After days of speculation over whether the controversial chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago will stay or go, Cheryl Hyman announced that she will remain at the institution a year longer to allow time for a transition.
“I will be giving City Colleges this additional time to allow the Board to conduct a national search for my replacement,” Hyman said in a statement issued Monday evening.
Hyman’s future as the head of the seven-campus network of community colleges has been in question since the Board of Trustees meeting on June 2. At that meeting, the Board did not renew Hyman’s three-year contract, which expires at the end of the month. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who appoints the chancellor of City Colleges, later sidestepped questions of whether she would remain in the post.
Hyman’s tenure has recently been fraught with controversy over her efforts to centralize management and overhaul the curriculum through her “Reinvention” program. In February, faculty declared that they had taken a vote of no confidence in her leadership, claiming that she has declined to meet with them about the changes or direction of the schools. Another particularly contentious topic has been the bitter, ongoing negotiations with the adjunct faculty and librarians union, which marks its fourth year of working without a contract.
But Hyman has had vociferous supporters, particularly within the civic, business and higher educational circles of Chicago. They cite a doubling of the graduation rates and a growth in transfer agreements with four-year colleges and universities as evidence of her success.
Odette Yousef is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her @oyousef and @WBEZoutloud.