Dr. Rachel W. Lindsey was named Interim President of Chicago State University on April 17, 2017. During most of her career at Chicago State University (CSU), Rachel Lindsey served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), a position from which she retired in 2011. She was also a professor in the Department of Psychology. Before coming to CSU, Dr. Lindsey taught at Northeastern Illinois University-Center for Inner City Studies and Loyola University. In 1976, she began teaching educational psychology and child development at Chicago State in the Department of Psychology where she was awarded tenure and was promoted to the rank of professor. She was a four-time recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award.
Dr. Lindsey’s early research focused primarily on the social development of preschool children with an emphasis on altruism. Working with Dr. Diana Slaughter at Northwestern University, she was also involved in a study of minority children in private schools. Other research interests included the evaluation of various Head Start programs and evaluation of reform projects in the Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Lindsey also led several projects focusing on teacher preparation, violence reduction, and social service.
For almost 20 years, Dean Lindsey was the administrative and educational leader for the largest college at CSU. The College offers seventeen undergraduate programs in arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics and natural sciences, nine secondary education, and two professional programs (master in social work and master in counseling). During her tenure as dean, the two professional programs and the program in music received accreditation. The College also houses the Offices of Engineering Studies, PreHealth Professions, and Military Science and is responsible for offering the university’s general education program. She was also the co-chair of the CSU Institutional Review Board.
As dean, Dr. Lindsey was a member of the multi-institution committee responsible for acquiring National Science Foundation funding for the Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (IL LS-AMP) and served as the coordinator for the AMP program at CSU. She also served as a reviewer for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the National Science Foundation, and the Alfred Sloan Foundation. In 2001, she received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Extramural Associate Research Development Award. In addition to spending five months at NIH, the award included a multi-year grant that provided pilot funding for research in natural and behavioral sciences. These pilot projects also provided opportunities for student researchers and contributed to a five-fold increase in the college’s grant funding. Beginning in 2002, Dr. Lindsey became an active member of the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) presenting on panels, co-organizing post-conference leadership forums, and serving as co-chair of the Cultural Diversity Committee. In 2008, she was elected to the CCAS Board.
As a 17-year member of the Board of Trustees of Morgan Park Academy, a local independent school, Dr. Lindsey held several offices and served on several committees. She also was a member of the Community Advisory Committee of the Shedd Aquarium. From 1992 through 2006, she was a member of the Steering Committee for the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago where she served as co-Chair for three years.
Recently, Dr. Lindsey agreed to leave retirement and assume the position of Interim President of Chicago State University. In addition, she continues to serve on the board of Black Oaks Center for Sustainable and Renewable Living, a peri-urban farm located in the historically African-American farming community of Pembroke, Illinois about 60 miles south of Chicago. She is also a community board member of St. Mark’s Methodist Church Youth and Family Center and a board member of The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund.
Dr. Lindsey received the B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Chicago. She continues to live in Chicago. In addition to her many achievements, her most valued role is that of mother of two sons – an artist and an engineer.