CCSF taps first Asian American woman to lead as interim chancellor

City College reached a settlement with former Chancellor Mark Rocha after an abrupt departure

City College of San Francisco has chosen a senior administrator as interim chancellor, the first Asian American woman to serve in the top leadership role, after the sudden leave of Chancellor Mark Rocha, officials said Thursday.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Student Affairs Dianna Gonzales will serve as chancellor through June 30 while the college searches for its next interim chancellor before finding a permanent leader.

Rocha was abruptly placed on paid administrative leave last week in what was described simply as a “confidential personnel matter” before City College reached a settlement for $340,000 and a year’s worth of health benefits. He was a controversial figure who oversaw the sometimes rocky implementation of Free City College and implemented class and budget cuts for the current academic year while trying to raise administrative pay.

“This is an important first step in moving the college forward,” said Shanell Williams, president of the college Board of Trustees, in a statement. “The board will work closely with Interim Chancellor Gonzales during these next few months to develop our budget, and improve college operations to ensure all our students needs are being met.”

Gonzales joined City College in 2016 as vice chancellor of human resources. She has also worked for San Juan and Oakland school districts and for San Joaquin Delta College.

The Board of Trustees will search for a long-term interim chancellor to serve through June 2021, then a permanent chancellor to begin July 2021.

“We have been working diligently to maintain the best possible continuity of instruction and supportive services for our students, and I look forward to continuing this work for the next several months,” Gonzales said. “In partnership with the Board of Trustees, I am committed to serving as a strong advocate on behalf of the college with local and state leaders.”

A virtual town hall with Gonzalez is scheduled for April 7 with details to be posted through the Board of Trustees.

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