President Warrick L. Carter to Retire in August 2013


Warren Chapman Joins Columbia College Chicago as Senior Vice President

CHICAGO (May 8, 2012) – Warrick L. Carter, Ph.D., president of Columbia College Chicago announced today his intention to retire in August 2013. Carter, who took office in 2000, currently has the longest tenure of any sitting college or university president in Chicago.

“Warrick has had a profound impact on our institution, and I am very grateful for the expertise, excellent foresight and responsible planning he has provided throughout his tenure,” said Allen Turner, chairman of the Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees. “It’s no coincidence that his tenure coincides with the college’s most significant period of growth and maturation into a world class arts and media college.”

“I have accomplished much of what I came to Columbia College to do,” said Carter. “This institution is poised for greatness and positioned for sustainability, and I know that our outstanding faculty and staff will continue to provide students with the most cutting-edge media arts education anywhere.”

To ensure a smooth transition between the current and future administration, Columbia College has hired long-time Trustee Warren K. Chapman, Ph.D., to serve in an interim role as senior vice president. Chapman will begin his new duties on June 1, leaving his current post as vice chancellor for external affairs with University of Illinois Chicago. He has held that position since 2006. Chapman will also step down from the Columbia College Board of Trustees, a position he has held since 2003.

A nationwide presidential search is underway, noted Turner, and will be led by a special Columbia College Chicago presidential search committee.

Carter is an educator, composer and performer who joined Columbia College Chicago in 2000. Under his leadership, the College’s South Loop presence blossomed as square footage of campus classrooms, offices and residence halls doubled to 2.5 million square feet over the past 12 years. The College during his tenure also reported a record high enrollment of 12,500 graduate and undergraduate students, up more than 25 percent from 1999 before Carter took office.

Dr. Carter successfully launched and oversaw Columbia College’s $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign in 2010, the first in its 120-year history. The College also completed its first new-construction building, the $21 million state-of-the-art Media Production Center which opened in 2010.

Following completion of the college’s latest strategic plan, Focus 2016, Carter initiated an unprecedented and extensive self evaluation of its programs and operations in 2011. The self study, called Blueprint | Prioritization, is set to finalize recommendations this summer as the process moves into a multi-year implementation phase.

In a letter to the campus community today, Carter cited a need for long-term leadership to guide the implementation ahead of his originally scheduled retirement date of 2014.

“We are reaching the point in our transformation where I believe new leadership should shape the rollout and affect the implementation of Blueprint | Prioritization over the coming years,” Carter wrote. “After reading the recommendations from the community, it became clear that strategic implementation will take a good period of time – and we need to start now and expedite the leadership transition to support implementation before 2014.”

Prior to his tenure with Columbia, Carter served a four-year term as director of entertainment arts for Walt Disney Entertainment where he was responsible for developing global education and live arts programs for the entire corporation. Prior to that, Carter spent 12 years at Berklee College of Music in Boston, serving as dean of faculty and then as provost/vice president of academic affairs. At Governors State University in Chicago, where he served from 1971 to 1984, he began as a professor of music and was promoted to chairman of the division of fine and performing arts.

Carter began his career in higher education as an assistant professor and director of bands at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. He received his doctorate in music education from Michigan State University.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to almost 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit