Pictured (left to right): Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College; Z Scott, President of Chicago State University; U.S. Senator Dick Durbin; Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College; and Dr. Michael Anthony, President of President of Prairie State College.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) met with the presidents of four Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) in Illinois last week to discuss federal support for PBI colleges and students. During their meeting, the Senators spoke with the college presidents about ensuring that PBIs receive adequate federal funding, which would help PBIs address capacity buildings, enrollment declines, and student success outcomes.

“Illinois is home to many colleges and universities, including eight Predominantly Black Institutions, that offer a high-quality education and financial support to students,” said Durbin. “I enjoyed meeting with college presidents to discuss how the federal government can continue to work alongside PBIs to provide the best education possible to Illinoisans by removing obstacles to learning for students.”

U.S. Tammy Duckworth speaking with two out four president from Illinois’ Predominantly Black Institutions.

“Predominantly Black Institutions are places to educate America’s students and so much more,” said Duckworth. “They’re reminders of the resilience of African Americans through years of discrimination in education, and they’re places of community, culture and history. Today’s meeting with leaders from Illinois’s coalition of Predominantly Black Institutions was a great opportunity to discuss my support for eliminating barriers and discrimination in higher education and the federal resources these institutions need in the future.”

PBIs are a distinct designation of Minority-Serving Institutions, and they serve high proportions of Black students, first-generation college students, and students from low-income backgrounds. PBIs account for three percent of postsecondary institutions, but enroll nine percent of Black college students. Illinois has eight PBIs that enroll nearly 200,000 students.

Participating presidents in the meeting include:
1. Z Scott, President of Chicago State University
2. Dr. Michael Anthony, President of Prairie State College
3. Dr. Katonja Walker, President of Kennedy-King College
4. Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, President of Olive-Harvey College

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CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Chicago State University (CSU) Wednesday to discuss the $450,000 in federal funding he secured through Congressionally Directed Spending – more commonly known as an earmark – in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Omnibus appropriations bill to purchase science laboratory equipment for their Health Sciences Simulation Lab. This funding will be used to help students learn best practices in pediatric and home health care, as well as support a workforce pipeline of nurses, occupational therapists, and pharmacists.

“As the only four-year Predominately Black Institution in Illinois, CSU is committed to closing the diversity gaps in health care professions,” said Durbin. “That’s why I secured $450,000 to support their efforts to provide a high-quality education for students in the College of Health Sciences. This funding will ensure that the next generation of nurses, occupational therapists, and pharmacists get the very best training. I will continue to advocate for federal funds to diversify our health care profession.”

“Senator Durbin effort to secure this $450,000 federal investment to purchase necessary science laboratory equipment for our University’s state-of-art Health Science Simulation Lab will assist CSU in providing top-level training to our students and supply the diverse leadership needed in the health procession,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Located in the heart of Chicago’s south side, CSU is uniquely positioned to be the center of training for Health Sciences professionals that represent the patients they serve.”

“Senator Durbin has been a champion for Illinois’ only four-year Predominantly Black Institution and HBCUs for quite some time; supporting Black communities throughout Illinois has always been his top priority, and I admire his leadership. HCF applauds Senator Durbin for securing this $450,000 federal investment that will enhance and diversify the healthcare profession for the next generation of healthcare professionals,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund. “Institutions such as Chicago State are persistently committed to providing the necessaries to health care professionals that is so importantly needed. I always praise President Scott for her extraordinary leadership and all she does to enhance the students’ needs at CSU.”

There is a shortage of diverse professionals in health care. Despite comprising 14 percent of the population, only five percent of physicians are Black, and there are fewer Black men entering medical school today than the 1970s. When health care professionals reflect the diversity of the populations they serve, there is increased patient trust, improved communication, and reduced health disparities. As the only four-year Predominately Black Institution (PBI) in Illinois, CSU is well positioned to train a diverse pipeline of medical professionals to pursue nursing, medical school, or other medical professions. CSU has a high proportion of students who came from medically underserved communities and return to their communities after graduation.

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. CSU is committed ti equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

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Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., Chicago State University President.

CHICAGO, IL – The Board of Trustees of Chicago State University has announced a 4-year contract extension for President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., who has held the position since July 1, 2018. President Scott is the 12th Permanent President of the University.

