City College Special Trustee withdraws proposal for administrative pay hike

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Protesters gathered on short notice after word of a 19.25 percent pay increase for CCSF administrators got out.
PHOTO COURTESY AFT 2121

Students and faculty at City College of San Francisco staged an emergency protest today (Fri/24) after discovering that a generous salary increase had been proposed for top administrators and was headed to the desk of Special Trustee Bob Agrella for approval. 

Since he was appointed and infused with the voting power of the full board of trustees in the wake of CCSF’s threatened loss of accreditation, which the Guardian has covered extensively, Agrella can unilaterally decide on such matters.

But just as word of the proposed pay increase got out and angry protesters gathered to oppose it, Agrella announced that the item would be withdrawn from the action agenda.

The recommendation was to increase salary ranges for the college’s Associate Vice Chancellor, Chief Information Technology Officer, and Vice Chancellor by a generous 19.25 percent, "based on the positions' level of responsibilities and duties."

“This is absolutely outrageous,” said faculty union president Alisa Messer. “We have students being pushed out of classes, instructors losing jobs, and faculty are still 4 percent below 2007 level salaries. Giving 20 percent raises to the one per centers around here? This college administration’s priorities are upside down.”

Ona Keller, an organizer with the faculty union, said some classes had already been cancelled due to low enrollment. “Agrella came out and said it was a mistake,” Keller said. “I think it was because there were so many people contacting him.” She said roughly 100 protesters had turned out on campus between 2:30 and 3:30.

Student trustee Shanell Williams sounded a similar note. "The students aren't making a San Francisco minimum wage. … Everyone at the college is suffering. This is outrageous."

City College’s communications director, Peter Anning, said he’d first learned of the proposal from a reporter. Seems that was right around the time protesters and news vans turned up outside.

Anning insisted that the proposal had not originated with Agrella and that the special trustee had not even seen it prior to the alerts going out that he would approve it.

The agenda went out Thu/23 around 5:30pm, Anning said, with the deadline for community input set for 24 hours later, at which point Agrella would make a final decision. “When Bob received it and saw it, he withdrew it,” according to Anning.

However, the proposal seems to have been tabled for future consideration. Anning said he did not know whether Agrella had been holding any prior conversations about the proposed salary range increases before the recommendation found its way onto the action agenda.

Anning said the proposal originated with City College Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Clara Starr. We called Starr’s office to find out more, but her assistant told us she was taking the day off.

Comments

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 5:50 am

And I suppose you think 85,000 students can do without an education. Or perhaps you propose they sign up for expensive online classes where their failure is pretty much guaranteed? I don't get what you CCSF-haters really want for our world - an uneducated populace is easily manipulated, perhaps, that is your real agenda? Did you perhaps go to CCSF and flunk out because you're so stupid? What? Why the grudge?

Posted by joizy on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:12 am

many of those students would still get educated, and a better education at that.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

You can go F**K yourself too

Posted by Guest Keith Kemp on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

All the more reason to shut down that sad poor place then.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

What you really wanna do is take away the opportunity for those young ppl to get a good education. Privatizing CCSF would mean those without the $ would not get in. The goal would be to maximize profit, not the students' education.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

other better colleges to grow and compete.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 8:07 am

That's the response you get from a San Franciscan when you piss on their leg and tell them it is raining.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 12:37 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 8:08 am

They equate it with communism apparently and that's their religion, a religion they are fanatical adherents to. Your comment was right on the mark.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

The mysterious "they" I hear about.

Posted by guest on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 12:21 am

I don't get your beef. Are you proposing the 85,000+ students who get some form of educational advancement at CCSF just get thrown out on the street with nothing? Do you propose that the 3,000+ employees get thrown onto public assistance? Are you prepared to take care of all of the lives that would be destroyed by CCSF's closure? What is your beef against this college? Did you flunk out? Did you have a crush on a teacher and get rebuffed? I don't get the animosity towards a nationally recognized educational institution that provides low cost opportunities to thousands of Bay Area residents.

Posted by joizy on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 11:20 am

They're here to rile up legitimate posters and pollute the forum.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

are so serious that it no longer appears to be a viable enterprise. The question now is more how to manage it's size in such a way as a viable core can be retained and, if so, how that should be funded and managed.

