CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas to be chairman of the Board of Trustees at struggling Chicago State University.
Rauner on Tuesday called Vallas a "seasoned veteran" and said even though Illinois is amid a budget impasse he thinks Chicago State and Illinois' public universities need more money. Chicago State's trustees will choose their own chairman but Rauner recommends Vallas.
Chicago State has seen financial troubles stemming from the lack of a state budget. In the last year it has let go workers and declared a state of financial emergency.
CSU has also been mired in declining enrollment, financial mismanagement and a revolving administrative door which includes the last president who was pushed out by the old board but given a $600,000 severance package for reasons that still remain publicly unknown.
Despite the challenges, Vallas says he thinks "in short order this university can move forward dramatically."
Rauner also said he thinks a turnaround at Chicago State "can be done pretty expeditiously."