Questions for President Kwang-Wu Kim

DEMO: What’s new for alumni?

PRESIDENT KIM: One of the big appeals to alumni right now will be this idea of [joining] a network … not only of mentors, but living, breathing role models. We don’t have as many obvious pathways for students. We’re not preparing students for medical school or law school. I think that the more they can see different versions of [alumni] success in the real world, the better for our students to begin imagining their life paths.

People seem to have really powerful positive memories with their experiences here. It’s always about the faculty that they got to work with. I want to connect [students and alumni] back to that experience.

“People seem to have really powerful positive memories with their experiences here.”

DEMO: What are your hopes for the next year?

PRESIDENT KIM: My big focus in year two is making sure that by the end of this next year we have a complete strategic plan. Also: I hope that at the end of this year, there’s a sense that more people are talking about Columbia College Chicago. I had a great meeting with the deputy mayor of the city recently. He was very excited to hear about us, but I was very aware that he really didn’t have a clear sense of who we were. He knew about us more from the school that we were maybe in the ’70s. I’ve got to get out there and make sure that people are aware of who we are now.

DEMO: What do these plans mean for alumni?

PRESIDENT KIM: I would like to be in a position to offer more opportunities for alums. We’ve got to think about how we would do that—new career training, skills training. If I succeed at this work, hopefully one of the fringe benefits to all of our alums is that over time, they are going to see the value of their Columbia College Chicago degrees go up.