Columbia College — President

The Columbia College Board of Trustees invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications to join their community as the College’s next president.

Columbia College is a private, residential college in Columbia, South Carolina, whose commitment to outstanding liberal arts education in a highly personalized environment has set the institution apart since its beginnings. Its steadfast and resilient focus on mission has served the institution well as it has weathered and overcome numerous challenges in its history to emerge strong and excited about its future. Founded in 1854 as Columbia Female College by the Methodist Conference of South Carolina, Columbia College was one of the first women’s colleges in the Southeast. It opened to students in October 1859. Closed during the Civil War, it reopened in 1873 and dropped the “female” in its name in 1904. In 1964, the campus survived a fire that destroyed a significant portion of the College. What remained of the columns of the Old Main building became a symbol for the campus and has since been incorporated into the logo. In the 1980s, the College welcomed male students in evening classes, and in 2020, the Board of Trustees voted to admit men into the College’s residential day program. 

Columbia College is now at an inflection point. Enrollment has expanded significantly, driven in large part by the challenging but ultimately successful transition to coeducation in the undergraduate day program. In addition, the College has strengthened its financial position through increased enrollment revenue and refinancing, and it now has the opportunity to expand its physical plant with a critical real estate acquisition helped by strong fundraising. 

The College seeks a student-centered president who is committed to Columbia College’s values, goals, and mission and has the energy and imagination to build on the current momentum and lead it boldly and creatively into the future. To do so will require vision and creativity, a commitment to academic excellence and student success, and financial resourcefulness in tapping new sources of revenue. It is essential that the next president demonstrate significant experience at the senior level of an institution or organization of substantial complexity along with proven leadership ability and managerial success.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile. 

WittKieffer is assisting Columbia College in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by February 10. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. 

Nominations and inquiries may be directed to Lucy Leske, Greg Duyck, and Meredith Davis at ColumbiaCollegePresident@wittkieffer.com.

Columbia College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, identity, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, national origin, results of genetic testing or service in the military.

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