two percent of its students in four years. Its overall graduation rates is only 11 percent. Chicago State's prime purpose seems to be to serve as an unemployment program for its faculty and staff. Enrollment has been declining for years, from a peak of nearly 10,000 students in the early 1990s to fewer than 4,000 now.
State funding is drying up because of Illinois' ongoing budget battle between old guard Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican reform governor Bruce Rauner; this spring Chicago State laid off 300 employees, which is about one-third of its staff. Now CSU has been warned that its accreditation may be pulled because of its money problems.
I have a solution to Chicago State's misery. Close it down. Illinois' population is declining and the hemorrhaging is particularly acute in Chicago. Illinois has eleven other state-sanctioned four-year colleges that can easily absorb 4,000 students. The predominately minority students of Chicago State could end up the big winners because---wait for it--they may end up getting a better education.
CSU is failing on every level. Even its sports teams stink--oh, can you believe Chicago State is an NCAA Division I School? The basketball team is coming off of a 4-28 season and they play in the Emil and Patricia Jones Convocation Center, which is unique among Illinois college sports arenas because the university didn't have to raise a dime to build it--state taxpayers paid the bill. If the name Emil Jones sounds familiar it is because the former Illinois state Senate president was a mentor to Barack Obama. If it was his own money, rather than the state's cash, Jones would be known as benefactor to CSU.
Illinois is broke and broken. A leaner state with much less graft is necessary.