City College Board of Trustees Announces Interim Chancellor

City College’s interim Chancellor Mitchell Bailey. Courtesy Photo

By John R. Adkins

As City College Chancellor David Martin resigns, education consultant Mitchell Bailey steps in to hold the reigns as interim chancellor. 

Bailey’s employment contract, once approved by the Board, will be effective starting May 31, 2024. This allows Chancellor Martin and Mitchell Bailey to have an overlapping period of one month to “ensure a smooth transition.”
Bailey, Former Chancellor Philip Day, and Rosa Perez were the three potential candidates discussed for the role during the closed session meeting on May 9.

The Board of Trustees confirmed that on April 25 a contract was approved for hiring a recruitment firm out of Washington D.C. known as ‘AGB Search’ to permanently replace Martin after Bailey’s interim employment. This search process is expected to take at least a year.

Mitchell Bailey, who will be the first openly gay man to serve as City College Chancellor, worked as the chief of staff at Sinclair Community College in Ohio before serving as vice chancellor and chief of staff at the San Mateo County Community College District for six years. During his time in local government he fought to pass Senate Bill 893 which waived tuition fees for the San Mateo community college district.

Bailey holds a master’s degree in public administration from Wright State University and he currently runs his own consulting firm in the Bay Area. Originally hailing from Eastern Kentucky, he was honored with a commission as “Kentucky Colonel,” the highest title of honor awarded by the Kentucky governor.

“His focus on student equity, community engagement, and institutional success makes him the right leader during this transitionary period for CCSF,” said Board of Trustees president Alan Wong.

Wong publicly thanked Martin for his “leadership as Chancellor over the last three years,” and continued by wishing him success at his new role at Sierra College. Martin decided in September of last year not to renew his contract and was the ninth chancellor hired by the college in the last eight years.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) placed City College on warning status in January for not meeting three out of 119 accreditation standards. One of which described the Board of Trustees as not allowing the Chancellor to “implement and administer board policies without board interference.” The board has been given until next March to show a plan of how it will fix the problems before 2027.

“The search process takes energy away from other avenues. Finding a chancellor takes time, and when we’re rushed like this my fear is, ‘will we have the right person to fill the role?’,” said board member Aliya Christie.

Christie was elected to the Board in 2020 and has gone on record as being in support of Chancellor Martin. Board members Murrell Green and Shannell Williams have also stated their support for Martin, with Williams noting that Martin’s departure is a great loss for City College.

A petition was started to “Retain Chancellor David Martin to secure City College of San Francisco’s future,” and reached 493 signatures.

Martin addressed the budget deficit of $3.8 million by laying off faculty members and cutting hundreds of classes to reduce expenditures and match the shrinking enrollment. Then in May of 2022, faculty members camped out on school grounds in protest of the layoffs. This faculty union backlash secured a board majority that opposed Martin, making the case that expansion, not reduction, of the school will increase enrollment and solve the financial instability.

“We’re seeking someone who is prepared to be in the position for a long time…and we need a person we can hold accountable… When you don’t have that it makes our job that much harder,” said Christie.

The chancellor is the only member of the board who receives a salary for their efforts, with the involvement of all other members dependent upon the agreement to volunteer their time alongside full-time day jobs.

“While the Board and College undertake the search for a permanent chancellor, a process in which all stakeholder groups will be invited to actively participate, we are confident that Mr. Bailey will not only help us successfully facilitate that process, but also keep the College moving in the right direction to better serve students and our city,” said Wong.

“Rest assured, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we will get through this,” said Christie.

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