The Columbia Chronicle

New website exudes professionalism

By Editorial Board

September 22, 2014

As part of the advertising campaign spearheaded by the college to rebrand itself, Columbia launched a new website Sept. 10—just in time for when high school seniors and transfer students are zeroing in on which colleges to apply to, as reported Sept. 15 by The Chronicle.The college hired Boston-based web design firm iFactory in Spring 2013 to conduct research on how the college’s website could be redesigned to attract...

College optimizes website for recruitment

By Campus Editor

September 15, 2014

In tandem with a city-wide advertising campaign implemented to rebrand the college, a new college website launched Sept. 10.Conceived as an effort to attract more students to the institution at a time when enrollment has steadily declined, the website’s launch is just in time for recruiting season—a time when high school and transfer students are making their final decisions about where to apply, according to Stan Wear...

Class-size policy blindsides students

By Editorial Board

September 8, 2014

The first of many changes likely to occur this academic year was an announcement by Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, that classes with less than 60 percent enrollment would be closed seven weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. The 60 percent policy is not new. What was new was mandatory enforcement so early in the year.Responding to budget concerns, Wearden outlined the change July 16 in a facul...

First-Year Seminar director resigns

By Campus Editor

September 2, 2014

First-Year Seminar, the college’s required introductory course for freshman students, will see several changes during the upcoming academic year as its leadership and direction shift.Douglas Reichert Powell, the director of FYS, announced his immediate resignation from the position at the department’s Aug. 13 faculty forum.Michael Lawrence, a FYS lecturer and former assistant director of FYS, has been named the acting director. Lisa...

Budget concerns influence personnel

Budget concerns influence personnel

September 2, 2014

In an effort to reduce a potential budget shortfall, seven full-time and three part-time staff members from several departments were terminated Aug. 21–25, according to an emailed statement from Steve Kauffman, senior director of public relations. The terminations are the latest ...

Classes not in session

Classes not in session

September 2, 2014

A new college-wide policy was implemented July 16 to close sections of classes that did not reach an enrollment of 60 percent of maximum class size weeks before registration closed. Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, sent out a college-wide email July 16 announcing a d...

Convocation 2014 introduces transparent administrators

Convocation 2014 introduces transparent administrators

September 2, 2014

New Student Convocation, an annual event in Grant Park that introduces incoming students to the college, began on Aug. 29 with a giant selfie spearheaded by Mark Kelly, vice president of Student ...

Selectivity doesn’t explain college graduation rates

Selectivity doesn’t explain college graduation rates

September 2, 2014

A study published in the Aug. 6 American Educational Research Journal found that a college’s or university’s selectivity has a limited effect on students’ chances of graduating. The study, “College Selectivity and Degree Completion,” by Scott Heil and Paul Attewell of the...

FYS task force needs student voice

By Editorial Board

September 2, 2014

First-Year Seminar, Columbia’s introductory course for first-year students, is contemplating major changes this year as the college creates a task force to restructure the program, including the process of how teachers are chosen, as reported Aug. 25 by The Chronicle.Shortly after the Aug. 13 resignation of FYS Acting Director Douglas Reichert Powell was said at a forum for FYS instructors, Stan Wearden, senior vice president and provost, announced that he would like to see the department chairs select their best professors to teach the course. Wearden also said those professors should be encouraged to bring their specialized area of study and expertise.To ensure the changes are beneficial and worthwhile for students, the task force should include students to discuss their past FYS experiences and changes they would like to see. The course should also have a more structured curriculum but still retain its focus on social issue topics.The current class is intended to allow students to hone their creative skills with topics focused on identity, ethics and creative vision, according to the course description. This varies from many other colleges with introductory seminar courses designed for first-year students. For example, the Oberlin College directory offers more than 30 freshman seminar courses, such as The Privileged and the Marginalized and Jane Austen Then and Now, that students can choose from, each focusing on different social issues and cultural topics. By contrast, Columbia’s FYS courses allow instructors to individualize their curriculum by offering a variety of films and texts they can choose from, such as the play “Antigone” and film “Crash.”Providing seminars with specific topics is more useful to students because it ensures they are placed in a class that interests them. Nevertheless, it is important that all courses have clear goals and be structured in a manner that engages their students’ interests.Wearden also encouraged professors to focus on their field of expertise when teaching FYS, but because students are randomly enrolled in the class, they could be stuck learning about a topic unrelated to their interest. This could give students a negative view of Columbia early in their college career and discourage retention.To ensure that students benefit from the class, students that have taken FYS should be a part of the task force. Those students can talk about their experiences and give meaningful input to changes under consideration. The Student Government Association could select students for the task force. By ensuring students are part of the task force, it forces the administration to give students’ suggestions serious consideration and ensures positive change.As the class that is often a student’s first experience at Columbia, it is imperative that the course has precise goals that are appealing and valuable to the student body.

College experiences departures, Koverman announces plans to retire

By Editor-in-Chief

July 22, 2014

As Kwang-Wu Kim heads into his second year as president, some familiar faces will be absent while new ones join the ranks of Columbia’s administration.Two high-ranking administrators, Diane Doyne, associate vice president of marketing and communications, and Warren Chapman, senior vice president, will have departed the college before the fall 2014 semester begins. The departures come after several other top administrative...

Wearden named new provost

Wearden named new provost

February 28, 2014

Stan Wearden will take over as Columbia’s new senior vice president and provost starting July 1, according to a Feb. 26 emailed announcement from President Kwang-Wu Kim. After carefully considering W...

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