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Cheryl L. Hyman                               

Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago


Chancellor Cheryl Hyman’s number one priority is student success. Her vision for the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) is to build a world-class institution that prepares students to compete and win the jobs of today and tomorrow. As Chancellor of the City Colleges, Hyman is a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Cabinet and is responsible for managing a budget of more than $700 million, overseeing 5,500 employees, and ensuring the success of more than 100,000 students annually. She is leading the Reinvention of Illinois’ largest community college system in partnership with faculty, staff, students, and civic and business communities to ensure that all CCC students successfully graduate ready for further college and careers.

Recent Accomplishments

During her tenure at City Colleges, Chancellor Hyman has boosted student success through academic and operational reforms. Under her leadership, notable accomplishments include:
  • The total number of City Colleges completers crossed the 10,000 mark in FY2013. The number of degrees awarded reached nearly 5,000 in FY2015, compared to an average of 2,000 annually before the Reinvention initiative.
  • The graduation rate has more than doubled since the launch of Reinvention, reaching 17 percent in FY2015, the highest in more than a decade.
  • Transfer agreements have been signed with 52 four-year institutions including the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois-Chicago, DePaul University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • A five-year agreement with our full-time faculty union that includes up to one percent of their salary per year being awarded for performance pay based on student outcomes. In addition, City Colleges reached a labor agreement with AFSCME that links up to eight percent of our adult education instructors' compensation to progress toward state achievement goals.
  • Over the last five years, Hyman has overseen the development of balanced budgets with no increase in taxes, has saved $70 million in operations costs which has been redirected to the classroom, and has implemented new business and accounting standards, including zero-based budgeting.
  • Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, City Colleges launched College to Careers, an innovative program that works to partner CCC faculty and staff with corporations and local businesses to better prepare students for careers in fast-growing fields and help increase the competitiveness of Chicago’s companies by providing them with a highly skilled workforce.
    • To date, more than 150 companies and organizations are partners and more than 3,000 students have found jobs or paid internships in College to Careers fields.
  • The employee benefits liability has been reduced by more than $1 million per year. Reforms include ending sick day payouts for new non-union hires, ending free premium health care for senior City Colleges leaders, rescinding free lifetime retiree healthcare for current senior leaderships, and freezing sick day payouts for current non-bargained employees.
  • City Colleges has launched a $524 million capital plan that will include academic enhancements at all seven colleges, including a new $251 million Malcolm X College campus and a new $45 million TDL Center at Olive-Harvey College, in support of College to Careers.

Professional History

Prior to being appointed Chancellor in April 2010, Hyman served as Vice President of Operations Strategy and Business Intelligence at ComEd, an Exelon company. She joined ComEd in 1996 and held positions across the company during her 14-year career, including in the areas of Information Technology, Transmission and Distribution, Community & Economic Development, and Government & Legislative Affairs.

Civic Involvement & Speaking Engagements

Hyman serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the national advocacy organization Complete College America (CCA), the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit organization leading America’s effort to improve college graduation rates. She also serves on the boards of the Illinois Community College Board and Chicago History Museum and is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago. In addition, Hyman has been sworn in under the State of Illinois as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children who are wards of the Juvenile Court. 
Hyman is often called to discuss community college reform and has served as a panelist at The Hamilton Project and the Center for the American Progress’s “The Future of American Jobs Part II” discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., NBC News’s Education Nation Summit in New York City, the National Journal’s Educating for Success: The Nexus Between College Completion and American Competitiveness in Washington D.C. and at the Aspen Institute 2011 Ideas Festival. Her work has also been cited in major publications, including: The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Chancellor Hyman was once a City Colleges student herself: she is a graduate of Olive-Harvey College. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts Degree in Community Development from North Park University, and an Executive Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Chancellor Hyman is a Chicago native who grew up on the city’s West Side.