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Stop Over 270 Class Cuts At SF City College

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Event Type:
Press Conference
Location Details:
SF City Hall
Polk & McAllister
San Francisco

12/10 SF City Hall Press Conference To Support $2.7 Million Funding To Stop Cut Of Over 270 Classes By CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha

Tuesday December 10

1:00 PM

SF City Hall Polk & McAllister
San Francisco

SF City Funding To Stop The Cut Of 270 classes at San Francisco City College

San Francisco City College faces 270 classes being cut from the college offering. This would prevent students from graduating, cause extreme stress on students, faculty, and staff. It would be another amputation of
our community college built up after many decades. CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha's number is his official statement is 288 that includes 90% of the older adult classes They are likely to cut more classes if their enrollments are low before and after the term starts.

It is also part of the ongoing organized destruction derby going on at SF City College by the administration. City College is a critical resource for the people of San Francisco and the residents have voted again and again for ballot measures to fund our community college.

HEAT Higher Education Action Team has been organizing against the cutbacks and with the support of AFT 2121 has been lobbying the SF Board of Supervisors for an ordinance to appropriate $2.7 million to
make sure that the cuts do not go through and the classes are protected to reverse the cuts that have been made.

At this press conference, students, faculty and community supporters of SF City College will urge support for this funding to protect the college. At the same time, HEAT is calling for an independent audit of CCSF
due to serious concerns about the real financial situation and the action of Mark Rocha and the BOT to award raises to the school top management while cutting classes and the destruction of whole departments at the college.

The most recent cuts announced by the administration would prevent students from graduating and further threaten our community college. Vocational classes and many other programs that are critical to working-class students are literally being destroyed in this new massive cutback. The administration has said that they were needed because of the financial crisis.

Additionally, now in a shocking action, Chancellor Mark Rocha has written to the Board of Supervisors to oppose this funding to stop the massive cuts of classes arguing that it is part of his “of a long-term restructuring plan”.
This must not stand. This is taking place in one of the wealthiest cities in the world with a growing number of billionaires and where at the same time, working-class students and the poor rely on the college to have a future and develop their careers while seniors use to continue their education and protect their health and creativity.

Please join us at the press conference and speak out at 2:00 PM at the Board Of Supervisors Public Comment.

Also on Thursday at the Ocean Campus at 4:00 PM, there will be a Board Of Trustees Meeting. Please attend this as well.

Defend Our Community College
Support The $2.7 Appropriation
Stop The 270 Class. Cuts
Independent Audit NOW!
Free High-Quality Public Education Is A Right!

Open Letter to City College Trustees:
On November 21, administrators unveiled a budget projection showing a “newly discovered” shortfall for 2019-20. This shortfall results in deficit spending of $13M. Any deficit spending over $11.4M puts our reserves below the state-mandated levels and threatens another state takeover. They addressed this purportedly unanticipated shortfall with a series of spending cuts, including the cancellation of 280 classes from the already printed Spring course schedule.
In response to these class cancellations, faculty, students, and community members began lobbying the Board of Supervisors for funds to restore the canceled classes, and AFT 2121 leaders scheduled appointments to request supplemental bridge funding from the City.
We were stunned and horrified to learn that rather than support our efforts to address the budget shortfall, Chancellor Rocha instead attempted to thwart them by emailing the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to say that the college does not require bridge funding and that the cancellation of 280 classes the day before registration began was not an emergency measure at all, but simply part of a long-term restructuring plan.
This assertion flagrantly contradicts the rationale the Chancellor gave for these cuts on Nov. 21, suggesting that the “crisis” was manufactured in order to justify the class cancellations. Moreover, this pre-emptive refusal of City funds demonstrates that this Chancellor’s priorities are far out of synch with those of the community you represent, the student body we serve, and the faculty that serves them: While he actively ushers in the junior-collegization of City College, AFT 2121, our students, the people of San Francisco, and you as their representatives have repeatedly rejected this agenda, and vowed instead to fight for the diverse curriculum and the full funding such a curriculum warrants.
We urge you, as guardians of the public trust, to stand with AFT 2121, our students, and the people of San Francisco by passing a resolution that directs Chancellor Rocha to accept any new funds raised and to use those funds only and immediately to restore canceled classes.
Jennifer Worley
President, AFT 2121

CCSF slashes another 289 classes as spring registration opens and business as usual

Nanette Asimov Nov. 20, 2019 Updated: Nov. 20, 2019 8:37 p.m.

