Search for Special Trustee underway

Illustration by Serina Mercado
Illustration by Serina Mercado

By Marco Siler-Gonzales
the guardsman

The unexpected resignation of state appointed Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers Robert Agrella has California community colleges Chancellor Brice Harris on the hunt for a replacement.

Harris’ office has not yet released any names to be considered for the job.

Just after City Colleges narrow escape from losing accreditation, Agrella’s resignation is another obstacle City College must overcome in order to meet full accreditation standards by 2017.

Harris must find a replacement to take over as special trustee until the local Board of Trustees are reinstated in 2016.

According to trustee Rafael Mandelman, no changes due to Agrella’s resignation have been made for the timeline of the local board’s return to power.

President of the California Federation of Teachers for Community Colleges, Jim Mahler,  addressed Chancellor Harris in a letter, requesting the immediate reinstatement of City College’s Board of Trustees.  Mahler’s justification was Judge Karnow’s ruling that the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges decision to discredit City College was unlawful.

“There is no justification and no logic for the continuation of Special Trustee With Extraordinary Powers. I urge you to move the process forward and restore the San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees to their rightfully and democratically elected positions,” Mahler said.

Despite Mahler’s written letter, State Chancellor’s office spokesperson, Paul Feist, said in an email to the Guardsman that they are hopeful to find a replacement by the end of February.

Since Dr. Agrella took the position in the summer of 2013, SFGate reported that his earnings were $276,000 from City College with an annual pension of  $163,236 from the California State Teacher Retirement System.

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