On May 31, 2012, the Board of Trustees for City College of San Francisco officially committed to ask San Francisco voters in the November election to support the college through a $79 parcel tax for eight years.
If approved, the unprecedented request would bring in at least $14 million per year. According to the language of the Board resolution, the money would be used to provide City College “with funds the State cannot take away; offset budget cuts; prevent layoffs; provide an affordable, quality education for students; maintain essential courses including, but not limited to, writing, math, science, and other general education; prepare students for four-year universities; provide workforce training including, but not limited to nursing, engineering, technology, and business; and keep college libraries, student support services, and other instructional support open and up-to-date.”
This is an important moment to remember who is in charge at City College of San Francisco – and it’s not the administrators or the faculty or the classified staff. As professional educators who take pride in our work, we take responsibility for our students, for our practices, and for our college, as a whole. The day to day work of preparing for classes and working with students and colleagues creates a sense of ownership and accomplishment. We love our college and do all we can to make it the best possible institution of higher learning.
The justifiable pride and ownership we feel, however, can obscure the real owners of the college: the citizens of San Francisco. All authority – for courses, for policy, for salaries, for everything we do – comes from the voters, as represented by our Board of Trustees. And if we expect the City to support the college, we must remember who’s really in charge at the college – because if we don’t the voters will remind us to our detriment.