A person walks past the Student Health Center at City College of San Francisco on Friday, December 8, 2017 in San Francisco, Calif.
Photo: Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle 2017
As spring registration opened Wednesday at City College of San Francisco, administrators slashed 289 classes to close a new $13.1 million budget deficit, The Chronicle has learned.

It cut hundreds of others last summer and spring to patch a $32 million hole, prompting protests from students and teachers — especially as the college sought to increase executive pay.

“No one at the leadership level of the college wants to cut classes,” said college spokeswoman Evette Davis. But she said budget woes make it necessary to remove “underenrolled classes.”

The college’s continuing financial problems raise questions about whether its internal budget controls have improved much since 2012, when accreditors and state fiscal monitors cracked down on the school — in large part because of that issue. City College spent five years fighting to retain its accreditation and emerged from the crisis in 2017.

“The (college) district is projected to have an operating deficit of $13.1 million this year, senior vice chancellor Tom Boegel wrote to deans and department chairs.

Teachers, low-wage workers are fleeing SF
He warned that if cuts weren’t made, “the district would not be able to maintain the 5% reserve, and would in fact end the year with a negative reserve.”

A healthy reserve is considered to be 15%.

Boegel provided a list of 225 credit classes and 64 noncredit classes that the college won’t be offering this spring.

Credit classes cut include Elementary German, Intro to Museum Studies, International Business Finance, Women/Gender in Middle East, Practical Mathematics I, Colonial History of Latin America, Intermediate Golf, Intensive Water Aerobics, Politics of Globalization, Conversational Filipino, Intermediate Photoshop, and Android Programming.

Last semester, the college waited until after students had registered to announce the course cuts.

“That created confusion,” Davis said. “This time, we’re making a real effort to avoid that.”

Nanette Asimov is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: nasimov [at] Twitter: @NanetteAsimov

Join AFT 2121 to Protest $100,000 Raises for Administrators amid Massive Class Cuts, Faculty Layoffs
Posted by SFLC on September 10, 2019
Title: Join AFT 2121 to Protest $100,000 Raises for Administrators amid Massive Class Cuts, Faculty Layoffs
Location: Conlan Hall ~ CCSF Ocean Campus
After months of shrinking our curriculum, cancelling classes, laying off counselors, and cutting library hours, Chancellor Mark Rocha handed out enormous raises to college administrators, increasing some salaries by over $100,000, and pushing the pay of Senior Vice Chancellors Tom Boegel, Dianna Gonzales, and Rueben Smith to well over a quarter million dollars!
These raises were built in to the budget approved by the Board of Trustees on August 22nd. Board members contend they did not explicitly approve these administrative raises which means there is still time for the Board to

push the Chancellor to put a stop to this!
Right now, admin are cutting fully enrolled sections. Library and Counseling hours have been slashed. This decision to prioritize raises for top administrators comes immediately after Rocha, citing budget constraints, cancelled over 100 Fall semester classes, laid off numerous academic counselors and instructors, and cut library hours and other student services. This is forcing over-crowding of the sections that remain. How can our chancellor justify using the college’s funds to line the pockets of the same people who are making these cuts?

Faculty and students are justifiably incensed, and we will not stand for it!
AFT 2121 calls on all members to join us on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 11:00 a.m. at Conlan Hall to show our outrage and demand:
o An immediate, emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees Budget Committee on the proposed administrative salary scale
o Cancellation of these increases
o Redirection of these funds to recall laid off counselors & instructors and restore cancelled classes and library hours.

We know that many of you are teaching during that time. Never-fear! You can still stand with us:
• Wear your #RedForEd AFT T-shirt or a red outfit on Thursday.
• Take a solidarity selfie with your colleagues and students. If possible, make and hold a sign that describes what other priorities at our college the hundreds of thousands of dollars in these raises could be used for.
o Send to James jtracy [at] and Athena awaid [at]
o Post and share on social media and, if you’re able, tag Rocha and Trustees.

More info: 415-585-2121

Start Time: 11:00

CCSF’s executive pay debacle: College appeared to break rules, its lawyer says

Photo of Nanette Asimov
Nanette Asimov Nov. 4, 2019 Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 4 a.m.

