SAN FRANCISCO—City College of San Francisco is facing a $33 million budget shortfall for the 2021-2022 school year. On March 3, City College issued preliminary layoff notices to 163 faculty members and 34 administers. Final layoff notices are due by May 15.
In a statement, City College listed the following as factors for the budget shortfall:
- Retiree health care liability costs of almost $11 million.
- 5% cash reserve need of $9.2 million. We have no funds for emergencies.
- Projected employee health and welfare increases which range from $750k-$900k.
- Collective bargaining agreement obligations for step and column increases of $1.8 million.
- Unfunded operational costs for technology, deferred maintenance, and utilities which amount to $4 million.
- Has been deficit spending for at least 10 years.”
Jessica Lifland has been a professor at City College since 2005. She is currently a part-time professor in the Journalism department and spoke to San Francisco News.
“It feels like they are saying your job is worthless when you are doing four times the work,” Lifland said in regard to the work challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light.
Lifland added that since the 2008 recession, faculty is worried about losing their job “every year.” She also said that all the cuts will lower enrollment and cause students to transfer out, for the course selection for incoming students has been cut. Lifland is the only part-time professor in the Journalism department, and one of only three professors in the department after the layoffs.
A total of 93 percent of City College’s budget is comprised of salary and benefit expenses. The college is reducing the number of classes it will offer, as well as cancelling some student services. No details on what specific services that will be cut has been reported. They plan to offer over 4,500 class sections for next year.
Over 500 students, faculty, and community members joined a Zoom call on March 12 to protest the budget cuts. There is also a petition establishing a vote of no confidence in higher administration that has received over a thousand signatures.