WEST CHESTERFIELD — Wayne Watson said Wednesday that he still considers himself the president at Chicago State University, despite the school naming Sandra Westbrooks, the school's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, its interim president on Monday.
In a statement, Watson, 67, said he requested from the Board of Trustees to take a one-year sabbatical to care for his 96-year-old father, but did not resign.
“I have not resigned as CSU's president and no date is set for the sabbatical to begin," Watson said Wednesday in an emailed statement.
Westbrooks was unavailable for comment.
On Monday the university board announced it had granted Watson's request for a sabbatical, and that it expected Watson to retire upon completion of his sabbatical.
“We are grateful to Dr. Watson for his service to the students and faculty of Chicago State University,” Gary Rozier, chairman of CSU's board, said in a statement Monday. “Dr. Watson came to Chicago State at a very challenging time, and through his tireless efforts, helped to build a stronger culture of achievement while maintaining a focus first and foremost on students and their needs.”
According to Dan Regan, a spokesman for CSU, the Board of Trustees, at its next regularly scheduled meeting (March 8), will establish a formal search process to identify the next university president.