City College pares spending on several programs

Beth LaBergeThe City College Chinatown/North Beach Campus at 808 Kearney St on Nov. 7

City College of San Francisco trustees have voted to close a small childcare facility in Bernal Heights and reduce hours at three others in a move to close a major budget gap and save the school's accreditation.

The board also plans to move faculty members out of administrative positions and step up efforts to collect student fees, college spokesman Larry Kamer said. The changes, approved unanimously by the board, could save a total of more than $2.5 million a year, officials estimate.

The moves to reorganize and cut costs are being made in response to a threat to City College's accreditation that could potentially force the community college to shut down.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in July placed City College on “show cause” status, citing problems with the school's governing structure and facilities, among other issues.

City College's four childcare centers serve students and faculty members and provide work experience for child development majors. However the programs, which receive state funding, required around $900,000 in subsidies in the 2011-2012 fiscal year and has a $700,000 subsidy budgeted for the current fiscal year.

Closing the Bernal Heights facility will save around $84,000 annually, and closing the remaining three facilities in the summer and whenever the college is not in regular session will save an additional $358,000, college officials said.

The plan to reassign faculty members currently acting as administrative department heads back to teaching roles also is intended to move resources back to the classroom, Kamer said. Departments will instead be run by professional administrative heads, or deans, at an estimated savings of more than $2 million annually.

The college could save as much as $400,000 a year through changes to its policies on the collection of student fees.

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