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City Colleges Chancellor Retiring

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The head of the City Colleges of Chicago is retiring.

Wayne Watson is stepping down as chancellor next summer. He’s headed the district of seven community colleges since 1998. He says it’s important that whoever replaces him understands the mission.

WATSON: We are that equalizing force within a community. We level the playing field for everybody. We close that socio-economic gap. That’s what community colleges are here for.

During his tenure, Watson oversaw development of the new Kennedy-King College and started seminars to improve teaching skills. There was a bitter three-week strike in 2004, but union officials say relations are good now.

In his final year, Watson hopes to start a language requirement for students getting an associate degree in arts.

About 115,000 students attend City Colleges.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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