City College of San Francisco’s board of trustees will have a mixture of old and new members following Tuesday’s election, but who exactly will be on the board is too close to call.
Incumbent Steve Ngo took the lead in early results, while incumbents Natalie Berg and Chris Jackson and challengers Rafael Mandelman and Amy Bacharach followed closely behind.
As of press time, Bacharach was in fifth, behind Jackson by only 720 votes.
In all, 10 candidates, including three incumbents, hoped to grab one of the four open seats on the board. The fourth seat previously belonged to Milton Marks III, who died in August.
The new board members, who will be sworn in sometime in January and serve a four-year term, face an uphill battle in getting City College back on track. The board has until March 15 to submit a report to the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community College as to why CCSF should be allowed to keep its accreditation.
During the commission’s visit in March, it found numerous problems with the way the college operates. The administration has already filed a progress report to the commission and has said it’s working on the report due next year. That “show cause report” will document changes made at the college, including to its structure, governance and the way it records student progress.
Simultaneously, the college must submit a closure report in case the commission does not approve its renewal of accreditation. That report is a plan to help students transfer to other schools and ensure that the work they’ve already completed will be counted.
In addition to those tasks, CCSF also faces a financial crisis. The board must help fix the school’s finances or face a state takeover. Financial reserves have been depleted over the past several years to help the college continue to operate at its current levels.
However, San Francisco voters on Tuesday did pass a parcel tax for CCSF that’s expected to generate $17 million a year for eight years.
After the accreditation commission criticized the way the institution operated, CCSF received a second scathing report from an outside observer. In September, the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Team said in a report that CCSF needs to fix its financial structure immediately or face state intervention.