Chancellor Mark Rocha on Paid Administrative Leave After Evaluation by Board of Trustees

By Tyler Breisacher 

Chancellor Mark Rocha addresses the public at a Board of Trustee’s meeting at City College’s Chinatown/North Beach Center on March 21 , 2019. Photo by Claudia Drdul/The Guardsman

Chancellor Mark Rocha is being placed on paid administrative leave by City College’s Board of Trustees, according to a memo sent March 23 by Board President Shanell Williams.

City College will be managed by a “leadership team made up of Senior Vice-Chancellors” until an acting chancellor is chosen, the memo said.

The decision comes after a three-hour special closed-session meeting of the board, held March 20, for a performance evaluation of Rocha. When the board convened in an open session at the end of the evaluation, Williams said there were “no reportable actions” from the closed session.

Rocha was hired as the chancellor of City College in 2017, and his relationship with students and faculty has been tumultuous, as the college has gone through class cuts and financial struggles during his time as chancellor.

A December 2019 email from Rocha to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was particularly controversial. The email implied that City College did not need a bridge fund to restore classes, although the faculty union AFT 2121 supported the proposed bridge fund.

Williams was not immediately available for comment, and City College spokesperson Evette Davis declined to comment, saying the matter was “a personnel issue.”

The full memo from Williams reads:

Dear City College Colleagues,

I’m writing to let you know that the Board of Trustees has placed Chancellor Mark Rocha on paid administrative leave effective immediately. A leadership team made up of Senior Vice-Chancellors will manage day-to-day operations until the Board names an Acting Chancellor.

I know this news may come as a surprise. I want to assure you on behalf of our Board, that the College is in good hands. There is a plan in place to move the College forward.

The College is closed this week for Spring Break. Classes will resume via remote learning on March 30. There will be no change in any of the current policies or procedures enacted as a result of the COVID-19/Coronavirus. 

City College has been and will continue to be a cornerstone of this community.  I look forward to working with all of you as we fulfill our mission to serve our students and help them achieve their hopes and goals for a quality education.  


Shanell Williams, President San Francisco Board of Trustees


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