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New chancellor pens first message to CCSF on free tuition

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Mark Rocha is the chancellor at City College of San Francisco (Left: Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner; Right: Courtesy photo)
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In his first message to the City College of San Francisco community, Chancellor Mark Rocha said he will capitalize on the “buzz” around free tuition at the college beginning in the fall.

The San Francisco Examiner obtained an email Wednesday that Rocha sent to the campus community during his first day on the job, thanking former Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb for keeping the college “up and running” and the Board of Trustees for committing to social justice.

“This morning I made the Free City pitch to my Lyft driver who brought me to work,” Rocha wrote. “He was so impressed and resolved to enroll for Fall to finish his degree. I have his number now, so I told him I would check on him to make sure he did! As you know, the buzz on Free City has been so positive. So, like you, I will be out there spreading the great news.”

Rocha, the former president of Pasadena City College, started as chancellor Monday.

The Board of Trustees approved his $310,000 baseline salary during a contentious meeting June 22, which showed that Rocha in general had the support of staff but not faculty.

Trustee Rafael Mandelman, a candidate for city supervisor in the June 2018 election, was the sole dissenting vote on his contract.

Read the full letter below:

Today I started my first official day on the job. It has been a wonderful first day that has increased my feeling of profound gratitude to each of you for the great work you have done, especially recently, as stewards of this great college. I congratulate you on a job well done! I begin my work alongside of you to build on your success.

I will come around and see each of you soon to thank you personally and to ask how I can support your vision for moving forward. For today, I want to make a special thank you to Susan Lamb for her effective leadership and for her gracious assistance to me in the transition. Thanks to Susan, the college is up and running and we are good to go.

I also thank our Board of Trustees for its leadership. Their support enables us all to pursue our mission of social justice by providing quality higher education to each of our students.

And thanks to you all for your work to make Free City happen! This morning I made the Free City pitch to my Lyft driver who brought me to work. He was so impressed and resolved to enroll for Fall to finish his degree. I have his number now, so I told him I would check on him to make sure he did! As you know, the buzz on Free City has been so positive. So, like you, I will be out there spreading the great news.

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. I will be attending Mayor Lee’s celebration and will have the chance to thank him for his support. I wish you and your family and friends a wonderful day of celebration and unity. Have a great Fourth!

With my sincere thanks and best wishes,
Mark

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