“I feel good about where we are. I couldn’t have done it alone.”
DEMO: As you get set to retire after nearly 13 years as president, what are you most proud of?
DR. CARTER: It’s been an interesting, rewarding, and challenging 13 years. I hope that when people look at the college they think it’s a different-looking place. I know it’s a larger place in terms of facilities and enrollment. I hope people feel it’s a better place.
The student body population is different. We were still a commuter institution when I arrived. When we began to get a sense that applications were coming from around the globe, we knew we had to be more residential. And the first important move in that direction was the University Center of Chicago. The year before we opened the UCC, we were housing 500 students. We’re now close to 3,000 beds of students who stay in our facilities. That really helped to change the mixture of our students. Our demographics are completely different now in terms of where our students come from—nationally and internationally.
Growing new programs has been important. We’ve identified and have always tried to keep our eyes on new, evolving fields of study. We’ve created a game design program. We’ve combined the fashion design and fashion business programs into a new fashion studies program. We’ve added the new major of scoring for film and television.
We’ve increased the number of campus buildings. The building of the Media Production Center probably will stand as one of the important activities during this presidency. It ended up being our first and, so far, only building that was built from scratch. It works well for what it was designed to do. It is a showpiece for us. We’re so proud of the building.
But we’re proud of what we’ve done also in our old buildings. We have refurbished them and changed them into some very, very effective teaching and learning spaces. We’ve got a good brand that we’ve established here in the South Loop, and our buildings carry it well.
The college wasn’t raising much money when I arrived. My predecessor [John Duff] was the first president to try to do something in fundraising. We’ve been able to move forward mainly in personal fundraising; we made some right decisions in terms of leadership in that area. I’m very, very pleased that our last gala raised over $800,000. Our numbers have grown in fundraising, specifically in board and alumni giving.
I feel good about where we are. I couldn’t have done it alone. Kudos go to all of the VPs and deans, department chairs and staff directors, and associate VPs—everybody in the college community who understood this vision and helped us to realize it.