Columbia College president retiring next year
South Loop leader led college to massive South Loop expansion
05/08/2012 5:02 PM
Columbia College president Warrick Carter, the leader who made the college one of the South Loop’s biggest landowners, is retiring after 13 years at the helm, the school announced on Tuesday.
Carter, who has been the school’s president since 2000, will retire in August 2013, according to a press release sent out by the school. Carter’s current contract with the school extended through 2014.
Columbia has been pondering its future lately, examining the way it allocates its resources to programs within the school in a process called “prioritization.” Tensions rose at Carter’s State of the College event in March, where he was caught on video telling a student to “shut up,” as noted in The Reader.
Columbia spokeswoman Diane Doyle said that flare-up last week was unrelated to Carter’s decision to retire a year before his contract expired.
“He really wants to make sure the transition happens smoothly,” she said.
In a letter Carter sent to Columbia’s campus community Tuesday, Carter said that allowing a new president to come in sooner, rather than later, would better help shape the college’s future.
“We are reaching the point in our transformation where I believe new leadership should shape the rollout and affect the implementation of Blueprint | Prioritization over the coming years,” Carter wrote. “After reading the recommendations from the community, it became clear that strategic implementation will take a good period of time — and we need to start now and expedite the leadership transition to support implementation before 2014.”
Under Carter’s leadership since 2000, the school grew by leaps and bounds. Over the past 12 years, the school’s footprint has doubled to 2.5 million square feet of campus classrooms, offices and residence halls — all in the South Loop. The school’s enrollment also grew to 12,500, roughly 25 percent more than 1999.