"City College of San Francisco officials appear to have violated their own public disclosure policy by adding executive raises to their budget just one day before trustees adopted the spending plan, the school’s top lawyer advised a trustee in an email obtained by The Chronicle.
College staffers broke no law, attorney Steve Bruckman told trustee Ivy Lee. But he said he would remain mum on whether the action “met the spirit” of state and local laws meant to give the public enough time to review matters up for a vote.
City College policy gives the public at least two days to examine documents up for discussion. But on Aug. 22, when the board approved the executive raises that had been added to the thick budget the day before, “it could be argued that the (college) district did not comply” with its policy, Bruckman told Lee."
Lee had raised questions about the college’s bungled — and later aborted — attempt to double some executives’ pay and raise others’ by up to 90% as the campus struggled with a $32 million budget gap by cutting classes and eliminating jobs. Faculty discovered the move weeks later, and accused the trustees and Chancellor Mark Rocha of giving colossal raises in secret as the rest of the college suffered.
The emails offer a behind-the-scenes look at how City College officials stepped into a public-relations debacle by doubling executive pay after complaining to City Hall about their deep financial woes.
The emails reveal that college leaders tried to mask the damage by claiming it never happened — days after their lawyer privately confirmed to them, on Sept. 11, that the new executive pay rates had been legitimately adopted as part of the newly approved budget.
The next day, faculty and students stormed Rocha’s office to protest the large raises and class cuts.
The controversy prompted Rocha to issue a public apology and defense of the raises that he said would need additional approval by the trustees.
“The administration apologized for any misunderstanding or confusion surrounding the proposal to increase administrative salaries, and confirmed that there was in fact a two-step process that would culminate in an open, transparent vote by the board of trustees,” a college spokeswoman said Friday.
The emails show that after the protest, Rocha and Chief Financial Officer Dianna Gonzales scrambled to calm the growing criticism by preparing the public statement, which referred to “proposed” raises in the budget that would need additional approval.
“If this 2-step process is what we intended all along, why didn’t we say that in our (previous) official statement?” Gonzales asked Rocha on Sept. 14, a Saturday. She offered a solution: “Maybe we add, the administrators salaries have NOT been approved nor is anyone getting a $100k increase.”
On Sunday, hours before dawn, Gonzales dashed off another note to Rocha about another problem: “I just realized, the new admin salary schedule is posted on the web site.” She arranged for staff to replace it with the old pay rates, “today if possible.”
On Monday, Rocha sent out the agreed-upon public statement: “The fact of the matter is that the administrator salaries have NOT yet been approved.”
One in 4 administrators quit or lost their jobs since last year and the remaining 57 say they carry a heavier workload than before. Many in the college say they deserve a raise.
The pay increases doubled vice chancellors’ pay to $250,000 at the low end, and raised it 23% at the high end to $260,000. The trustees created a new executive tier, “senior vice chancellor,” with pay from $275,000 to $285,000. They doubled pay for associate vice chancellors to $228,000 at the low end, and raised it 23% at the high end to $238,000. Deans got a 90% raise to $208,000 at the low end, and an 18% boost at the high end to $218,000.
“You made a good decision for the good of the college,” Rocha emailed the Board of Trustees on Sept. 4.
The trustees first considered raising executive pay last year but decided against it “due to the pending re-election of several trustees in November,” Gonzales reminded the trustees and Rocha on Sept. 6.
This year, only one trustee, Lee, is up for re-election. On Aug. 22, as the trustees prepared to approve the 105-page budget — with the executive raises added the day before — Lee left the meeting before the vote. She said she objected to how the raises were approved.
Bruckman, the college’s lawyer, responded with a written analysis. He told Lee the trustees used an “unusual process” to approve the raises. He said staff worked on the budget “up to the day of the board meeting,” so it could be argued that they failed to comply with the policy requiring public disclosure at least 48 hours in advance. Although it wouldn’t invalidate the vote, he said, “it could subject the district and the board to potential criticism and adverse publicity.”
Lee wrote Bruckman again on Sept. 10: “I cannot support any such action without a full and public discussion.”
By then, news of the raises had trickled out to the faculty.
“Shame on you all!” Jim Gormley, who teaches adult education, wrote the trustees on Sept. 10. “It’s like you are living in a different universe!”
Gormley urged them to rescind the raises and said his income had dropped 25% because he’d had a class cut, “as have so many others.”
City College has cut at least 300 classes since last year and has eliminated more than 100 faculty jobs. After struggling for five years to remain accredited, its budget problems worsened in 2017 when the state cut off the tens of millions of dollars in extra funds it provided during that time to stabilize the school.
Meanwhile, the trustees’ less-than-transparent process for approving the executive raises created confusion about how they came about.
English instructor Andrew King wrote them alleging that they broke laws by failing to include the pay increases on the meeting agenda. And Gormley accused them of approving the raises in private, or “closed session.”
Trustee John Rizzo replied: “The board did NOT approve pay raises, secretly or otherwise, in closed session.”
The raises were approved in open session, but not discussed. Nor did the public know the raises were being voted on.
“Clearly, the board could have had the discussion in open session (and the board discussed this), but it was not required,” Bruckman, the lawyer for the college, emailed the trustees the next day.
A month later, on Sept. 26, the trustees replaced the big administrative raises with much smaller ones: 10%, of which the college will pay only 6.74%. The rest will be covered by a state-funded cost-of-living increase. They also voted to hire a consultant to study whether additional raises make sense.
Rocha and the next four highest-paid executives — including Gonzales and Bruckman — will see no increase unless the consultant recommends it and the trustees approve it."

