Who is He: Vitale received his bachelor’s degree in History from Harvard University before relocating to Chicago for a position with First Chicago. He received his master’s degree in business administration from University of Chicago. He served as vice chairman of First Chicago and following a merger with NBD, Vitale served as director and vice chairman of First Chicago NBD Corporation and as president of The First National Bank of Chicago. In February, 2001, Vitale was named President and CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade. He served as Chief Administrative Officer under Arne Duncan for an annual salary of $1. In 2010 he joined ShoreBank in an attempt to save it from failing, but it was acquired by a collection of major financial institutions and reopened under the name Urban Partnership Bank, of which Vitale is the chairman.
City Salary: Board of Education members do not receive compensation for their service.
Goals: Vitale’s experience in finance will prove useful in making the tough decisions necessary in the Chicago Public Schools. His tenure under Arne Duncan will also prove important as he brings an eye for what has worked in the past and what has failed. He will bring practical knowledge to the CPS board.
Challenges: Because Vitale spent four years as Chief Administrative Officer, he will be used to the way Duncan handled the board, but he will have to adjust to the new Chicago Public Schools CEO, Jean-Claude Brizard, who has been known to be as independent as Vitale. It will be important that Brizard takes into account the opinion of the board in the decision making process.