photo by Jacob Boll

At the same time, the figures presented in this annual report hint at the complex challenges—a fiercely competitive admissions marketplace, technology-driven change in professions that are popular among our graduates, and growing public concern about the cost and affordability of higher education—that continue to shape the external environment in which the college operates. I expect that the outlines of our institutional response to these challenges will begin to emerge in the coming year. In shaping that response, we will have to draw on all of the creativity and resourcefulness for which Columbia is known. Those essential strengths, rooted as they are in our mission, will enable us to thrive in the midst of uncertainty.

Kwang-Wu Kim, D.M.A.
President and CEO