“The Board of Trustees’ unanimous support for this contract extension is a vote of full confidence in President Z Scott as the right person to lead CSU now and for the foreseeable future,” said Andre Zopp, Chair of the Trustees. “During the last four years, President Scott has exceeded the Board’s expectation. Particularly she has moved the university forward while navigating the unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Zopp underscored that Scott has driven forward advancement in areas critical to the success of the university. Key accomplishments include creating a board-approved Strategic Plan reflecting university-wide input, launching a student success strategy that increased persistence and graduation rates, implementing a new plan for student recruitment, and positioning CSU as a statewide and national leader in advancing equity in higher education. Additionally, under President Scott’s leadership, CSU has spearheaded building a national coalition of U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominantly Black Institutions. Scott also oversaw the redevelopment of the university’s foundation and its Board of Directors. Zopp concluded, “There is a renewed level of energy on campus, and a renewed focus on Chicago State University as the focal point for the engagement of corporate partners and important community initiatives.”

“I commend CSU Trustees Chair Andrea Zopp and the Board of Trustees for their attentiveness in choosing an individual with a wealth of leadership experience and determination to be the right person to lead CSU brighter each day,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., HCF Founder, President & CEO. “Madam President Z Scott has done more than exceptionally well; she has done an amazing job in her role at CSU. Scott has exceeded above and beyond, and as I survey her leadership work, she has moved the university with the confidence of being Illinois’ premier Predominantly Black Institution. She is most definitely a ‘Most Dominant leader’.'”

In addition to her role as President, Scott is on the Board of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Shedd Aquarium, Commonwealth Eddison, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. During her time as President, Scott has provided expertise to local and statewide leaders including by serving as Co-Chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Strategic Plan Committee and the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force. Prior to taking the helm of CSU, Scott was an equity partner in a national law firm with an international practice. Her Career further includes work as federal criminal prosecutor in the position of Chief of General Crimes and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and the first Illinois Executive Inspector General for the Agencies of the Governor and its Public Universities.

In 2020, President Scott was the first president representing a Predominantly Black Institution to be named among The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders. A award recognition that recognizes leaders for proving their responsibilities for shaping policies, changing perspectives and making decisions that affect millions of individuals in the higher ed sector and the daily needs of an HBCU or MSI.

Scott’s initial contract expires on June 30, 2022. Her new contract will be effective July 1, 2022.

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. CSU is committed ti equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

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Budget outlines important investment in students and public institutions

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and members of the General Assembly visited the campus of Chicago State University on April 19, 2022 for the signing of a $46 billion FY 2023 budget.

CHICAGO, IL – Last month, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) commended Illinois lawmakers on the passage of the 2023 fiscal budget, which focuses on relief, education, and public safety. The budget also included an increase in funding for K-12 public schools, MAP and supports higher education institutions.

“This is an exciting time for the state of Illinois and the future of education for many Illinoisans. HCF commends the work of House Speaker Emanuel Chris Welch, House Democrats, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker for their continuous support of making the welfare of Illinois residents a priority. The passage of the 2023 fiscal budget makes a massive impact on K-12 public schools and influences higher education within the state,said Demetrius Johnson Jr., HCF’s Founder, President & CEO. “The budget includes more funding for K-12 public schools and allocates towards MAP, which will allow additional students with financial needs funds for tuition and fees to pursue an undergraduate degree. And as always, I truly appreciate their support of Illinois’ only four-year, Predominantly Black Institution, Chicago State University. The 2023 budget will give Illinois higher education institutions a 5% increase in funding, including CSU. Additionally, it adds $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year of 2022. Governor Pritzker and House Speaker Welch’s support outs an exceptional value on higher education within the state and the economy. Thank you for your investment into a brighter future.”

The budget provides a significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, which includes Chicago State University (CSU), Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, would receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to this year’s current budget. The passed budget also adds an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year of 2022.

Additionally, adding more funding to K-12 publics schools, the budget also strengthen financial aid for students throughout the state. The increase funding of $122 million for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant is allow more low-income students to receive funds to assist with college tuition and fees.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget recognizes the unparalleled value of higher education to the Illinois’ economy,” said Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our data shows that each year CSU adds $1.6 billion to the Illinois economy and a strong return-on-investment for our students. As the University remains laser focused on equitable education and workforce development, this investment will allow CSU to further strengthen its economic impact as well as our student success.

Last year, CSU released its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, demonstrating that the institution is a driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, support 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

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Budget Outlines Important Investment in Students and Public Institutions

The proposed budget will support college affordability and focus on closing equity gaps in Illinois education.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) applaud Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s fiscal year 2023 budget proposal that outlines significant investment in Illinois’ higher education institutions and students. Illinois four-year universities, which includes Chicago State University (CSU), Illinois’ only designated Predominantly Black Institution, would receive a 5% increase in funding for fiscal year 2023 relative to this year’s current budget. The proposal would also add an additional $1.8 million to CSU’s appropriation for the current fiscal year 2022. If approved by the General Assembly, the budget would provide critically needed resources for the University and CSU students.

