S.F. City College Can't Afford All Its Campuses

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, June 4, 2012

City College of San Francisco may be forced to close or combine some campuses - it has 12 of them - to help stave off a financial crisis and retain full accreditation, The Chronicle has learned.

More immediately, college trustees voted 4-1 Thursday evening to seek an independent, top-to-bottom financial evaluation even as they prepare to restore nearly 100 summer school classes that were cut to save money. That move shut out thousands of students and put about $1 million in future state funds at risk. It all comes as the college faces a $14 million budget shortfall that interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher said could lead to layoffs.

"Everything is on the table," said Fisher, who took over May 1 when Chancellor Don Griffin retired early for medical reasons. As for campus closures, "it's a very legitimate question for us to be considering."

City College is one of the nation's largest community colleges, with 90,000 full- and part-time students and a $200 million operating budget. An accreditation report due late this month is expected to identify several worrisome conditions - including dangerously low financial reserves and, apparently, more campuses than the college can afford.

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