Shields’ candidacy

Leonard Ballosh, News Editor

Chancellor Dennis J. Shields might end up as Chicago State University’s new president, even though he didn’t seek out the position and isn’t sure how he feels about it.

“He was nominated for the position,” Rose Smyrski, interim vice chancellor for external relations, said. According to the CSU website, a consulting firm, Greenwood/Asher & Associates, was hired to pick candidates that fit into the university’s vision of their next leader.

Shields said the journey to his Sept. 14 interview at CSU began when a search consultant from the university contacted him in May. Shields, along with 12 other candidates, had airport interviews in August, cutting down the number of candidates to three finalists.

“I get announcements every week from consultants about positions in higher education,” Shields said. “I would not have submitted my name without a prior conversation.

During the selection of candidates, 38 were chosen and were then narrowed down to 12 after the Search Committee reviewed and made assessments of the candidates.

Just as Shields did, finalists Jerry D. Blakemore of Northern Illinois University and Thomas J. Calhoun Jr. of the University of Northern Alabama each did a campus visit, which consisted of meeting with the Presidential Search Committee, along with faculty and students. The three finalists had their campus visits from Sept. 14-16.

CSU will announce its new president in October.

“I’m not sure what my reaction will be if I get it,” Shields said. “I really love my job here.”

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