My preference would be privatization, as I believe that would ensure better student numbers.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

A community college is an entity which exists to provide education to the public.

A business enterprise is an entity which exists to make a profit.

Mr. Guest I believe that you have drawn an apples an oranges comparison, a logical fallacy, in expecting that public schools operate as businesses and not public schools.

If you attended CCSF, then you might have the critical thinking ability necessary to understand this.

Posted by Guest420 on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

It's just the city-run college that sucks.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:14 am

Hey smart-guy(troll), the city doesn't run CCSF!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 9:39 am

Who appoints the people who run CCSF?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:26 am

The voters elect the people who run the CCSF, idiot. Some troll needs to get a higher education. Your quarrel is with San Franciscans.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

That may be the first time ever that you have admitted responsibility for a fuckup.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

Finally you acknowledge the full extent of my power.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

I can only do so much to fight your destructive powers.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

get it wrong like they did with CCSF, then he suddenly disowns the democratic blunder.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:38 pm

Be careful lest someone drop a corrupt accreditator on you.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 12:55 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

Registered voters in the City & County of San Francisco, by public election.

If you hate SF so very much, don't bother commenting on our newspaper's coverage of local issues. We've got it.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:23 am

If the ACCJC were to evaluate an organization as badly run as itself, it would no doubt seek dis-accreditation. Meanwhile, for-profits get a free ride from the ACCJC.

Posted by justice4all on Jan. 29, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

Also, not one CCD represented by one of ACCJC's 19 Commissioners has been put on any level of sanction during their tenure of service.

Basic protection racket for back-door policy-making, usurping the CA State Legislature, CCC Board of Governors, and local elected CCD Boards of Trustees. SF City Attorney Herrera will mop the floor with them once the trial progresses, since all their reports are already in the public record under state law.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:29 am

This proposal is fully in keeping with the agenda of the accrediting commission (indeed, it may have been recommended by them): More administrators and more money for them, less money for classes and faculty. It's fully consistent with the corporate model that the accrediting commission is promoting: more for those in the executive suites, less for the workers.

Posted by justice4all on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:03 am

perhaps you have an outside link?

Posted by guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:34 am

See any of the ACCJC reports on CCSF under "Eligibility Standard IV: Leadership & Governance". Or review Eligibility IV criteria for the entire region on ACCJC's homepage. CA has "Sunshine Laws" (Ralph M. Brown Act, Bagley-Keene Act), making public meetings & public records publicly available, both online & from the relevant office. It's the main reason the anti-CCSF lobby wasn't persuasive; public access to the facts.

Specifically, the Commission argued for destroying the department chair structure whereby senior faculty with 15-30+ years experience (many holding PhD, far more than at most CCCs), take on increased service loads and reduced teaching loads to fulfill the faculty's state statutory primary recommending responsibility in "academic & curricular" affairs, for review by the SFCCD Chancellor to recommend to the publicly-elected SFCCD Board of Trustees for final approval.

ACCJC's recommendations called for abolishing the Department Chair system, composed of faculty whose maximum compensation could not exceed less than $85-100k annually with a doctorate (less without), in favor of hiring more upper- and middle-administrators whose salaries START over $110-190k with zero managerial experience, zero teaching/counseling experience, and an MA, EdM, or MBA. Basically, less like Oxford or Cambridge, and more like a multinational.

This articles reports on those administrators meeting to try to give themselves a 20% pay-increase while ST Agrella still has absolute authority over SFCCD, during a financial crisis caused by upper management which is prompting classes & services to be cut, when they thought no-one was looking. The fact that ST Agrella is pulling it evinces a guilty conscience, hand caught in the cookie jar. But that is the corporate culture we all know, and this demonstrates why it is moronic to apply it to institutions that create a public good like health or education, instead of private profits easily quantified.

ACCJC "Show Cause Evaluation Report" 7/3/2013
http://ccsfforward.com/accjc-show-cause-evaluation-report/

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:13 am

I never went to CCSF, but I got a great education at Sacramento City College. There's no reason CCSF couldn't be a great school too. Bring it up to a high standard so that people of limited means can have a chance to rise.

