A Message from President Kwang-Wu Kim
The 2016-17 academic year was one in which the contours of the possible outcomes of Columbia College Chicago’s current five-year strategic plan began to become visible. The college’s new career center, which houses career advising, student ‘body of work’ development, industry professional mentoring, student internships, and student employment resources under one roof, opened in September 2016. The faculty completed a substantial amount of curricular revision during the academic year, including the redesign of the core curriculum, Integrated First-Year Experience program, and Creative Writing and Fashion Studies majors, and the creation of a new Communications major and new minors in Hip-hop and Graphic Design. Matthew Shenoda, associate professor of creative writing, accepted an important new leadership role as dean of academic diversity, equity, and inclusion and special advisor to the president, and a discrete School of Graduate Studies was reestablished after many years’ absence. And as part of our efforts to improve the student experience, we began a year-long remodeling of the Getz Theatre, renovated the Leviton A+D Gallery as the new retail storefront for ShopColumbia, and retained the Gensler firm to design the new student center. The fact that the word “new” appears six times in this list of accomplishments is highly encouraging, for it suggests—as I always believed would happen—that this community has truly committed itself to, in the words of the strategic plan, raising the bar of our collective aspiration.
I also want to use this message to remember Dr. Warrick Carter, my predecessor as president, who passed away on July 15, 2017. An accomplished musician and scholar, Dr. Carter led Columbia from 2000 to 2013, during which time he oversaw its transformation from a locally oriented commuter school into a residential institution that attracts students from all over the country. Among his many legacies are the Manifest Urban Arts Festival, ShopColumbia, the Semester in L.A. program, and the Media Production Center. He served with great commitment and dedication during his 13 years in office, and Columbia is much the better for it.
President and CEO