Columbia College President Dr. David Russell announced today that Dr. Shadel Hamilton will serve as the college’s vice president for Columbia College Global (CCG). Hamilton will join the college on September 19, and will oversee all CCG operations, which encompasses the college’s 40 locations nationwide and its pioneering Online Program.

“Dr. Hamilton has a wealth of experience in higher education, particularly in the areas of strategy, online education, managing dynamic change and directing multistate campus operations,” said Russell. “He is described by his colleagues as a charismatic and caring leader. The higher education landscape is evolving rapidly, and Shadel has the energy and new ideas needed to lead Columbia College Global through this transformative environment.”

Shadel has more than 20 years of higher-education experience, including the last seven years of executive leadership roles at Saint Leo University in central Florida. Since 2019, he has served as the college’s senior associate vice president of Worldwide Operations, where he oversaw all direct operations of SLU’s 15 locations in five states as well as 10,000 online students. Those locations include multiple military installations across all branches of service.

Dr. Shadel Hamilton
Dr. Shadel Hamilton

Prior to Saint Leo, which included five years of administrative roles in student services, he worked as associate director of Academic Services for Purdue University Global from 2005-12.

“I am delighted to be joining the Columbia College community, and I look forward to continuing the work that has made this prestigious institution a leader in higher education,” said Hamilton. “Columbia’s history of innovation, including being an early adopter of online education, as well as being one of the first institutions to provide access to our active service men and women, are undoubtedly just a few reasons that make CC special.

“There are challenges facing higher education today that are unlike any other time in its history,” Dr. Hamilton continues. “I am poised in my belief that with the support and collaboration of the entire Columbia community, we can overcome these challenges together.”

Hamilton holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University, a master’s degree in management and change leadership from Kaplan University, and a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Northcentral University.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has helped students advance their lives through higher education for more than 170 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. The college, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has more than 40 locations and offers day, evening and online classes. Columbia College educates thousands of students each year and has more than 95,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit