The retiring chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, Wayne Watson, was chosen today as the new president of Chicago State University.
The retiring chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, Wayne Watson, was chosen today as the new president of Chicago State University. After several weeks of controversy over the two finalists, Watson, 63, and Carol Adams, Ph.D., 64, secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, the university’s board of trustees picked Watson to succeed former President Elnora Daniel and Interim President Frank Pogue. The $75,000 search by an outside agency netted 34 applicants for the post, and the list was shortened to Adams and Watson, both “lousy” candidates according to some students, alumni and faculty. The main concern with Adams was a scandal that came after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed against her female assistant a few years ago by a male member of her staff. Watson’s hands-off methods when dealing with the Cook County College Teachers Union four years ago was an issue for some at CSU. The CSU advisory committee that sifted through the pool of presidential candidates felt the process wasn’t transparent, since neither Watson nor Adams was the top vote-getter of the group. As a result, a few days after grilling Adams and Watson during their on-campus interviews, the committee resigned, said Donald Pettis, president of the university’s alumni association. Last week, the university student group Students for the Ethical Selection of our New President (SESOP) called for the removal of the five-member board of trustees –– Chairwoman Betsy Hill, the Revs. Leon Finney and Richard Tolliver, Jim Reynolds and Peggy Montes. SESOP urged Gov. Pat Quinn to remove the board and start the process anew. Quinn hasn’t responded. Watson retires in June. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.