Posted by Rocket on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

Please educate yourself on the issue, because in all of the complaints against city college, no one has ever said anything negative about the educational quality. The problems with CCSF are financial in nature, made so in large part by a previous administration with much the same mindset as this new special dictator of privatization they put in charge, and by a an elected board that covered for that administration. Now the accrediting commission proposes cures that are worse than the disease, because the real agenda is to destroy and privatize anyway.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

the city does no better a job there than it does fixing the streets or running Muni.

Overpaid staff, insane benefits, rigid work practices, and self-interested unions.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:15 am

You just use it to go on an anti-union nutcase tirade. What you are is noise - that's all, noise. If you're so gungho about privatizing education, go start your own college and see if you can make a lot of money. I'll bet the education one gets at CCSF would blow away the one they'd get at your so-called college since educating the students is of a secondary concern to you (since you want to make it so hard for most people to get one which you would do by taking away the most affordable option for them).

Posted by Guest on Jan. 27, 2014 @ 10:43 pm

Cities don't run community colleges in California. Maybe they do wherever you are.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:20 am

Faculty union members voluntarily voted to have their contractually-obligated raises waived for 5 straight years to keep classes open, 2007-2012. Self-interested management sounds more in keeping with fact.

Funny how even increased tuition at CCSF at $46/credit is 10-20x less than most private 2-years, at worse value-for-money: University of Phoenix, Heald, DeVry, et cetera. Kind of kills your efficiency argument, as do their recent consumer fraud scandals misleading students about placement-after-graduation rates & compensation using federal USDOE funds from student aid.

UC Berkeley has been beating either Oxford or Cambridge, University of Chicago, Princeton, Imperial College London, & Yale in world university rankings, consistently Top 10 from Times Higher Education Supplement World Rankings (top international rater), Top 5 with Stanford, Cambridge, MIT and Harvard for 2014. CCSF's honors program is consistently one of the primary feeder colleges for transfer to UC Berkeley, universities included, so I'm inclined to trust Berkeley admissions over anonymous trolls.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 2:21 am

And the pensions and healthcare benefits should have been renegotiated from scratch.

CCSF's problems are financial and the staff costs are leeching the school dry.

Close it down and start over.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 03, 2014 @ 8:07 am

And sadly, that includes the hordes of administrators just recently hired (months ago) who are wandering around making plans to change the college to what it had been decades ago and determined by the THEN SITTING ACCREDITING COMMISSION that it should change to the place it has become.

The education is excellent. The problem with the school has been financial. Who is responsible for that? Certainly not the faculty, staff, nor the students. But who gets to hold the bag? Exactly those people and NO ADMINISTRATORS have been held accountable but rather promoted and given higher salaries new titles and bringing in more administrators from the outside to demolish a place where excellent education was delivered to ALL.

That seems to be the problem with politicians and you haters here on this comment page huffing and puffing about taking this amazing college down. You're ignorant of the realities of what happens to a city when people are denied the right to a proper education.

Look at most of the prosperous industrial nations! They have FREE higher education and none of this crap about privatization. You capitalist rats sucking the corporate teat following the pied piper and espousing your great ideas of privatization. Look where that's got us! The U.S. is at the bottom in comparison to most advanced nations yet you sing your corporate slogan and cheer it on while you trample the poor. You make me ill. {spitting at your feet}

Just wait til your capitalist house of cards collapses. It's imminent.

Posted by DEEjay on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 8:17 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 12:46 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 28, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

In the national higher education industry, esp. public sector, it is a standard practice not to demand full payment of a negative balance until the student attempts to order an official transcript for transfer or re-enrolls for the next semester or year. Students wishing to order CCSF transcripts still had to pony up, while community college drop-outs were hardly gamed the system, leaving without a degree, any credits, or ability to transfer.

Student debt is a rough enough burden to start one's working life with, even coming from the traditional middle class, so having your credit ruined by a collections agency over nickels & dimes is just ensuring your students/graduates report worse economic outcomes, which are used in stats to advertise, publicly fund, and assess colleges.

