CCSF cedes control of $16M 

The City College of San Francisco has relinquished control of most of its foundation’s $19 million endowment, bringing a months-long dispute over the funds to an end, representatives from the college and foundation said. Foundation directors sought full control of the assets late last year after a district attorney investigation resulted in criminal charges against the college’s former ­chancellor.

“This is what they wanted,” said John Rizzo, one of three college trustees who was negotiating with the foundation. “They now control all but about $3 million that was raised by college staff; $16 million is being handed over.”

Rizzo said the college agreed to transfer the assets in a private meeting with foundation representatives earlier this month. Foundation lawyer Peter Bagatelos confirmed the transfer was finalized last week.

Bagatelos said there is still some uncertainty about who owns the remaining $3 million. It will be held in a separate account until the matter is resolved.

College trustees are expected to discuss the district’s relationship with the foundation in a public meeting at 6 p.m. today at 33 Gough St. in The City.

What remains to be sorted out, beyond who owns the $3 million, is exactly how much the foundation will be supporting the college at a time when the funding is desperately needed. The college cut 670 courses from its fall and spring semesters this school year and canceled its summer session to bridge an $18 million gap in its $193.5 million budget.

Rizzo and colleague Chris Jackson said they’ve proposed that in addition to continuing funding for student scholarships and programs, the foundation should give up to $3 million annually to save classes.

Rizzo wants the foundation to keep its finances public, even though the private charity is not legally required to. Bagatelos said the foundation is working with trustees to reach an agreement on both issues.

The criminal case against former Chancellor Philip Day and two other retired administrators prompted the foundation to seek full control of its funds in the first place, college records show.

In July, Day and two other officials were charged with misusing public funds, most of which went to political campaigns for bond measures that would benefit community colleges.

In letters to college administrators late last year, foundation President Haig Mardikian said the alleged abuses involving the foundation occurred because the college was too involved in foundation affairs.

Rizzo said he hopes the transfer of funds will allow the foundation to focus on bringing in money for the cash-strapped ­college.

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