CSU presidential advisory committee resigns, students and faculty want trustees removed

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In the wake of a university presidential search process they believed was hijacked by the board of trustees, the Chicago State University’s 14-member presidential advisory committee resigned Friday, a few days after grilling the two finalists vying

In the wake of a university presidential search process they believed was hijacked by the board of trustees, the Chicago State University’s 14-member presidential advisory committee resigned Friday, a few days after grilling the two finalists vying for the post.

Further, the university student group Students for the Ethical Selection of our New President (SESOP), on Tuesday called for the removal of the five-member trustee board.

SESOP spokesman Michael O’Connor said the board’s “flawed” search provoked the resignation of the entire advisory committee, prompting their latest demand for the ousting of the board of trustees.

“We don’t want a decision made about a new president until a new board of trustees is appointed,” said O’Connor.

An executive search firm was paid $75,000 to find a successor for former President Elnora Daniel and Interim President Frank Pogue.

The search netted 34 applicants for the advisory committee, then the pool was whittled down to Carol Adams, Ph. D. and Wayne Watson, based on the leadership criteria set by the board that is comprised of Chairwoman Betsy Hill, the Revs. Leon Finney and Richard Tolliver, Jim Reynolds and Peggy Montes.

Adams, 64, is secretary of the Illinois Dept. of Human Services, and Watson, 63, is the retiring chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago.

Adams and Watson, both “lousy” candidates according to some students, faculty and alumni, spent two separate days last week at the university promoting themselves as the choice candidate to lead CSU.

“We thought the process was not transparent. We did not want to be perceived as a rubber stamp, therefore, unless they’re going to re-open the process, we don’t want to be part of it,” said Donald Pettis, president of the Chicago State Alumni Association and a member of the advisory committee.

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In photo: Carol Adams

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