Columbia Conversations: Town Hall Recap

President Kwang-Wu Kim and Provost Stan Wearden outlined Columbia’s past, present and future in connection with the Strategic Plan at the Town Hall meeting on January 29.

On January 29, faculty and staff filled Film Row Cinema for Columbia Conversations: Town Hall with opening remarks from President Kwang-Wu Kim and a Strategic Plan presentation from Provost Stan Wearden. "I want us to think about who we say we are today, where we've been and where we're going," said President Kim during his presentation.

Right now, according to President Kim, the college’s main goal is to clarify learning outcomes needed to foster student success. This will include positioning Columbia as a "sidewalk college" by strengthening community ties—a Columbia ambition that stretches back to the ‘70s. President Kim also stressed the importance of both diversity and inclusion, speaking on the recent formation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.

Wearden's presentation on year one of Strategic Plan implementation also focused on academic quality and student success, pointing to multiple initiatives that kicked off within the last year (and several coming soon). Projects underway include revising major curricula, launching two online professional graduate programs and creating a new, broadly appealing undergraduate major. Starting in Fall 2016, the college will implement a required professional advising model for students in conjunction with a faculty-led student mentoring program, both designed to improve student retention.

"Everything in the Strategic Plan has a link backwards and a push forward," said President Kim, framing the college's current progress to its history and its future. Columbia will remain a college aimed toward student creators ready to author the culture of their times. "We're going to be a school that shows you can be great without being elite," said President Kim.

If you missed the Town Hall, watch the full presentation here.