March 9, 2021

City College of San Francisco 
Director of Media Relations

City College Issues Statement on Budget Cuts for 2021-22 Academic Year

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – We stand in solidarity with our college community that the funding model for community colleges must change. We are deeply committed to meeting our student needs while making the changes needed to balance our budget and maintain our accreditation. We call on our labor partners, our elected representatives, and the San Francisco community to work with City College through this financially difficult time. The existence of the College is at stake. We have kept a large schedule in hopes that enrollment would rise, especially through the Free City Program. These efforts have not materialized. We have stabilized our senior leadership at the College. Despite these efforts and changes, more changes are in the horizon.

One such change occurred on March 3, when City College issued preliminary layoff notices to 163 faculty members and 34 administrators. The Education Code requires preliminary notices to be issued by March 15, and final layoff notices by May 15. The College is facing a budget shortfall that is projected to be $33 million for the 2021-22 Fiscal Year. This unfunded deficit is the result of several factors.  

The College has:

  • Retiree health care liability costs of almost $11 million. 
  • 5% cash reserve need of $9.2 million. We have no funds for emergencies.
  • Projected employee health and welfare increases which range from $750k-$900k.
  • Collective bargaining agreement obligations for step and column increases of $1.8 million. 
  • Unfunded operational costs for technology, deferred maintenance, and utilities which amount to $4 million.
  • Has been deficit spending for at least 10 years.

The financial stability of the college is a concern as the college has relied on one-time funds for the past several years to cover expenses. This year, the college withdrew $21 million from its OPEB Retiree Trust to cover annual retiree costs for two fiscal years; 2019-20 and 2020-21. Additionally, the current audit confirmed the College ended the 2019-20 fiscal year with an operating deficit of $1,033,952 and a district reserve of negative $461,951. As noted, the college is currently facing a year end deficit of $5.5 million. The college will be unable to continue without any changes in its current expenditures.

With 93% of the College's budget comprised of salary and benefit expenses, the needed changes in expenditures will have impacts on College employees. The magnitude of the budget challenges means that City College is reducing the number of classes it will offer, as well as curtailing some student services. These reductions, while painful, are necessary to ensure the long-term stability of the College, not just for the current generation of students, but for generations to come. Even with these reductions in class offerings, the College plans to offer over 4,500 class sections next year in a broad range of subjects. City College will offer classes for students seeking: Associate Degrees, to transfer to a 4-year school, certification and employment across a range of careers, to finish a high school diploma, as well as taking noncredit classes in English as a Second Language.

We recognize the severity of this matter and the importance of providing additional support for those who may need it during this difficult transition. Please know that the College offers the San Francisco Health Service System Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may access a range of free and confidential support services ranging from personal counseling, wellness activities and many other print or virtual resources by calling toll-free 800-795-2351 or go online for more information.

Interim Chancellor, Rajen Vurdien, Ph.D. commented: 

“It is not lost on any of us that each of the faculty and administrator notices represents a person, a family, someone’s livelihood and a loss of belonging to a community. We understand the demoralizing effect these actions might have, but we have no money and by not cutting salary expenditures, we risk being taken over by the State. For many years this College has not operated at full capacity. We have offered single section after single section that has not been filled to capacity. We have paid for faculty and administrators to support a non-sustainable class schedule. There is nowhere for us to make savings. In order for this institution to continue to serve the community and future generations, we must reduce salary expenditures.”

Here is the Process we followed for Faculty notices: At the February 25 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution that identified the Full Time Equivalent (FTE) to be discontinued or reduced for specific disciplines, or Particular Kind of Service (PKS). This is the PKS reduction. Upon adoption, the least senior faculty in the disciplines identified received a packet containing the following three items:

  • A preliminary layoff-notice.
  • Applicable Education Code sections. 
  • A copy of the Board resolution showing the PKS reductions.  

*A Notice for a Request for Hearing. The request for hearing that must be submitted to Human Resources. Online submissions may be completed using the Request for Hearing Form. The deadline is March 15, 2021. 

The packet was sent to the faculty by USPS certified mail and by email.

CCSF is meeting weekly with AFT2121 negotiating the impacts of the layoffs. We have a mutual goal to reduce the number of layoff notices that must be issued by May 15.

Information on these College actions, can be accessed on our Public Information Page.

For more information media questions contact: Rosie Zepeda, Director of Media, Governmental Relations and Marketing:  

About City College of San Francisco
For 85 years, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) has been the region’s premiere public, two-year community college. The college is now one of the first in the nation to offer free tuition, providing San Franciscans with the opportunity to access a quality college education and workforce training that leads to university transfer and good jobs. Since its founding in 1935, City College has evolved into a multicultural, multi-campus community college that is one of the largest in the country. CCSF offers more than 250 degrees and certificates and features an award-winning athletics program. For more about City College of San Francisco, please visit

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