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Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the appointment of four new members of the Board of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) who will work to build on the significant gains in student outcomes under CCC’s Reinvention initiative, a collaborative effort to review and revise CCC programs and practices to ensure that students leave college and career-ready. Dr. Charles (Chuck) Middleton will serve as the new Chair, and is joined by new appointees Gary Gardner, Sandy Goldman and Karen Kent. They replace Paula Wolff, Ellen Alberding Everett Rand and Larry Rogers. Current members Clarisol Duque and Marisela Lawson will be reappointed for a second term, and Rev. Darrell Griffin will remain on the board with Student Trustee Eliana Blancas, who was elected by her peers to a one-year term.
“I am grateful for the tireless service of the departing four board members who helped implement our City College reinvention efforts that have resulted in a doubling of the graduation rate and significantly increased job placement for our students. Our City Colleges will benefit from the knowledge and experience that these four new trustees bring to the board,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These new trustees will support the outstanding leadership of Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, who will continue to serve as she has done admirably for five years, making CCC a national model for education and workforce development reform.”
Since the beginning of the Reinvention initiative, CCC has doubled its graduation rate and the number of degrees it awards annually while increasing the number of certificates awarded by 33 percent. Mayor Emanuel and CCC Chancellor Cheryl Hyman also launched College to Careers to ensure that City College programs prepare students for the more than 500,000 jobs coming to Chicago in high-growth industries. To date, more than 3,000 students have been hired under the program.
Building on that, in October 2014, Mayor Emanuel and Chancellor Hyman announced the Chicago Star Scholarship, which provides eligible CPS students with a free education at City Colleges, helping to ensure they are able to pursue a college education without accumulating burdensome debt.
Chuck Middleton currently serves as the President of Roosevelt University, a position he has held since 2002. He will retire from the position June 30, 2015. During his tenure, he moved to strengthen the curriculum by strategically expanding and refocusing programs based on Roosevelt’s strengths. He has also overseen the transition of Roosevelt from a primarily commuter school with part-time adult students to a more traditional-age, full-time university and grown the number of full-time equivalent students by 16 percent over the last decade.
Gary Gardner is a lifelong resident of the South Side of Chicago and the current president and co-founder of PFG, LLC, a Chicago-based private equity firm. Gary is the retired president and co-founder of Namasté Laboratories, the nation’s largest minority-owned hair care company and the former president of Soft Sheen Products, Inc. which he expanded into the #1 global ethnic hair care enterprise, earning it recognition from Black Enterprise magazine as Company of the Year. Gary has a deep commitment to improving the lives of his community and supports numerous organizations, particularly those that foster education and safety.
Sandy Goldman joined Front Barnett Associates in 2010 as a senior portfolio manager and member of the Investment Committee. From 1959 to 1981 Sandy was a Partner at Stein Roe & Farnham and President and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Stein Roe Special Fund from its inception. He also established Goldman Asset Management where for many years he advised both taxable and tax-free clients. Sandy is a member of the Board of Governors of the Smart Museum, a former Director of the Arts Club of Chicago, and a former Trustee of the Notebaert Nature Museum. He was a Director of the United Way/Crusade of Mercy and Director and Vice Chairman of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Sandy served on the Finance Committee of the Jewish Federation and the Advisory Board of Catholic Charities. He is also a former Commissioner of the Chicago Housing Authority and a former member of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority Board and the Illinois Medical District Commission.
Karen Kent is the current President of UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union. During her tenure with Local 1, Karen helped the union secure significant victories on behalf of working people in Chicago including negotiating the first training fund to assist hotel workers improve their skills, earn promotions, and supply Chicago hoteliers with the finest hospitality workers in America. In the last decade, Local 1 has organized thousands of new workers into the union and doubled wages for housekeepers and other hotel workers in Chicago’s hospitality industry.
The new Board members are expected to begin their service in August.