Supervisor, Human Resources and Organizational Behavior
Phyllis Johnson has a Masters in Management from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University with an interest in Labor Relations and Marketing. She combines her years of professional experience with a love for teaching and a respect for the interesting and focused students at Columbia.
Phyllis started her career during graduate school at a summer theatre, Academy Festival Theatre Shortly thereafter she joined the staff of Wisdom Bridge Theatre (WBT) as the business manager of this small professional theater, At WBT she created an accounting and budgeting system. She also guided the theatre’s move to unionization with Actors Equity Association, the union that represents actors, singers, dancers, and stage managers in professional theater.
Subsequently, she joined the staff of Actors Equity Association Midwest regional office. As a Business Representative she worked with theater managers and members in the region, which included theaters in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, the Dakotas and Wisconsin. She assisted in negotiations and administered over more than a dozen national and local collective bargaining agreements.
In 1981 she joined the faculty of Columbia College Chicago as an adjunct instructor teaching Labor Relations for the Arts. Loving the experience of teaching one class she joined the fulltime faculty a short time later, 1986. She has taught a wide variety of classes in both the graduate and undergraduate curriculums including Labor Relations, both graduate and undergraduate, Introduction to Marketing, Accounting, Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, and Introduction to Management to name a few. She developed a nationally recognized graduate level focus in arts in youth and community development.
Around the college she has served in leadership positions on the Teaching and Learning committee, Freshman Seminar, Columbia College Faculty Organizations and a variety of search committees. She was the project manager for the Amistad project of the Columbia’s Center for Arts Policy where she coordinated community activities including co-producing a gospel concert.
Off campus she has served on the board of Storycatchers Theatre. She has also worked with the Department of Cultural Affairs, serving on grant panels for CityArts and Community Arts Assistance Project.