Students, Faculty & Community Demand STOP The CUTS At CCSF With Funeral
A funeral was held at San Francisco City College on September 25, 2019, to protest the massive cutting of classes and faculty at the college. Students, faculty and the community spoke out.
For additional media:
Shooting Yourself In The Foot & Increasing Executive Salaries At CCSF By Chancellor Rocha
Speak-out On Privatization of Balboa Reservoir For Developers Which Threatens SF City College
BUSTING up CCSF! CCSF Chancellor, Bd President & Bd Majority Wrecking City College
The Downsizing & Privatization Of CCSF "Vision 2025" & The Secret Illegal CCSF Board Meetings
Privatization and Destruction of CCSF
Build The PAEC NOW! Stop The Privatization & Developers Rip-off Scam
Conflicts of Interest, CCSF & The Attack On Public Education Privatization With Kathy Carroll
Public Education, Privatization, Corruption And The
Destruction Of Our Schools
"Are You Out Of Your Minds"? AFT 2121 Faculty Challenge CCSF Board On Mark Rocha Appointment
Production of Labor Video Project

Added to the calendar on Sun, Dec 8, 2019 8:22AM
§Demands On CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha
The AFT 2121 and students have made demands to protect CCSF but Chancellor Mark Rocha continues to destroy the community college.
§Rocha's & CCSF BOT Plans. To Build Condos
While butchering the CCSF classes and raising executive salaries, CCSF Mark Rocha and the Board of Trustees want to build 1100 condos on the SF PUC reservoir most of which will be for high paid tech workers. The City of San Francisco has spent millions of dollars pushing this development
§Flyer-Stop Rocha's 280 Class Cuts At CCSF
HEAT Flyer For 12/10 Press Conference at SF City Hall to oppose 280 class cuts.

CCSF ends its Older Adults classes, leaving 2,000 students in the cold-Chancellor Rocha Says “This situation is not an emergency,” Rocha wrote, indicating that college leaders don’t want help from the city. He said he was “fully aware of the emails you are receiving from CCSF students who are appealing for funds to restore classes that have not been budgeted for the spring.” But he and the trustees “are handling this difficult situation directly here at the college.”

Nanette Asimov Dec. 9, 2019 Updated: Dec. 9, 2019 4 a.m.

City College of San Francisco alum and proud parent of current student Jaime Moran walks through the main campus on Wednesday January 14, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. The accrediting commission granted CCSF two more years to get everything in order to avoid losing accreditation. "It's great new for everyone," said Moran.
Photo: Mike Kepka / The Chronicle 2014
Shock and outrage erupted as soon as word came that City College of San Francisco would decimate its cherished Older Adults program this spring in its latest round of cuts eliminating hundreds of credit and noncredit classes.

“We fear the assault on older adults is just the first strike planned by Chancellor Mark Rocha,” Robert Fitch, who teaches in the Disabled Students program, said in an email to student advocates, one of many from faculty and students seeking help. “We need to call attention to this attack on older adults in San Francisco.”

The decades-old program serves more than 2,000 people, many in their 70s and 80s, with 50 free, noncredit classes tailored to that age group. Many are held in senior centers and hospitals around the city. Students take tai chi for balance. They study music, figure drawing, theater, literature and writing to keep their minds sharp. They learn computer skills to stay connected to the world. And all the classes, they say, relieve loneliness.

City College had an operating budget of about $267 million in fiscal 2018.

