Columbia College Chicago

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Strategic Action Plan?

The plan will guide Columbia’s activities for five years, focusing on six goals identified in President Kwang-Wu Kim’s Redefining Our Greatness: A Vision for Columbia College’s Future White Paper.

The six strategic goals are as follows:

  1. We will become a truly student-centric institution whose core purpose is to serve our students, fostering their personal and creative growth, supporting their academic achievement, and preparing them for lifetimes of accomplishment and meaningful contribution. Our primary student success outcomes will be graduation and employment.
  2. We will ensure that our curricula have clear and relevant learning outcomes and are structured so as to best connect our students with current and emerging realities and effectively prepare our students to succeed as creators and creative agents in the twenty-first century.
  3. We will be known as a national leader in higher education for our systemic and comprehensive commitment to diversity and inclusion as a fundamental basis for accomplishing our mission.
  4. We will be known as an animating force in our communities, our city and in the larger world beyond.
  5. We will engage in sophisticated enrollment management practices to achieve the optimal student body – a student body whose composition reflects our mission-based commitment to diversity; whose members are uniquely suited to take fullest advantage of the distinctive offerings of our institution and who will succeed at Columbia College Chicago.
  6. We will responsibly allocate our resources to best support institutional priorities and goals and we will build the wealth of new resources – human, financial, capital, and technological – necessary to fulfilling our mission and our promise as an institution.
How does the plan address these strategic goals?
The Plan is a robust road map with objectives and a clear time frame to strengthen Columbia College Chicago in six areas of focus: Student Success; 21st Century Curriculum; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Community Engagement; Optimizing Enrollment; Aligning Resources with Goals. These six pillars are the foundation for a sustainable and successful future for the College to the benefit of our students and the broader Columbia community, as well as beyond our campus.
Who wrote the Strategic Action Plan?

The Strategic Action Plan process was led by a 21-member Strategic Planning Steering Committee chaired by Senior Vice President and Provost Stan Wearden. The committee included trustees, faculty, staff and students and was supported and informed by an intense community engagement program with feedback collected from more than 800 members of the Columbia community. Other members of the committee were:

  • Suzanne Blum Malley, Interim Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor, English
  • Joseph Cancellaro, Chair, Interactive Arts and Media Department; Associate Professor, Interactive Arts and Media
  • Peter Carpenter, Faculty Senate President; Associate Professor, Dance
  • Dale Chapman, Part-time faculty, Cinema Art and Science
  • Michelle Gates, Vice President of Business Affairs and CFO
  • Kevin Henry, Associate Professor, Art and Design
  • Sara Kalinoski, Sophomore, Art and Materials Conservation major, Art History Minor; President of the Student Government Association
  • Chet Kamin, Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Chair, Board Planning Committee
  • Brian Marth, Director, College Advising Center
  • Onye Ozuzu, Chair, Dance Department; Professor, Dance
  • Philippe Ravanas, Chair, Business and Entrepreneurship Department; Professor, Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Pegeen Reichert-Powell, Associate Professor, English
  • Anne-Marie St. Germaine, Interim Vice President of Communications and Marketing
  • Jeff Schiff, Professor, English
  • Parker Stockman, Creative Writing Fiction MFA candidate
  • Diana Vallera, President Part-time Faculty Association (P-fac); part-time faculty, Photography
  • Keri Walters, Assistant Dean for Faculty Advising, School of Fine and Performing Arts; Special Assistant to the Provost for Transfer Initiatives; and Interim Director, Degree Evaluation
  • Sona Wang, Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees and Co-Chair, Board Education Committee
  • Sharon Wilson-Taylor, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

Pegeen Quinn, assistant provost, is serving as staff assistant to the committee.

Is this like Prioritization?
No. Prioritization was primarily about resource allocation. The Achieving Our Greatness strategic planning process has been about our community working together to define and accomplish our aspirations as a College. The Plan is a robust road map with objectives and a clear time frame to strengthen Columbia College Chicago.
Who will be accountable for making sure the Strategic Plan is implemented and that goals are reached? How will we know if this planning process is successful?
An implementation oversight group will be appointed and will meet quarterly to review progress. All college leadership – directors, department chairs, deans, and vice presidents – are required to create appropriate implementation plans, which will serve as a basis for measuring their effectiveness and success. Additionally, on a regular basis, the Board of Trustees will review a strategic dashboard of performance indicators taken from the strategic plan in order to monitor our progress towards achieving our goals. That ongoing review will also serve as a basis for the Board’s annual evaluation of the Provost’s work.
Where can I go for updates on the Plan's implementation?
In addition to the oversight listed in the previous question, updates will be provided on Columbia’s Strategic Action Plan website page ( and through continuing forums, town halls, and other open meetings which set the tone for a culture of dialogue, collaboration and positive change.