Meet the new chancellor

City College of San Francisco, rally support in protest of recent budget cuts to education in California on the Ocean Campus, Thursday, April 3, 2008. ADM GOLUB / SPECIAL TO THE GUARDSMAN
City College chancellor Dr. Don Q. Griffin speaks at rally in protest of recent budget cuts to education in California at the Ocean campus on April 3, 2008. ADM GOLUB / SPECIAL TO THE GUARDSMAN

A Q&A with Dr. Don Q. Griffin

In light of a state budget crisis, Dr. Don Q. Griffin recently assumed the office of Chancellor at City College. Having some experience as interim chancellor after Dr. Philip R. Day Jr. resigned as chancellor. The Guardsman had a chance to sit down with Griffin  to get to know our new chancellor.

Could you tell me a little bit about your background, where did you grow up?

Well, I was in Texas, but spent my early childhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From the ages of 10 to 17, I lived in the San Joaquin Valley in a little town and agricultural community named Le Moore. I think I got the best of worlds, a fair sized city and a small town. I am one of 18 siblings.

Wow, that’s a big family! Do you have family of your own?

Yes, I have two children and seven grandchildren.

I see you have a Ph.D in Psychology from the University of California. What other experience do you bring to the chancellorship?

Prior to coming to City College I was acting Associate Director of the Educational Opportunity Program and Assistant Director for the Special Admissions Programs.  I have also been at City College for 38 years as a teacher and administrator. Only in the last year and a half I started to think about the path to the chancellors office.

What is your biggest challenge going into the chancellor position?

The most critical goal is to deal with the financial crisis. We need to maintain a stable financial condition. Everyone relies on community colleges during times of high unemployment. We can challenge the bad economy by training people for green jobs. We still need to serve the community  directly by keeping doors open and continuing to offer the necessary programs and classes.

That sounds like a great plan, how do you feel now that you are the new chancellor?

Well, I think that this is going to be more work, I have to work a lot harder. I feel that you have to keep struggling to get better. I have an administration that is very supportive.  I have a lot of experience too.  I worked at City College for 38 years  and I took classes here and learned many things over the years. We have great teachers and great programs.

Do you plan any changes to the college’s policy of keeping the campus’ police unarmed?

I support the board of trustees’ policy not to arm the campus police. I see no reason to change that policy at this time. The campus police have done an excellent job of managing the safety of the school and I would like to get them more resources  continue to do so.

Anything else you would like to say to the City College Community?

I am happy to assume the responsibilities of chancellor and I plan to work hard for City College. I look forward to working with the City College community.

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