Columbia College Chicago Names Steven Corey Dean of School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

CHICAGO (May 16, 2017)—Columbia College Chicago named Steven Corey, Ph.D., as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). Corey, who currently serves as Interim Dean of LAS, will assume the role of Dean on July 1.

As Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Corey will manage the college’s core curriculum and all administrative, fiscal, and personnel matters for the school’s five academic departments—American Sign Language (ASL); Education; English and Creative Writing; Humanities, History, and Social Sciences (HHSS); and Science and Mathematics. He also will oversee the development of curricular offerings to reflect the priorities under the college’s Strategic Plan.

“Steve’s vision, forward-thinking approach to learning, and successful consensus-building has led to the development of a stronger core curricular foundation for our students—all in a short period of time and during a challenging moment of transition for the college,” said Stanley T. Wearden, provost and senior vice president. “His proven leadership and administrative expertise will continue to strengthen LAS, establish the new core curriculum, and ensure that our students benefit from a more intentional, current and relevant learning experience.”

Corey joined Columbia in 2012 as a tenured professor and chair of the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences (HHSS). In this role, he worked with the HHSS faculty and the English Department faculty to reconfigure the major in Cultural Studies and to introduce three concentrations in that major: Urban Studies, Literary Studies, and Media and Popular Culture Studies. Additionally, he worked with department chairs and faculty to offer four HHSS minors in Black World Studies, Cultural Studies, Latino and Latin American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

As Interim Dean of the School since July 1, 2015, and chair of the Strategic Planning Implementation Core Curriculum Committee, Corey worked with the Integrated First-Year Experience (IFYE) Committee to help lead a series of campus-wide conversations toward creating a 21st-century core curriculum, as outlined in the strategic plan. The committees invited the Columbia community to review the proposal, participate in a public forum, and provide input through an online discussion group. Based on suggestions from the college community, the committees developed a revised core curriculum framework, the “Columbia Core,” which was recently approved by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost.

“I am honored to lead the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which will now offer students a more distinct and robust academic experience, including creative pathways that are essential to life‐long learning,” said Corey. “The college community’s critical input helped to shape the new curriculum, which extends the depth of our teaching by calling for more rigorous training in arts and media, entrepreneurship, marketing, business, and technology. I am proud of our bold and collaborative work so far, and look forward to building on these efforts in the years to come.”

The new core curriculum is designed to help students better translate ideas, practices, and entrepreneurial aspirations to creative and professional settings. It provides a multidisciplinary framework within the city’s urban environment, a clearer direction in traditional academic disciplines of math, the sciences, humanities, and social sciences, and emphasizes awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion. The “Columbia Experience”—Big Chicago, Creative World, and Business, Technology, and Communication, along with optional, thematic pathways, will provide students with essential learning in the liberal arts and sciences, and help to examine ways of elevating creativity and innovation in professional environments.

Prior to joining Columbia, Corey served at Worcester State University in Massachusetts for 17 years. For seven years, he served as chair of the Department of Urban Studies and for three years, as Director of the Commonwealth Honors Program.

A nationally-recognized historian, Corey has authored three books, as well as book chapters, and journal articles about the intersection of environmental, social, and public policy issues in urban settings. His emphasis on Urban Studies integrates the history of technology, industry, energy, transportation, and the environment, through themes of race, class, and gender. In addition to serving as Dean, he will continue to teach as a history professor at the college.

Corey holds a Ph.D. in History from New York University, and an M.A. and B.A. in History from the University of Rhode Island.


Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for more than 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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