An open letter from President Warrick L. Carter and Board President Allen Turner

By Brianna Wellen

When Columbia College Chicago was founded in 1890, it was established as a school that “should stand for high ideals, for the teaching of expression by methods truly educational, for the gospel of good cheer, and for the building of sterling good character.”

As we enter the final stages of the Blueprint | Prioritization review, it is important for all of us within the Columbia community to reflect on this founding narrative which has propelled Columbia to its current position as an international leader and recognized pioneer in arts and media education. This position, however, does not come without work and constant self- evaluation.

The Blueprint | Prioritization review is an essential part of this evaluation and is designed to ensure the long-term health of our community and that Columbia’s curriculum remains on the cutting edge of arts and media education.

Over the past months, Columbia faculty, staff and students have selflessly offered their time, insight and expertise to this process to ensure that the focus remains on the best interests of our community. We hope that everyone will join us in applauding their efforts and sacrifices around this initiative.

We also recognize that discussion on Blueprint | Prioritization has been passionate, something we appreciate and understand because we all want what’s best for this community. Sometimes we will agree on the issues and sometimes we will disagree—we just ask that, before anyone rushes to judgment or engages in speculation on what might happen, we recognize that no decisions have been made at this time and that we will, together with faculty, staff, and students, reflect upon and carefully consider all recommendations and data before making any ultimate decisions.

Finally, we also make a promise to strengthen our communications to the community as we near the president and board’s final announcement (expected in late June) so please keep an eye out for updates over the next couple months.

As we’ve said from the beginning, today’s Columbia College is a far different place than it was for either of us and our generation, just as it will be a different place for your children’s generation.

Because of this, we must adjust and adapt to keep up with the world around us. We have embarked on a great journey in American education. Our open process and its results are being watched closely, and with envy, by a host of other institutions.

In the meantime, if you have specific concerns, feedback or ideas, please submit them to for students or for faculty and staff.

—President Warrick L. Carter and Allen Turner, Chair of the Board of Trustees