The Columbia Chronicle

Commencement is not about selfie opportunities

By Editor-in-Chief

October 20, 2014

For weeks, I have listened to rumors swirl around campus that Commencement 2015 will not be held at the Chicago Theatre, the venue that has housed graduation for the last three years. As evidenced by the Front Page story about graduation, the rumors are true, and commencement will be held at the Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University this year and for the foreseeable future. Despite the administration making it clear to ...

Members of the Faculty & Staff Scholarship Initiative Committee raised money for scholarships during the pub crawl on Oct. 17 at Bar Louie, 47 W. Polk St.

Scholarship crawl raises funds, fosters faculty communication

October 20, 2014

Columbia’s Faculty & Staff Scholarship Initiative Committee hosted a pub crawl on Oct. 17 that toured three bars in the South Loop with all admission proceeds going toward a student scholarship fund. Faculty and staff members had drinks, dinner and conversation at the South L...

Aaron Firestein, chief artist and co-founder of BucketFeet shoe company, speaks to student entrepreneurs about his experiences starting a business in a creative community.

Creative business owners counsel student entrepreneurs

October 20, 2014

Starting a business is hard. Starting a business in a creative industry is even harder. Two Chicago-based creative business owners spoke to students about those industries. Columbia students were introduced to the pitfalls and perks of creative entrepreneurship when Mark Dow, presi...

President Kim Speaks on Student Success | The Columbia Chronicle

October 20, 2014

The Student Government Association hosted Pizza with the President on Oct 16 in the Hokin Gallery in the 623 S. Wabash Ave building. The open-floor conversation between President Kwang-Wu Kim and membe...

Students and artists wait patiently for the 2BarTuesday event to start, which features rappers, singers and poets from Columbia and surrounding colleges.

Loop TV looks to establish presence with students, artists

October 13, 2014

Loop TV, a student-produced YouTube channel that uploads new content weekly, focuses on bringing students from different disciplines  together to showcase their art. Evan Bell, a junior journalism m...

President Kwang-Wu Kim spoke about the college’s long-standing partnership with the Chicago International Film Festival during the opening ceremony on Oct. 9.

Columbia filmmakers represented at the Chicago International Film Festival

October 13, 2014

Columbia showed a strong presence at opening night of the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, held at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph St.The screening of director Liv Ullmann...

