Post About Chicago State U.’s President Was Overly Negative

To the Editors:

I have to take issue with the very one-sided and overly negative post regarding the announcement of the forthcoming retirement of Chicago State University president Wayne Watson, “Chicago State President Who Weathered Many Controversies Will Retire” (The Chronicle, February 6).

I would like to point out a few things:

• You mention one old audit finding, but it deserves to be noted that audit findings overall at the university dropped more than 60 percent during Dr. Watson’s tenure. Furthermore, at the most recent meeting of the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission, Dr. Watson and CSU were given extensive praise by lawmakers for reducing audit findings and for efforts to strengthen compliance and transparency.

• The lawsuit you mention is in appeal and the university feels strongly about its chances of having the award overturned.

• The mention of the provost has nothing to do with this situation and seems to only serve to bring up an old accusation that has been thoroughly debunked.

• Dr. Watson enjoys a positive and constructive relationship with the vast majority of the over 300 faculty members at CSU. There are a small but very vocal minority of faculty who took issue with the presidents reform agenda, but it does not reflect the reality of shared-governance efforts nor does it reflect strong relationships that Dr. Watson has built with faculty.

I understand that a retirement story like this will include the good with the bad, but you seem to have omitted anything on the good side of that ledger.

Tom Wogan
Director of Public Relations
Chicago State University

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