Kim elected new president of Columbia
By Lindsey Woods and Alexandra Kukulka, Managing Editor and Campus Editor
Kwang-Wu Kim, who met with the college community Feb. 13 as a presidential finalist, has officially been elected to the position by the Columbia board of trustees, according to a Feb. 26 email sent to the college community by Allen Turner, chair of the board of trustees and Richard Kiphart, chair of the presidential advisory panel and a board member.
Kim’s tenure as president and chief executive officer of Columbia, will begin July 1, according to the email. Kim will replace current President Warrick L. Carter, who in May, 2012, announced his early retirement, which becomes effective this August. Kim’s selection comes after a 5-month-long search for Carter’s replacement, led by the presidential advisory panel and the search firm Isaacson, Miller.
The email stated that the surveys submitted by students, faculty and staff after two open forums with Kim on Feb. 13 reflected “a near-perfect fit between Columbia and Kwang-Wu’s experience as an artist and academic.”
Kim is currently the dean and director of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts at Arizona State University, where he oversaw the 2009 reorganization and expansion of the institution, which includes the schools of art, theater and film, design, music, dance and an interdisciplinary school of arts, media and engineering, as well as the university art museum, as previously reported by The Chronicle Feb. 14.
At the two forums, Kim spoke about his plans to increase fundraising efforts, especially alumni donations to the college. He also addressed the college’s need for a strong provost, the prioritization process, the role of the board of trustees and the presence of a president on campus.
Kim will leave his position at ASU June 30, one day before he officially begins his duties at Columbia.
According to Kendall Klitzke, a junior television major and president of the Student Government Association, she is pleased with the presidential advisory panel’s unanimous decision to nominate Kim to the board of trustees.
Klitzke, who was the student representative on the panel, said she thought the process was efficient and is glad that the Columbia community is included in the excitement of getting a new president.
She said she believes Kim’s candid and accessible approach will continue when he is president and that he expressed interest in student meetings and feedback through out the process.
“I am very excited for Kwang-Wu Kim to become the leader of this institution and the community,” Klitzke said. “I am sad that I am graduating so soon because I would love to get four years of Kim, but I can’t.”
Louise Love, interim provost, said she enjoyed meeting Kim during the open forums. Upon talking to various members of the college community, Love said she was pleased to hear unanimously positive responses about Kim.
“I think [Kim] is a wonderful choice for president,” Love said. “I enjoyed his authentic demeanor and his knowledge of the college. I think [the college] is very excited to have him [as Columbia’s next president].”
During the forums, Love said she noticed Kim has a balanced knowledge about Columbia, as well as an outside perspective on moving forward as an institution. She also said she supports Kim’s plan to hire a provost to work closely with the president on academic decisions, as reported by The Chronicle Feb. 14.
“I think [Kim] will be very true to Columbia’s mission and culture, but also move [the college’s] agenda forward,” Love said.
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