City College rallies back special trustee ouster

Students and faculty from City College of San Francisco will join Supervisor David Campos and State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano on the steps of City Hall Friday in a rally to reinstate the college’s Board of Trustees.

The rally follows a tense day of student action at City College Thursday, where about 250 students and faculty clashed with police at a rally remove Special Trustee Bob Agrella from power. Another rally was planned for later Thursday at the CCSF Chinatown-North Beach campus.

Friday, the Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee will consider a resolution that urges State Community College Chancellor Brice Harris to reinstate the board and remove Special Trustee Bob Agrella from power.

The legislation urges the chancellor to restore the board’s ability to convene, discuss and make decisions regarding CCSF’s direction and progress immediately.

City College has been under duress since June, 2013 when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges removed the school’s accreditation.

The accreditation was scheduled to be removed this July unless the school showed remarkable improvement.

Since then, students, faculty, City officials and citizens have been in an uproar over the possible shuttering of the college.

Campos first introduced the resolution in February urging the chancellor to remove Agrella by July to ensure the board of trustees is restored in time for the November election.

Meanwhile, Ammiano introduced state legislation, also in February, that would prohibit the future removal of a college’s board of trustees.

 “By taking power from the elected CCSF Board of Trustees, state officials have usurped the rights of the electorate and stained the democratic process. I expect all of San Francisco’s elected leaders to stand up for the democratic process by supporting this resolution.”

Dozens of students like Ariel Hiller, who can’t complete his associates degree because of cancelled classes, are expected to speak at the hearing.

Hiller is trying to complete his Labor and Community Studies associates degree and transfer to a four-year university, but has been forced to delay his plans because of changes at City College.

Faculty like English professor Alisa Messer, also president of the faculty union, are also expected to speak.

“It’s simply not right that the voice of the voters has been undermined–when it comes to decision-making, to voter-approved revenues, and, ultimately, to the college’s future.”

Campos’s resolution will be considered at 1 p.m. in Room 250 at City Hall.

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