Marcella David to Become New Provost of Columbia College Chicago

Marcella David, new senior vice president and provost at Columbia. Photo courtesy: Marcella David.Marcella David, new senior vice president and provost at Columbia. Photo courtesy: Marcella David.
Columbia’s new Senior Vice President and Provost Marcella David will join the college on June 3.

CHICAGO—March 14, 2019. Columbia College Chicago today named Marcella David, a legal scholar and former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), as its new senior vice president and provost, effective June 3.

“Professor David’s experience as an administrator, her wide and deep range of intellectual and academic interests and accomplishments, her affinity for our mission, and her proven record of advancing diversity make her the ideal choice as Columbia’s chief academic officer,” said Kwang-Wu Kim, Columbia’s President and CEO. “She was selected from an exceptionally strong pool of candidates and we are delighted that she will be joining our community in this vital leadership role.”

“I am honored to become Columbia’s next provost,” said David, whose faculty appointment will be as a professor in the Business and Entrepreneurship Department. “The college has a distinguished faculty and a rich history of helping students master creative practice in the context of a rigorous liberal arts education. As someone who is passionate about the arts, I feel a deep connection with Columbia and its programs. I also am very impressed with Columbia’s holistic diversity initiatives, which I believe will be transformative.”

Currently the Betty T. Ferguson Visiting Professor of Law at Florida State University, David previously served as the chief academic officer at FAMU, one of the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities with almost 10,000 students across a broad range of disciplines.

Prior to FAMU, David held administrative leadership roles at the University of Iowa, including associate dean of the College of Law and special assistant to the president for equal opportunity and diversity. She also has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law at Harvard Law School. Her research interests include the use of economic and other sanctions, international criminal law, and questions related to international organizations.

David received her BS in Computer Science and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and her JD magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.

David succeeds Stanley Wearden, who left Columbia in December 2018 to become president of Methodist University in North Carolina.

Kim thanked the members of the Columbia provost search committee, including his co-chair, Raquel Monroe, associate professor of dance and co-director of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Personnel, and search consultants Isaacson Miller for their diligent work throughout the search process.


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Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts, and business for nearly 7,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success and located in Chicago’s vibrant South Loop, Columbia creates a dynamic, challenging, and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, please visit www.colum.edu.

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