Seven of City College of San Francisco’s campuses make money for the district, despite anecdotes that have been used in discussing possible closures as the community college district works to overhaul its system.
The compilation of data from the district lays out the money allocated to each site and provides a look at the operational costs, number of students attending and number of faculty members at each location. The figures do not include human resources, accounting and some overhead operational costs, including the cost of grounds and technology maintenance, that are shared among all main centers.
City College has several state-recognized sites that receive state funding from sales tax and lottery earnings. Those sites include Chinatown/North Beach, Downtown, Southeast, John Adams, Mission and Civic Center.
According to the data provided to the college’s board of trustees last month, the Mission campus has the largest surplus, netting $3.5 million after the 2011-12 fiscal year, the most recent year for which data were available. Downtown had a surplus of $1.4 million and Southeast had a surplus of $440,000.
The new data included Chinatown figures, but not for the new campus that opened last fall. Officials hope to update those numbers once the fiscal year closes in June. The main Ocean campus costs are also not included.
“For a long time a lot of folks made irresponsible comments about closing down this center or that center because this center or that center is costing that much money,” said Chris Jackson of the CCSF board of trustees. “This really does help us make a point: these are our community-based campuses and do provide a great pipeline for folks in the community.”
At a time when the district is recovering from years of financial mismanagement and an accreditation struggle, the information could help guide where to steer resources.
Since City College received a severe “show cause” sanction from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges last year, as well as a financial review from the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team criticizing the way it handles its finances, college officials have been looking at ways to save money. One of those ways has been to close sites. The college was criticized for the large number of locations where it holds classes, as well as the lack of information available evaluating the cost to run each site.
Last fall, the Gough Street campus, Castro campus and a Park Presidio instructional site were closed. More sites, especially satellite ones, could be on the table as officials analyze the cost to run each. City College operates roughly 200 other locations throughout The City, including classes at San Francisco Unified School District properties, churches and storefronts in order to reach more students.
Interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman said the campus fiscal analysis does not mean the sites will be closed. Instead, it’s a basis to start the discussion, she said.
“This is not the basis of whether or not the centers are profitable. It’s not to determine their fate,” Scott-Skillman told the board. “We’re wanting to take a look at the totality of the centers and what their whole purpose is with regards to each community.”