UW–Platteville Chancellor Dennis Shields is one of three finalists for the presidency of Chicago State University.
Shields will be visiting Chicago State Monday for the first of three campus-wide interviews with the three finalists, according to Chicago State’s website.
Shields has been UW–Platteville's chancellor since 2010. Shields’ biography on the Chicago State website notes “marked achievements in improved student retention and attainment, energizing and creative fundraising, and the use of innovative and entrepreneurial methods to increase residence hall capacity and student presence on campus” since Shields became chancellor.
UW–Platteville has had two dorms, Rountree Commons and Bridgeview Commons, built since he became chancellor.
Shields is a native of Iowa and a graduate of Graceland University, where he played basketball. He got his law degree at the University of Iowa, where he later led law school admissions and financial aid. He also led law school admissions and financial aid at the University of Michigan and Duke University. He was dean and professor of the University of Phoenix law school.
Shields came to UW–Platteville from the City University of New York, where he was acting vice president of student services.
Chicago State's other finalists are Jerry Blakemore, vice president and general counsel at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., and Thomas J. Calhoun Jr., vice president for enrollment management at the University of North Alabama.
The candidate chosen as president will replace Wayne Watson, Ph.D., who announced in February his retirement by the end of the 2015–16 academic year. The CSU website lists Watson, who became Chicago State president in 2009, as the most senior African–American administrator in Illinois higher education.
Chicago State’s faculty approved a no-confidence resolution against Watson in November, according to the Chicago Reader. Watson and CSU general counsel Patrick Cage are being sued in federal court by two CSU professors who claim Watson and Cage are waging an “ongoing campaign to silence” the professors’ “criticisms over how the University is run” on the professors’ CSU Faculty Voice blog.
Chicago State is also being sued by its former vice president of enrollment management, who alleges in a wrongful-termination lawsuit that Watson tried to get her to file a sexual harassment complaint against one of the blog writers, and when she refused, fired her, according to Reason.com.