Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees Extends President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim's Contract in a Unanimous Vote

Photo: Jacob Boll '12

CHICAGO (Oct 27, 2016) — Columbia College Chicago’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend college President and CEO Kwang-Wu Kim’s contract for another three years to 2020. The Board’s extension recognizes Kim’s leadership in moving the college forward through the completion of its Strategic Plan. The Board appointed Kim in July 2013.

“President Kim’s vision honors the legacy of Columbia while driving it toward improved quality, growth and renewal, and we are excited about the progress he has made on the collective goals of the college community,” said William (“Bill”) Wolf, Chair of the Board of Trustees and partner at KDWC Ventures. “Our vote to extend his contract is our vote of confidence in him. We give him our full support to strengthen Columbia’s mission and to meet the critical student learning needs of the 21st century.”

Kim, the tenth president in the college’s 125-year history, spearheaded a robust and inclusive Strategic Plan approved by the Board in May 2015, Achieving Our Greatness: A Strategic Plan for Columbia College Chicago, 2015-2020. The Strategic Plan implemented necessary structural measures to align operating expenditures with revenues while still allocating funds for important priorities, such as a long-overdue modernization of the information technology infrastructure. Among many initiatives, the plan in its first year of implementation also:

  • inspired the launch of a comprehensive reinvention of the college’s curriculum;
  • included the consolidation of all career advising, student portfolio development, industry professional mentoring, student internship, and student employment resources in a unitary Career Center;
  • developed a formal programming proposal to build an approximately 125,000-square-foot student center at 8th St. and Wabash Ave.;
  • included renovation projects of the Getz Theater and other spaces to improve the student learning experience; and
  • initiated the launch of a new, integrated brand strategy for the college in Sept 2016.

“I am honored by the Board of Trustees’ continued support and by their deep commitment to our students’ success. The Columbia community is extraordinary in the way it continues to work together so that we can be a premier institution for students who view the world through a creative lens,” said Kim. “Through intentional development and strategic initiatives, our students have always come first, and I look forward to building upon the many successes the college has already accomplished.”

More information on Kim is available here. Updates on Columbia College’s Strategic Plan and the new brand marketing initiative are available here.

Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for 8,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit

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