Board of Trustees Prioritize Increasing Enrollment, Cutting Costs by 2025


By Loretta Bonifacio


The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a draft of their strategic multi-year budget and enrollment plan spanning the fiscal years of 2021-2022 through 2024-2025 during a meeting on Nov. 12.


For City College to achieve “fiscal sustainability, long-term sustainability, and stabilized enrollment,” the plan proposes that programs be restructured and the reserve budget increase from 5.3 percent to 8.2 percent. 


The other nine Bay Area community college districts have reserve budgets hovering between 10 and 20 percent of their revenue.


The plan comes at a unique time, where City College is subject to “enhanced monitoring” by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). By Dec. 4, the College must submit their plan to the ACCJC for review.


The Trustees agreed that the inherent complexities that accompany forecasting the future will warrant frequent review of the plan.


Chancellor Rajen Vurdien emphasized the singular vision of the senior administrators who drafted the plan. 


“We will never sacrifice the future of all the people of this county and this city who need instruction, who need an education, who need to transfer, who need to learn ESL, who need to learn a trade, who need to take non-credit classes,” Vurdien said.


The College receives funding from the state for a maximum of 22,000 enrolled students. The 18,600 students currently enrolled for the Fall semester marks a subsequent loss of 20 million dollars. In 2012-2013, 32,600 full-time students were enrolled. 


The Trustees considered different factors leading to declining enrollment. Some factors discussed were the mass exodus of residents from San Francisco due to COVID-19, the general nationwide decline of students enrolling at community colleges, and the lingering effects of poor publicity from the accreditation crisis of 2012.


Alternative methods for outreaching and recruiting students will continue to be explored, as current efforts have yielded subpar results.


Vice President Tom Temprano facilitated the meeting in the absence of President Shanell Williams. Williams and Temprano recently won reelection to the Community College Board on Nov. 3. They will be joined by incoming Trustees, Aliya Chisti and Alan Wong. 


The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Dec. 10.