Governors State University has been a pillar in the south suburbs for over five decades. With its geographical convenience and its adaptive learning style, GSU has become a well-known university in the University Park area. While campus has been less busy for students due to COVID-19 restrictions, the administration has been busy at work.
During one of the most difficult seasons for academia and educators, Governors State University passed the presidency torch. Dr. Cheryl Green took office as the new President of GSU, succeeding her predecessor, Elaine Maimon, who retired at the end of June as serving 13 years.
Maimon had come under scrutiny last December when a state investigation uncovered 33 people who had been terminated from the university continued to collect full salaries and benefits.
Green, a Chicago native, is a graduate of Manchester University where she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in counseling from Southern Illinois University. Dr. Green brings over 25 years of experience in higher education and 14 years of administrative experience. Prior to her time at GSU, Green served as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; as Interim Chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Whitewater; and as Assistant VP for Student Affairs at Tennessee State University. Green also served at Chicago State University in many administrative positions and roles, including serving as a statewide representative for faculty and staff in a local union.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era for GSU,” Green said in 2020 Convocation address to the GSU community. In that same speech, Green mentioned taking leadership of this institution in unique and challenging times, highlighting that nearly 90% of learning this fall is being done remotely. Dr. Green acknowledges the hurdles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, she stressed that “we will honor the commitment to put people first.”
Dr. Green spoke to her vision for Governors State University in the address as well. Highlighting three pillars: Enhancing the image of GSU, deepening academic excellence, and taking a holistic approach to the student experience.
Dr. Green said she wanted to remove the “hidden gem” description of GSU and instead build the brand using marketing strategies such as television commercials which already have already begun playing. She also mentioned exploring the ideas of three-year baccalaureate programs for students that are not only more feasible, but more accessible. Finally, she said she supports exploring more extracurricular activities for students such as Greek life and annual spirit days to encompass the spirit of Governors State University. “We will cultivate a climate of innovation, achievement and engagement for the entire campus community” says Green.
“Together we will overcome any challenge ahead that we may face,” says Green.