Governor Pritzker’s budget also strengthens financial aid for students by, among other things, increasing funding for the Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for low-income students by $122 million.

Governor Pritzker’s pushed the proposal for the fiscal 2022-23 budget investment early last year to provide stability for higher education institutions in Illinois, including CSU.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget recognizes the unparalleled value of higher education to the Illinois’ economy,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our data shows that each year CSU adds $1.6 billion to the Illinois economy and a strong return-on-investment for our students. As the University remains laser focused on equitable education and workforce development, this investment will allow CSU to further strengthen its economic impact as well as our student success.”

“I would like to express sincere gratitude to Governor Pritzker for his continuous attentiveness of how much a crucial impact and value that higher education has on the state of Illinois and its economy,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., Founder, President & CEO of HBCU Campaign Fund. “Chicago State University is a necessary jewel to the Black community of Chicago, and we must not neglect how much economic support and return of investment CSU nourished for its students and the state of Illinois. CSU continues to focus on providing equitable education and workforce development that allows CSU to supply to underserving and low-income students. I dearly commend President Zaldwaynaka Scott on her outstanding leadership, and we thank the Governor for his continued investment in a brighter future for the students in Illinois.”

Last year, CSU released its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrated the institution is driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

HCF President Johnson stated that the organization is elated to continue to play the role as a strong advocate and supporter of Chicago State University.

Click here to view Governor Pritzker’s Budget Fiscal Year 2023.

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Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University.

CHICAGO, IL – ComEd recently announced the appointment of Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, president of Chicago State University, to its board as independent directors. Scott joins Smita Shah, CEO of SPAAN Tech, Inc., 2022 appointment, and Ricardo “Ric” Estrada, president & CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, named to the board in November 2021.

“Z and Smita are distinguished business and civic leaders from our community and have proven track records of innovation and leadership experience. We are pleased to welcome them to the ComEd board,” said Gil Quiniones, ComEd CEO. “Their respective expertise, combined with their shared passion for closing the opportunity gap for women and minorities, will serve the company well as we continue to work to create an equitable clean energy future for all communities.”

As president of Chicago State University, Scott has overseen the development and advancement of its strategic plan for 2020 to 2025 to ensure the institution leads with the mission of transforming students’ lives through innovation and excellence in ethical leadership.

Scott is also a well-known advocate for equity in higher education. She formed and co-chairs the Equity Working Group, a body of leaders from across the education, public, private, philanthropic, and community development sectors to address Black students access and success in Illinois higher education.

“I’m honored to join ComEd’s board of directors and advance its values of integrity, forward thinking, openness to ideas and principled decision-making,” said Scott. “I’m excited to support ComEd’s important work to build a cleaner and brighter future for communities across Chicagoland and northern Illinois.”

Scott serves on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago board of directors where she also sits on the board’s Audit and Compliance and the Nominating and Governance Committee. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees for the John H. Shedd Aquarium and the United States Coast Guard Academy. Scott is also a member of The Chicago Network where she chairs the Government Committee.

Scott holds a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

About ComEd
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information, visit ComEd.com.

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An alumna of CSU, National Leader in the Education Community and, Passion for Equity in Education, Makes Jackson a Natural to Address the Fall 2021 Graduates

Dr. Janice K. Jackson, CEO of HOPE Chicago.

CHICAGO, ILDr. Janice K. Jackson will deliver Chicago State University‘s (CSU) 386th Commencement address on Dec. 16, 2021. The ceremony at the Emil & Patricia A. Jones Convocation Center is the university’s first in-person ceremony since 2019 and its return to in-person classes.

Jackson, a CSU alumna and the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, was recently tapped as CEO of a newly formed nonprofit named HOPE Chicago. Launched in September 2021, HOPE Chicago, designed as a two-generation scholarship organization, will focus on the elimination of educational and economic equity barriers by guaranteeing debt-free college and wraparound support services to HOPE Scholars and their parents. The organization will pay the full cost of college for Scholars who are Chicago Public School graduates in need and offer the same support to a parent or guardian who desires to commence post-secondary programming. Seven CSU students were selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the program. HOPE Chicago will also provide counseling mentoring, and career guidance to high school students.

“As an alumna of Chicago State University, we are thrilled to have Dr. Jackson address this year’s graduates,” said President Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, Esq. “She is a renowned education leader and visionary with a personal passion for transforming lives through education.”

