City College of SF starts downsizing

Faced with a $15 million deficit and the threat of losing accreditation, City College of San Francisco‘s board has voted to “dismantle a decades-long system of faculty leadership,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.  Returning more than 60 department chairs to full-time teaching will save $2 million and streamline governance, trustees said.

“The accrediting commission made it clear as recently as yesterday that they are concerned we are not moving quickly enough,” interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher told the board.

City College has until March 15 to prove it should to stay in business. The accrediting commission has said one major problem is the college’s byzantine and costly governance structure – unparalleled among California community colleges.

More than 60 faculty members earn extra pay as department chairs. They are released from teaching to do administrative work, such as scheduling, that other colleges assign to deans. City College employs 11 deans. The chairs have their own labor union, work 10 months rather than 12, as deans do, and must have their classes covered by other faculty.

Trustees also voted unanimously to close a preschool to save $84,000 a year, and to end summer hours at three other college-run child care centers. “City College spends $700,000 a year on the centers that serve as laboratories for child-development majors and as places where parents can learn alternatives to corporal punishment,” the Chronicle reports.

The board hired a “special trustee” who will have veto power on accreditation-related decisions and agreed to start collecting fees at registration. Uncollected fees cost the college district $400,000 a year.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON November 1, 2012

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