CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago State University Board of Trustees announced today that it has granted a one-year administrative sabbatical to University President Dr. Wayne Watson. Dr. Sandra Westbrooks, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be named as acting president by the Board. The Board of Trustees will immediately begin the process of searching for a new president.
The Board granted the sabbatical at the request of Dr. Watson in recognition of his leadership of Chicago State as well as his long commitment to higher education in Illinois. During his sabbatical, Dr. Watson will conduct research on leadership strategies and best practices at minority-serving institutions of higher education.
"We are grateful to Dr. Watson for his service to the students and faculty of Chicago State University," said Gary Rozier, chairman of the Chicago State University Board of Trustees. "Dr. Watson came to Chicago State at a very challenging time, and through his tireless efforts, helped to build a stronger culture of achievement while maintaining a focus first and foremost on students and their needs."
Under Dr. Watson's leadership, the University focused on efforts to support students in reaching their academic goals. This included accreditation and re-accreditation for a number of programs including professional programs in pharmacy, education and nursing. He also worked to streamline operations and address fiscal management concerns, and establish a culture of accountability and transparency.
The Board expects that Dr. Watson will retire at the conclusion of his sabbatical and that he will help ensure a smooth transition for the University's next president. At its next regularly scheduled board meeting, the Board will establish a formal search process to identify the next University president.
In naming Dr. Westbrooks acting president, the Board noted her more than 25 years' administrative experience in higher education, including a 20-year tenure at Chicago State. A seasoned administrator, she is responsible for all academic policies at the University and she works closely with faculty to ensure the quality of programs, instruction and research.
SOURCE Chicago State University