“Change is never easy.”

By Campus Editor

In the waning days of his first year as president, Kwang-Wu Kim released a 14-page document outlining his vision for the future of the college.

On May 7, Kim posted the “Redefining Our Greatness” memorandum to Columbia’s website. The document details Kim’s criticisms of certain college systems and practices, including its first-year seminar course, alumni relations, communications and resources.

“I want to be supportive of my own institution but I hope people recognize that I’m saying ‘Look there’s a lot things that we have to be a lot better at,’” Kim said in an interview. “I see myself as [being] responsible for getting this school to move.”

The document also calls out several departments that need to be updated, such as information technology and communications. The college is currently awaiting the results of  Huron Consulting Group and Resolute Consulting’s communications and business systems audits, as reported by The Chronicle April 14. After the audits are complete, the college will move forward on improving its systems, Kim said.

“We need to present ourselves to the world in a very different way, more positively and more consistently,” Kim said. “Communications is very important to me and that’s one of the areas that I look forward to getting back [Resolute Consulting Group’s] report.”

Kim said the college needs a common core of classes that include business and entrepreneurship courses, adding that it is important for students to know how to apply their skills post-graduation.

Although the college is student-centered, it needs to rethink its current student operations such as advising and registration, he added.

The document was released to encourage conversations about improving the college, Kim said, adding that he plans to have open forums to gather community input. For additional changes, Kim said he will need help from soon-to-be provost, Stan Wearden, and yet-to-be-named vice president of Development.

“In the fall, we’re going to have to develop ways lots of discussion with different constituent groups,” Kim said. “Change is never easy.”

To read “Redefining Our Greatness” in full, click here.