Most commenters here against CCSF seem to know little about the higher education industry nationally, comparable systems like CUNY or in TX/MA, CA state public higher education (& its laws), community colleges, or college governance, just spouting corporate platitudes inapplicable outside the private sector. Undermines your argument as the-guy-who-knows-best to not know the basic vocabulary of an entire sector and an entire industry, let alone this specific case.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:46 am

Turns out that Dr. Agrella (the Special Trustee) and Dr. Arthur Tyler (the new Chancellor of CCSF) already gave the top administrators a 19.25% pay increase.

The agenda item was to change the salary schedule for administrators so that CCSF would pass an upcoming financial audit.

Here's the proof: emails from Dr. Arthur Q. Tyler:

From: Dr. Arthur Q. Tyler
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 10:35 PM
To: (redacted); Robert Agrella
Subject: RE: SFGate on reasons for withdrawn admin pay raise The existing
salaries did not match the schedule which was outdated. That inconsistency
needed to be fixed before the audit.

From: Dr. Arthur Q. Tyler
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 7:00 PM
To: (redacted); Robert Agrella
Cc: eff
Subject: RE: SFGate on reasons for withdrawn admin pay raise Carole as I
just said to Patrick the intent was ensure we were complying with an audit
requirement. We had not published an approved schedule that matched what
people were being paid. There wasn't any intent to increase Administrative
pay. Thank you for your support and comments

Notice Dr. Tyler wrote: "There wasn't any intent to increase Administrative
pay." THAT'S BECAUSE THE PAY INCREASE ALREADY WENT INTO EFFECT.

So the protest was for nothing. The faculty and staff have suffered declining wages and layoffs for nothing. The students have suffered cancelled classes, crumbling buildings, and lack of counseling services for nothing.

The only ones who are benefiting at CCSF are the top administrators, aka the One Percenters.

Remember, folks, "we're all in this together"! The faculty/staff get huge pay cuts (4% below where they were in 2007, while the cost of living in the Bay Area is skyrocketing) and the students get cancelled classes, but the administration gets a nearly 20% pay increase because they've been doing such a bang-up job as errand boys and girls for the ACCJC.

Let's face it: the little guy just can't win. The fight is over at City College and the bad guys won.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 7:58 am

the jobs could not attract a very good quality of manager.

The entire CCSF pays tructure is bloated and excessive, especially the benefits, and perhaps we need to pay for a hardball who can actually reduce the costs structure and make CCSF viable again.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2014 @ 9:16 am

No public sector employee should get paid more than a US Supreme Court Justice $275k/year, or US President, $400k/year, even though it is a rampant practice in the otherwise under-funded CCC, CSU, and UC systems.

There are also very profitable post-public career options, like ACCJC Commissioners, and $2-4k/per diem education consulting & contracting firms that get brought in to CCDs whenever administrations change, each accreditation cycle for 1-3 years, and after every capital bond campaign.

Think you just tried to play hardball, through this back-fired ACCJC hit job, and lost very publicly, buddy.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 1:57 am

A CCSF faculty member? Not so much.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 8:06 am

Actually, not even two faculty members with Doctorates & 30 years service each, carrying a service overload (overtime) could make a SCOTUS salary.

Was referring to Upper Management, as covered in the article you are commenting on: the new SFCCD Chancellor Arthur Tyler Jr., Vice Chancellor, Associate Vice Chancellor, Chief Technology Officer, and Special Trustee Agrella ($365k/year + relocation, housing, transport), on top of his state pension. Their salaries start at a minimum of $110-200k/year + benefits with only a Master's.

Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 5:31 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

And consider that the newly appointed chancellor "Dr." Tyler received his PhD from the vaunted University of Phoenix, and that happened just a few years ago. No doubt so he could catapult himself to the higher levels of administration. You couldn't have a chancellor who wasn't Dr. So and So. Turns out, he's more Dr. No.
The movie "Interns" made great fun of someone with a U of Phoenix degree, just to show you how the perception is clear and present.

Posted by Paperbackwriter on Feb. 01, 2014 @ 12:45 pm
Posted by saintlennybruce on Jan. 31, 2014 @ 2:23 am

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