Emanuel to retain some City Colleges leaders
Plan is to 'double down' on reforms under way, he says
The mayor-elect announced Monday that Cheryl Hyman will stay on as chancellor and Martin Cabrera Jr. will remain board chairman.
"I am bringing the rest of the board to the table, not to waver, but to double down on this type of reform and reinvention of City Colleges," Emanuel said of several new trustees he named to oversee the seven community colleges in Chicago.
New to the board is Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation, who will serve as board vice chairman. The Joyce Foundation was one of four nonprofit groups that provided money for Emanuel's mayoral transition.
Also new are Charles Jenkins, senior pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church; Marisela Lawson, a partner at management consultant firm the Sagence Group; Larry Rogers Sr., a trial lawyer; and Paula Wolff, the former president of Governors State University who is a senior executive at Chicago Metropolis 2020. Staying on is Everett Rand, who is part owner of Midway Airport Concessions.
City Colleges began the "reinvention" plan in November, an effort to rethink which programs to offer and to improve students' dismal transfer rate to four-year colleges and universities. About 16 percent of students make such transfers, and only 4 to 5 percent receive a bachelor's degree, according to data provided by the system.
Last year, Hyman suggested City Colleges reconsider its open-enrollment policy because many of its students needed remedial classes to prepare for college-level work. Providing that extra help cost the system $30 million a year. Emanuel said it's his preference to maintain an open-enrollment system, but that doesn't mean the board will necessarily agree.
Searches are under way for presidents at all but one of the seven city colleges. The current presidents had to reapply for their jobs.
Also Monday, Emanuel once again defended his choice of Jean-Claude Brizard to lead Chicago Public Schools.
"Did he ruffle feathers? I sure hope he did," Emanuel said of Brizard's three-year tenure as schools superintendent in Rochester, N.Y. The Tribune reported last week that Brizard was the target of least two federal lawsuits, including an ongoing discrimination case.
Emanuel noted that Arne Duncan, the former Chicago schools CEO who is now U.S. secretary of education, faced similar lawsuits.