Dr. Jackson, holds a B.A. in secondary education and an M.A. in history from CSU. Jackson also holds an M.A. in leadership and administration and a Ph.D. in education policy studies and urban school leadership. She began her 22-year career with CPS as a social studies teacher and debate team coach at South Shore High School. She served as a high school principal, District Network Chief, and Chief Education Officer in 2017, she was appointed CEO of CPS. She was the first CSU alumna to serve in the position.

About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU), founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus.

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CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced last month $587,729 in federal funding to Chicago State University. This funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions Program will assist the university in implementing their Resiliency and Capacity Expansion for Student Success in the Health Professions (RECESS-HP) program. Chicago State University is Illinois’ only four-year U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominantly Black Institution.

“HCF applauds U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin for working closely together in taking the effort to ensure that underprivileged institutions in communities of color like Chicago State University have the funding it needs to continue producing academic excellence. We would also like to thank the Department of Education for its investment towards Predominantly Black Institutions through its program. We are excited for this funding, which is part of a 5-year, $2.9 million commitment to help students pursue the health sciences field and boost employment in the Illinois workforce and within the country. I commend President Scott for her continued effort in ensuring that Chicago State University remain relevant and her tireless leadership in CSU’s continued success. We look forward to observing CSU’s plans of utilizing the funds for RECESS-HP and will continue to follow up through our advocacy with the senate to keep the fight ongoing for continuous funding for PBIs like Chicago State,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit educational organization that supports the significance and raises funds for scholarship, initiative programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

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Chicago State University’s entrance sign.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced $587,729 in federal funding to Chicago State University. The funding from the U.S. Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions Program will assist the university in implementing their Resiliency and Capacity Expansion for Student Success in the Health Professions (RECESS-HP) Program. Chicago State, located on Chicago’s South Side, is Illinois’ only four-year U.S. Department of Education-designated Predominately Black Institution.

“Those of us who weren’t always sure we’d be able to go to college or faced barriers upon entry understand the power of a diploma,” said Duckworth. “I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to ensure federal support for higher education, especially for Illinois schools like Chicago State University and for working class communities and communities of color, so that every American has the opportunity to enroll in college and complete a degree.”

“Higher education should be accessible to every American, no matter who they are or where they live. Today’s federal funding will help recruit and enroll students at Chicago State University to study health and science at an affordable cost. I will continue to work with Senator Duckworth to secure these kind of investments in communities of color and Predominately Black Institutions,” said Durbin.

“This funding, part of a 5-year, $2.9 million commitment, will help ensure Chicago State University’s continued excellence in the health sciences, where our graduate experience 100 percent job placement. Health sciences in an area of growth in the Illinois workforce, and we know that increasing access into the healthcare workforce for communities of color is key to addressing health inequities, so we will continue our innovative student success strategies with this federal funding,” said Chicago State University President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Esq.

Through RECESS-HP, Chicago State plans to prioritize outreach to Black men, develop programs in health education and sciences and improve and expand hybrid and remote learning for students at the university. The U.S. Department of Education’s Predominately Black Institutions Program awards grant to eligible colleges to make higher education more accessible for low-and middle income Black students.

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Dr. Edward Ofori, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chicago State University (CSU) College of Pharmacy.

CHICAGO, ILDr. Edward Ofori, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chicago State University (CSU) College of Pharmacy, was named the Illinois State Higher Education Leader, one of 35 higher education professionals chosen for the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative by The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Leaders will join the AASCU’s 2021 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), which supports higher education leaders in advancing their leadership skills. Dr. Ofori was chosen through a rigorous selection process administrated by a selection committee composed exclusively of presidents and chancellors.

Experience in ELP allows participants to determine where they fit in the academy and to envision what their career path might look like, including a concrete next step. Participants graduate with the skills, connections, and support necessary to navigate the transition to administrative roles and gain a national network of motivated peers. Additionally, ELP provides the opportunity for participants to assess their leadership style and strengths and apply the skills learned in the instructional portion of the program to a project/initiative on their home campus over the academic year.

“I am excited to join the Emerging Leaders Program this year as a higher education leader,” said Dr. Edward Ofori, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Chicago State University College of Pharmacy.

Participants will learn from experiences AASCU presidents, senior leaders, and national experts in leadership and student success. Sessions will include theoretical knowledge, practical application, and case study discussions. Leaders will work with their president/chancellor or cabinet-level administrator to identify and lead a project or initiative. The campus leader will provide mentorship and guidance throughout the project/initiative. It will feature one faculty-led webinar per month from April-November 2021 and include smaller group sessions for reflection, networking, and case studies.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C. -based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems. Members share a learning and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.

About Chicago State University (CSU)
Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students to diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

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