Dean's Office

Dear Columbia College families,

As spring term gets well underway, the College continues to plan through this pandemic year with increasing focus on summer and fall. Yet, I know for many of you, it may feel difficult to see past the day-to-day routine in which many of us feel trapped, as we await a meaningful change in the trajectory of Covid-19.

The College’s leadership team and I have been gathering feedback and listening to families, who’ve shared their distress about this challenging year. We’ve also heard your concerns about how your first-years will navigate next academic year, with so many having never had a physical connection to Columbia College.

Beginning this week, we will be introducing additional support for Class of 2024 students and families, in the form of increased communications and programs. Understanding how uncertain this time has felt, we know that more information will not only be valuable, but also comforting, as you work together with your student to plan your path forward. Over the coming months, we’ll be sharing more information and creating opportunities for dialogue, as we plan for summer opportunities, make decisions about fall term and much more. This includes, as public health guidance allows, plans for a first-year reorientation that would bring the Class of 2024 together in person to socialize, get to know Columbia’s physical campus, meet key staff and more, all in preparation for living on campus as a class.

We have already invited your students to participate in two social events today and tomorrow, so they can make connections with fellow first-years that may help in the room selection process for fall housing. In addition, I invite you and your student to join us in a Residential and Community Life webinar this Thursday at 6:00 p.m. The webinar will feature several key members of College staff who will discuss how our residential community works, building choices for rising sophomores, and more. There will be opportunity for questions, as well.

I’m appreciative of the patience demonstrated by all of our Columbia families during this enormously complex year. I hope that the enhanced programming and communications we’ve planned will provide meaningful support for you and your student going forward. I wish you and your families continued health.



James J. Valentini

Dean of Columbia College