Wayne D. Watson, who was appointed president of Chicago State University in 2009, has announced his intention to step down with 18 months left to go on his five-year contract. Gary Rozier, chair of the board of trustees of Chicago State, told the Chicago Tribune, “It’s time to look for new leadership.”
When the final agreement is signed Dr. Watson will take a one-year sabbatical at a salary of $250,000 and then retire. Chairman Rozier stated that Dr. Watson had accomplished a great deal during his tenure. However, in November the faculty issued a vote of “no confidence” in his presidency. And during Dr. Watson’s tenure, enrollments dropped significantly. In the fall of 2009, there were 1,344 first-year students on campus. This year there were 769.
Before coming to Chicago State University in 2009, Dr. Watson was chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. While in college Dr. Watson reached the finals of the Olympic trials in wrestling. He holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University.
It was announced that Sandra Westbrooks, now provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Chicago State, will serve as acting president. She is the former dean of the College of Education at the university. Dr. Westbrooks earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from Eastern Illinois University and a doctorate in reading and language arts from Indiana State University.