The loss of 64 noncredit classes, most aimed at older adults, saves the college less than $1 million — or $10,000 to $15,000 a class, college officials said.

“I’m speechless. I’m so upset,” said Audrey Ferber, an author who teaches writing and women’s literature in the program. “Nobody will deny that lifelong learning keeps seniors living and thinking longer, and keeps them out of doctors’ offices.”

“This is age discrimination!” theater students Lea Ann and Mike Fleming wrote to their supervisor, Catherine Stefani. “Please provide this funding immediately to ensure that City College of San Francisco remains the community college the city wants and needs. For a city with an annual budget of more than $9 billion, this seems like a reasonable request.”

The theater class attracts nearly 40 students, including board members of the city’s major theater companies, said Patricia Miller, the director and producer who teaches it. The college is “cutting a major limb out of the city’s ecosystem.”

To explain their budget woes, college officials said former leaders routinely spent more money than they took in. The failure to keep spending in line, and other management missteps, prompted a five-year struggle by the college in 2012 to hang on to its accreditation and keep from closing.

“Obviously, the college wishes it could have avoided these cuts, but it cannot continue to spend more on faculty salaries than it takes in,” said Evette Davis, Rocha’s spokeswoman.

The state kept City College afloat during its accreditation crisis with an extra $39 million a year, on average. But that cash cow vanished with the crisis in 2017. Since then, the college has slashed 634 classes, 20% of its offerings, mainly noncredit.

More than 65,000 full- and part-time students attend City College. Since 2017, City College gained the equivalent of 1,500 full-time students — an $8.5 million infusion from the state. But the loss of students over the past decade far outweighs those gains. Since 2009, the equivalent of 21,800 full-time students has vanished — a loss of $95 million, public records show.

“It’s up to us to make sure that we’re living within our means,” Alex Randolph, president of the college’s board of trustees, told The Chronicle. “We’re doing our job. What we were elected to do.”

And next year, he said, the accreditors are coming back to check up on the college.

“We cannot bankrupt our public institution and have CCSF close. Do we want to go through that again?” Randolph asked, adding that he’s been working with Supervisor Gordon Mar to create a higher education fund to benefit City College. “We are in an emergency.”

But Chancellor Rocha told a different story in a letter to Mayor London Breed and the supervisors last week.

“This situation is not an emergency,” Rocha wrote, indicating that college leaders don’t want help from the city. He said he was “fully aware of the emails you are receiving from CCSF students who are appealing for funds to restore classes that have not been budgeted for the spring.” But he and the trustees “are handling this difficult situation directly here at the college.”

The class cuts, he said, were “part of a long-planned restructuring of the academic program to prioritize the graduation of students of color” in preparation for the state’s new method of funding community colleges.

That kicks in in 2021. The state will no longer fund colleges solely by enrollment. A new “Student Centered Funding Formula” will create an incentive for colleges to help low-income students: those who qualify for federal Pell Grants and state fee waivers, and undocumented students. Under the new approach, 20% of funding will be awarded for enrolling more such students, and 10% if the college improves their graduation rates, their transfers to university, or the number of vocational certificates they earn.

It’s not clear how eliminating the noncredit Older Adults program helps the college prepare for that, and college officials did not respond when asked.

In his letter to the city, Rocha identified another change in state law that explains why some for-credit classes were cut. As California State University did last year, community colleges must eliminate remedial math and English classes that don’t help students graduate more quickly. Students will instead take college-level classes and receive extra academic support.

“We have prioritized the budget to give more ... high-demand courses that students need to graduate,” Rocha told the city. “We have also added a ‘Graduation Guarantee’ (so that) any student who needs a course to graduate in May 2020 will get it, regardless of budget.”

Among the 281 credit courses dropped for this spring are “HIV and Hepatitis Navigation,” “Diversity: Heterosexism,” “Growing Orchids,” “Beginning Drone Piloting & Imaging,” “Survey of Welding Processes,” as well as 31 music, six golf, six water aerobics, four flower arranging and two elementary Russian classes.

As for the course cuts being part of a long-term plan, Ferber, the writing instructor for older adults, said that was hardly a good explanation.

“They could have told us this many months ago,” she said. “Shouldn’t they have helped steer us in the direction of finding alternative funding before leaving us out in the cold? That would have been kinder.”

Nanette Asimov is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: nasimov [at] Twitter: @NanetteAsimov
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