CHICAGO HEIGHTS | Prairie State College President Eric Radtke said Thursday he plans to retire at the end of the current academic year.
Radtke used a convocation ceremony Thursday to inform faculty and staff of his decision to retire, said college spokeswoman Jennifer Stoner.
Radtke, 64, had two years remaining on his current contract. He told officials he will be around for the remainder of the current academic year and the summer months and will step down from the post in August prior to the beginning of classes.
He said he made the decision to announce his retirement now to give college officials at least seven months to find a replacement. He said his retirement is for personal reasons, to allow him to spend more time with family, a wife and two daughters.
Stoner said a process for finding a replacement has yet to be determined.
“We all just found out about this today,” Stoner said Thursday. “No process is in place yet.”
The retirement announcement comes one day after the Chicago Tribune published accusations of nepotism over the recent hire of the board chairwoman's stepfather. Stoner said those reports had nothing to do with the timing of Radtke’s announcement.
“You don’t just retire on a whim, these things take time to plan,” she said.
Prior to working at Prairie State College, Radtke was a vice president at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and also spent six years in the United Arab Emirates, where he served as a planning, budget and human resources officer for the Higher Colleges of Technology.
He also has worked at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He started his career as an educator in an alternative school for special needs adolescents in central Wisconsin.
He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota.