CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha (center) will receive a $340,000 settlement from the college district following his resignation. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha (center) will receive a $340,000 settlement from the college district following his resignation. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

CCSF Chancellor Mark Rocha resigns, collects $340,000 settlement

The controversial leader was abruptly placed on paid leave earlier this week

City College of San Francisco Chancellor Mark Rocha resigned Thursday after being placed on leave earlier this week.

The City College Board of Trustees accepted Rocha’s resignation, effective March 31, during a closed session Thursday conducted on Zoom. The college will pay Rocha $340,481 to account for a year’s salary, short of the 18 months outlined for payouts in his contract.

The controversial figure will also receive a year’s worth of health and wellness benefits and about $24,000 for unused vacation time as required by law. The settlement prevents both parties from filing legal claims against one another, City College Board President Shanell Williams noted after closed session resumed. Trustee Thea Selby was the lone vote against the settlement.

“I have great respect for the City College as a critical institution for the people of San Francisco and for the Board of Trustees,” Rocha said in a statement. “We have accomplished a lot together over the past three years from Free City College to our recent $845 million facilities bond which will provide needed infrastructure improvements to benefit our students for years to come. I will miss guiding the college through its challenges, but believe this is the right time for me to prioritize my family who need me at this time.”

City College trustees placed Rocha on paid administrative leave on Monday and declined to state the reason why, citing it as a “confidential personnel matter.” The decision was made Friday during a closed board session, which was described on the agenda as a performance review for the chancellor.

AFT2121 raised concerns over his 2017 hiring for his troubled presidential tenure at Pasadena City College, where he had multiple votes of no confidence. Rocha oversaw the implementation of Free City College, which came after an accreditation crisis that plummeted enrollment and threatened to shutter the school.

The past academic year has seen a return to instability as City College cut 443 credit and 309 non-credit classes for the 2019-2020 school year to balance a $32 million deficit and suddenly cut another 288 spring classes in November.

Rocha declined $2.4 million in gap funding from the Board of Supervisors, calling the cuts a “long-planned restructuring” to transfer students to universities.

“We want to thank Dr. Rocha for his leadership and contribution to the College over the past three years,” Williams said in a joint statement.

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