Illinois governor moves to overhaul Chicago State leadership
- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this week announced a new advisory board for Chicago State University, the embattled public campus which remains in peril after years of financial cuts and scandal, leadership turnover and falling enrollment.
- The board, comprised of current and former education executives with ties to regional institutions, is charged with developing a new strategic plan and financial stabilization effort for the school, which enrolled just 86 new first-time freshman last fall.
- The advisory board accompanies the appointment of four new trustees to the university's official board.
This is the latest is an emerging trend of governors seizing full control of universities in the name of financial austerity and saving schools. Chicago State is the latest in a list which includes the University of Louisville and South Carolina State University as schools which have faced scandal and have resulted in massive executive changes on the board and in the president's office.
For colleges to avoid this kind of political seizure, leaders should continuously engage lawmakers and alumni stakeholders about their schools' profiles and encourage advocacy for their autonomy. Political favoring and financial issues are now part of the nature of higher education, but the economic value schools bring to regions and states should not be beholden to political ideology.
- Chicago Tribune Rauner names advisory board to help Chicago State University
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