By Julian Roumeliotis
During 2022 City College of San Francisco saw its largest layoffs in over 30 years with major cuts made to both recently hired and long-term faculty positions.
Professors who had been at the college for over ten years were pink slipped. Some departments and programs saw a 75 percent drop in faculty for already understaffed programs. The City College faculty union AFT 2121, who worked to prevent the city college administration from laying off their workers, was outraged.
In response to the layoffs, the union wrote in a formal statement “AFT 2121 stands with our classified colleagues to express our sorrow and anger at this cruel and unnecessary loss. It’s an attack on essential members of our community and ultimately on our students, who depend on classified staff to make CCSF run.”
Not only will professors be without work, but students will be unable to attend classes in already over-enrolled courses.
As a result, many students at City College feel unsure about their academic future. Jessica Hernandez, a political science student, states, “I am questioning why [cuts were made] and if these choices are reasonable given the current environment at city college.”
Elvis Guajardo, who is studying to become an automotive mechanic, feels that S.T.E.M related studies are being sidelined for social science studies that do not guarantee a 6-figure salary.
“It’s a shame that the entire Aircraft Maintenance Technology program was entirely cut from CCSF,” Guajardo said. “SFO is one of the largest airports in the world. It is an important aspect of the city’s history. We need aircraft technicians here. I think most of the social science majors will find it difficult to find work that pays well. We need engineers.”
Nursing student Gracie McKie says, “I think the need for balance is super important, especially as City College is arguably the best school for free studies in San Francisco,” adding, “There are a lot of students looking for a multitude of different types of degrees and certifications. It is unfair to have access limited or cut off entirely. Some students are not even aware of the faculty cuts.”
Dylan Rousseau, another prospective automotive mechanic, was completely unaware that there had been faculty layoffs. Nixion Ooi, a political science student, says, “As a student of CCSF, I am shocked by the fact our school is staggeringly understaffed. It limits my opportunities and reach. I do hope for change.”
The Guardsman reached out to several professors at CCSF who did not respond. Although the students that were interviewed are in different fields of study, all those who were aware of the layoffs share the view that faculty layoffs have a damaging effect on the college and their education.
Without sufficiently staffed programs, students are left with fewer options. The administration of the City College of San Francisco may be unable to provide students with the necessary quality of education. Students require the full services of the college to continue and complete their education, to be prepared for their future careers and to receive the proper qualifications to pursue their fields of interest.