January 8, 2024

Dear Columbia College Community,
Happy New Year, and welcome back! I hope your holiday break was all you wanted it to be. For me, it was a time to reflect on my first semester at Columbia College, all that I learned in my conversations with you – members of our community – and how we begin to translate that into a strategy for our growth and greatest impact. We are planning a mid-year check-in for early February to share some of my thoughts – look for more information on this soon.
In addition to reflecting on our campus community, I also thought about all that’s happening outside the relative safety of our community and its potential impact on each of us. Our college, a beacon of knowledge and diversity, has always stood resilient in the face of challenges. Today, we find ourselves navigating an era marked by significant trials, including deep political divisions and significant disruption in our geopolitical landscape.  This New Year, I urge us to engage more deeply and consider how we address these concerns with renewed vigor and commitment.
First, we must acknowledge the importance of engaging with complex global issues. It is not enough to be passive observers. As an educational institution, we have the responsibility to encourage active discussion and involvement. I call upon our community to rise to the challenge, to participate in dialogues, and to contribute your voices to the narratives that shape our world. Your engagement is not only beneficial; it is essential for our vibrant learning community.
Simultaneously, I encourage you to become involved in the continued renewal of our campus. This renewal is both physical and cultural. We strive to create an environment that embodies our values of care, respect, and inclusivity. Every member of our community deserves a space that is safe, supportive, and conducive to growth. This is more than a desire, but requisite for a learning community – one that leverages its diversity as a mechanism to optimize innovative solutions to challenges.
In these times, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges we face. However, let us draw strength from our shared values and pride in our institution. We are not just an educational establishment; we are a community that learns, grows, and faces challenges together. Our diversity and collective wisdom are our greatest assets in navigating the complexities of our times.
As we embark on this New Year, let us do so with a spirit of collaboration, empathy, and enthusiasm. Let us commit to being more engaged, informed, and compassionate members of our college and the broader society. Here's to a year of growth, learning, and positive impact!
Wishing you all a prosperous and fulfilling 2024.
Warm regards,
John Dozier

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