City College of San Francisco department chairs will be back in the classroom, albeit in reduced numbers, and working on-site five days a week.
An agreement with the Department Chair Council was approved by the board of trustees Thursday.
“This contract will go a long way toward helping our college achieve a more sustainable economic and management structure, which will be a critical step toward keeping our accreditation,” Interim Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman said in a statement. “It is our hope that other campus unions will now follow the DCC’s lead.”
The changes are aimed at getting CCSF’s finances under control after last year’s scathing report from the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges and financial review from the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team.
The agreement is expected to reduce by 50 percent costs associated with department chairs, according to college officials, and could save CCSF roughly $1.6 million annually.
Savings will come through making 39 of the 61 positions “lead chairs.” That means all 61 will keep their department chair titles, but only 39 will perform the full workload associated with the position, which includes managing classes, schedules and student support services.
Having department chairs back in classrooms is expected to produce a large chunk of the savings, $1.1 million, by reducing current part-time faculty. The agreement also calls for a reduction in department chairs’ nonteaching time for a total savings of $345,000 annually. There also will be cuts to stipends.
“There is a real focus on utilizing full-time faculty,” CCSF spokesman Larry Kamer said. “The process by which we were using part-time faculty had gotten to be very expensive, so there is a focus to move back toward reliance on full-time faculty. It’s not going to happen overnight, but there is a strategic desire.”
Darlene Alioto, president of the Department Chair Council and chairwoman of the social sciences department, said two weeks ago, when the agreement was tentatively reached, that it would require painful cuts, but keeping the structure of the chairs intact was important to preserve academic integrity.
“We’ll be doing the job with fewer resources and a lot less compensation,” Alioto said. “But we hope that by doing that, it will allow the chairs to continue to play a critical role in the college. We’ve always brought stability, and we hope this agreement will enable us to continue to do that.”