Watson to take the helm of CSU this summer

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In less than three months, Chicago State University will be under the leadership of the retiring chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, Wayne Watson.

In less than three months, Chicago State University will be under the leadership of the retiring chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago, Wayne Watson.

Watson recently talked to the Defender about what he plans to tackle in his first few months at the 141-year-old, predominantly Black institution: enrollment, campus accessibility and student housing.

Enrollment at the university has significantly increased since the doors first opened in 1867 with 16 students. There are about 6,800 students currently enrolled at the South Side institution. But that’s a 33 percent drop since 1994.

What’s behind the dwindling enrollment?

Watson said there could be a myriad of factors behind the decline, and talking with the student body and faculty is the only way to assess the situation.

“I need to come in and talk to them, but my main objective is to listen. I need to find out what they think the problems and challenges are. We can’t begin to address the problem until there is some dialogue and solutions put on the table,” said the 63-year-old who will retire from the seven-campus CCC next month.

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