College reboots its fundraising

By Campus Editor

October 13, 2014

To keep tuition rates stable, enhance curricula and continue providing cutting-edge technology, the college is making serious efforts to increase fundraising revenue this academic year.In the last year, Columbia’s ability to fundraise was called into question when the Office of Institutional Advancement was dismantled and the Department of Development was created in its place. Jonathan Stern, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations, joined the college in August to begin his fundraising duties by raising revenue from current and prospective donors in an effort to better manage increasing expenses. “The more money we can raise for scholarships, the programs that we have and new initiatives instead of always raising tuition is better,” Stern said. “[The college] had an emphasis on scholarships before, and we continue because students are the bread and butter of an institution.”Stern said the entirety of fundraising revenue goes to areas that benefit students, not to administration, faculty or staff salaries.The Chronicle examined Form 990s, annual tax statements that nonprofits are required to submit to the Internal Revenue Service, and fundraising reports from the Office of Development. For the fiscal years 2011 and 2012, which ran from Sept. 1–Aug. 31 of each year, the 990 and the Development report paint different pictures.According to the Form 990s, the college saw a 7.92 percent increase in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012, while the Office of Development report shows that the college experienced a 40 percent decrease in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012. According to Stern, the difference in the data comes from the fact that the Form 990 does not report pledges, which are commitments from donors to give a certain amount of money over a number of years. The 990 only reports how many dollars the college actually collected that year.Although the Development Report indicates a decrease in fundraising revenue from 2011–2012, increase in 2013 from 2012 to $19.6 million. Stern said the large increase could be because of pledges made in 2013 in which the college did not receive the entire pledge that year, but donors made a commitment to add to the pledges over time. “As people make one-time large gifts or they make multi-year pledges, their commitment is finished,” Stern said. “Oftentimes after campaigns, people fall off a little bit, but we’re going to try to build that pretty quickly.”According to the 2012 Form 990, which reported that the college’s fundraising revenue was $12.74 million, the college received approximately $3 for every dollar it spent on fundraising initiatives. In previous years, the college worked with James F. Feldstein, president of Charles R. Feldstein and Company, Inc., a third-party firm that helps with fundraising endeavors. However, that relationship has been severed, and the college is currently not working with any outside firms and does not have plans to do so because the college is not currently in an official campaign, according to Stern.In addition to dropping the firm, Stern said the college has also decided to discontinue its Open Doors Gala, an annual fundraising event that used its proceeds to provide financial support to Chicago Public School graduates who want to attend the college. As reported Nov. 18, 2013, by The Chronicle, last year’s Open Doors Gala raised approximately $550,000. Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO, said the college decided not to host the gala this year because of a decreased interest in the event, adding that fundraising events are not the best way to raise money because they can be time-consuming and costly to organize.“Our sense was that the gala had gotten a little stale,” Kim said. “We needed to take a pause and ask ourselves, ‘What is it exactly that we’re trying to accomplish with this gala, and are we doing it the best possible way?’ Plus, with all the change in staff in Development, it didn’t seem like a good moment to just repeat something that we’ve been doing.” According to the 2012 Form 990, the college made $638,885 in donation receipts from the Open Doors Gala for college programs, $75,495 from the MoCP Gala and $57,490 from two other unidentified events. However, it cost the college $298,771 to host the events.Nancy Rampson, director of Development, told The Chronicle she didn’t have time to comment on the matter.  In addition to changing fundraising strategies, Kim said the college plans to hire more people in the Office of Development who have expertise in fundraising.“Until we build up a critical mass of people who are constantly out and about meeting with people, talking about Columbia and our future and starting to connect that future to people’s interests, we’re just not going to be successful,” Kim said.Stern said because the college has no plans for any fundraising events this year, he will instead focus his attention on connecting with donors. He said the college brings in revenue from a multitude of individuals, which include alumni, corporations, foundations and government sources. He also said the college approaches each type of donor differently. “We have different strategies and different ways of things with each of those groups, but each of those groups provides contributed revenue toward the institution,” Stern said.In addition to attracting new donors, Stern said he also plans to meet with current donors to continue their relationship of giving to the college.“You’re out there meeting and thanking people,” Stern said. “We’re hoping to have people repeat their contributions or maybe increase them.”Although Stern said he was unable to predict fundraising revenue for this year, he said he is optimistic about future fundraising endeavors.“There’s a lot of work to do in understanding the culture here and the people, but we’re organizing our organization,” Stern said. “We’re reaching out to individuals, and we’re systematically trying to build a top-notch fundraising operation.”

Administrators, including John Green, interim dean of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, and vice president and provost Stan Wearden, attended the Faculty Senate meeting Oct. 3 during which the senate discussed its concerns surrounding the restructuring of the Art + Design Department and the senate’s provost appointment policy. 

Art + Design Department slated to split in two

October 6, 2014

In an effort to properly allocate resources and better address art + design students’ needs, the college will begin to separate the Art + Design Department into two separate entities—the Design Department and the Art + Art History Department. During a faculty senate meeting Oct...

Study abroad courses hosted by the Creative Writing and Business & Entrepreneurship departments in Paris, Rome & Prague

Study abroad program ventures to Paris, Prague, Rome

October 6, 2014

Columbia writing students will soon have the chance to earn credit for visiting Rome’s Colosseum or touring Hemingway’s Paris or the favorite Prague haunts of Milan Kundera in courses offered during J-Term and summer 2015. These and other opportunities such as Columbia’s marke...

Alcoholic Youth Pt. 1: Anonymous Interviews | The Columbia Chronicle

September 30, 2014

Alcoholic Youth Pt. 1: Anonymous Interviews brings awareness about the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption in college students, through personal testimonies and statistics.Video By: Christian D. H...

Talk about a HAUS Party

Talk about a HAUS Party

September 29, 2014

Students packed the HAUS, 623 S. Wabash Ave., Sept. 25 for the annual HAUS party. The event, hosted by the Business & Entrepreneurship Department’s Club Management class, was open to all Columbia students, staff and faculty and featured an acoustic lineup of artists...

College appoints new executive director of Career Initiatives

College appoints new executive director of Career Initiatives

September 22, 2014

The Portfolio Center and the Office of Student Employment will work more closely together this fall semester after the appointment of Christie Andersen Asif as the college’s new executive director of Career Initiatives. A committee of faculty, staff and administrato...

We've got you covered