CHICAGO, IL – Chicago State University, a predominately black institution located on the south side of Chicago has named Rachel Lindsey as interim president and Paul Vallas as its temporary chief administrative officer.
The board announced after more than four hours in a close session the hiring of Rachel Lindsey, who served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (pictured left) and ex-Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas (pictured right) as top interim administrators on April 7. Vallas ran Chicago Public Schools from 1996 to 2001, than served as a turnaround specialist for other city school districts. He than returned to Illinois as Pat Quinn’s lieutenant government candidate when Quinn ran unsuccessfully for re-election in 2014 – against Rauner.
Vallas was one of the four trustees appointed to the board in January by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, but resigned earlier this month to pursue the administrative position. This comes after week of controversy in which Rauner drew several city leaders for promoting Vallas for a leadership position at the University.
According to the University’s website, former interim president Dr. Cecil B. Lucy will return to his position as Interim Vice President of Finance and Administration. It also states that Dr. Lindsey has more than 30 years of experience in higher education teaching and administration. She earned her Ed.D. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.
The South Side public university has been plagued by financial, academic and leadership issues for years. Enrollment at the school has fallen by half since 2010, and the graduation rate has dropped to 11 percent. Hundreds of employees were laid off last year amid a financial crisis brought on in part by the state budget impasse.
The university website also states that the university graduated 262 students in December of 2016 and expects to graduate over 650 students in May of this year. CSU continues to graduate 1 of every 6 African American’s in the state of Illinois among all of the 12 public universities.
Just this past September 2016, former CSU President Thomas Calhoun was forced to leave by the board after nine months on the job and is being paid $600,000 in severance from the University. It is said that Lindsey’s, Vallas as well as former interim president Cecil Lucy’s new salary as interim finance and administration chief, are all in negotiation.
The Student Government Association (SGA) at CSU is to held a meet and greet with Interim President Dr. Lindsey on this Thursday (April 20) on campus in Conference Rooms ABC from 12pm to 2pm and it is open to CSU and the campus community.
Fore more information regarding Chicago State University, visit their website at www.csu.edu.