Steve Ngo Does His Job — Holding City College Accountable

A lot has been made in various circles of a video clip of CCSF Trustee Steve Ngo (see below) at the April 2012 Board of Trustees meeting — but Trustee Ngo’s comments have taken on a new meaning in light of CCSF’s accreditation issues.

The accreditation commission has made it clear that the Board’s role is to represent the public and hold the college accountable for results (see “Accreditation Presentation July 11, 2012”, p. 13 & 14). The Board also has “ultimate responsibility for educational quality, legal matters, and financial integrity” (see “Accreditation Standards”, p. 17). But, the accreditation evaluation calls out the faculty for resisting Board authority (see “Accrediting Commission Visiting Team Evaluation Report”, p. 62)

I was at the meeting in the video: Trustee Ngo was holding the college accountable in the face of resistance from faculty.

Ngo was speaking to a department chair and a department that has little or no other public accountability — as he said, faculty will continue to have jobs as long there is a college.

Ngo was trying to hold a department accountable that had two years to make the changes that they agreed were better for students, but still hadn’t done it.

Ngo was talking about education and justice.

Ngo was holding the college accountable in the only court he could at that point — the court of public opinion.

Ngo was representing students and the community.

Ngo was doing his job.


4 responses to “Steve Ngo Does His Job — Holding City College Accountable

  • Reuben

    Professor Huntsman:

    I am confused by this post given what you posted down below. Your post below matches what Mr. Ngo has posted on his reelection website. Both of you praise reforms the English Department at CCSF made. It sounds like the English Department made good and positive changes. How is that not being accountable?

    And I don’t understand the reference to the faculty jobs. Are you and Mr. Ngo both arguing that faculty should have been fired for not being accountable? Is there corruption in the faculty?

    I write this as a SF voter and taxpayer who wants to better understand what is really going on at a college that has been so important to our city.

    • Hal Huntsman


      Thanks for your comment (and sorry I didn’t respond sooner — I’ve been distracted from the blog because of the accreditation work at the college).

      From my perspective, the English Department was trying to delay the new policy, without a deadline for final implementation. Trustee Ngo was trying to hold the college accountable for implementing the policy immediately — or at least for giving a hard deadline.

      The point about faculty jobs is, I believe, a point about the stakes for students as opposed to faculty. In other words, the cost to students for delaying the implementation of the new policy is to lengthen their educational path and, as the statistics unfortunately show, to make it very likely they won’t finish their education with all resulting the costs in terms of earning potential, quality of life, etc. The cost to faculty for delaying the implementation is nothing. Trustee Ngo was pointing out this disparity.

      Thanks, again.


  • Anne Cassia

    Hi Hal,

    I’m surprised by what different interpretations we have of the same events. And as a member of the Bridge to Success English team, I can say that we most certainly did not have two years to prepare for a placement plus one. I don’t wish to revisit all these discussions again, but I am concerned that you have so misunderstood the department’s position, which was – we want to do this, but we want to make sure we do it well because the students’ lives will be affected. My sincere hope is that we can pull it off – that we have all the resources to allow students to make informed choices.
    In the meantime…back to save CCSF!

    • Hal Huntsman

      Hi, Anne, and thanks for your comment. Actually, I make no claims in my little piece about the English department’s position, except that it had agreed the reforms were better for students. I tried to simply state the facts. If I had made more commentary about the department’s position, I would have agreed with you that many folks in the English department wanted to move forward with the policy as quickly as possible. On the other hand, we have different information about how long department had to do that work.

      As you said, we should put that behind us and move forward, serving our students and saving the college for them. Thanks again, for your comment.


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