DA executes search warrants in case involving former college chancellor

Ron Galatolo

This story was printed Saturday, Aug. 24, in the Daily Post.

BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said yesterday (Friday, Aug. 23) his office has executed search warrants in connection with the San Mateo County Community College District and former Chancellor Ron Galatolo.

He said his office is looking into allegations of harassment and improper handling of construction contracts. He said his investigators are gathering information to determine if they should open a full blown investigation, which could lead to criminal charges.

“It’s very, very disturbing. Anytime you’re dealing with contracts and money in the public trust, it can be disturbing,” Wagstaffe said.

He declined to be more specific about the allegations his office is looking into. In 2014, the Post reported that the campaign committee promoting the college district’s $388 million bond measure that year had raised $167,000 — nearly all of that came from construction contractors, labor unions, architects and others who would benefit from the bond passing.

Money from the bond issue would pay for constructing and upgrading classrooms and replacing aging roofs and heating and air conditioning systems. The bond would fund new technology, modernize technology and help make the campuses accessible to disabled students.

The Post was unable to reach Galatolo for comment.

Wagstaffe said his office’s investigation has been underway for a few weeks and that search warrants have been issued.

New position for Galatolo

The college district — which is comprised of Canada College in Redwood City, Skyline College in San Bruno and the College of San Mateo — announced on Aug. 12 that Galatolo would be stepping down after 20 years as chancellor. The announcement said Galatolo left as the result of a “mutual understanding” between himself and the district’s board.

He was given a new position — chancellor emeritus — which will pay what he was making as chancellor, $467,700 a year plus benefits.

Last week, the college district released Galatolo’s new employment contract as chancellor emeritus. It says that he is supposed to work at home, not on campus.

Judge on call to resolve future problems

It also said that if the college district’s board intended to fire him, the dispute would have to be heard by a judge both sides had chosen — retired San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer.

It’s unusual for an employment contract to say that future disputes would have to go to a judge to be resolved.
His chancellor emeritus contract expires in March 2022, and it says the contract cannot be renewed or extended.

The emeritus contract essentially says Galatolo will be paid the same amount as he would have received if he had remained as chancellor under his old contract.

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84 Comments

  1. This is just the tip of the iceberg for him! It’s about time the truth started to come out rather than coverup after coverup with that guy and all the Board members he has protecting him!

    [Portion deleted. Don’t use this forum to accuse people of criminal activity. If you have allegations, take them to the District Attorney.]

    Let’s see if Steve Wagstaffe and his staff are able to do their jobs and put this guy where he belongs finally! I have personally written to him with more evidence to follow up on. Hopefully more people will come forward now that he’s out of the picture finally.

  2. Current SMCCD employee here. Faculty and staff here are shocked at what is going on. Absolutely shocked and disappointed. Such a huge embarrassment for us all.

    • I’m also a current employee and this is pretty crazy. They told us that Ron was stepping into a different role to work with Canada College, but now we find out that it’s due to possible criminal activity!? At least the Acting Chancellor sent out an email about it, but it sounds like we won’t get anymore info from Admin because it’s all under investigation.

      CSM has an accreditation review this year – I wonder if this issue with Ron will affect that?

  3. I’m impressed that the Daily Post seems to be the only local news org with this story so far! I suppose if it gets bigger, it will garner more attention, but kudos to Daily Post.

  4. I think the DA is going to find that several people were involved in handling these contracts in addition to Galatolo. The question for these people today is: Do they cooperate with the DA and get a lighter sentence or do they take their chances at trial and possibly get convicted and go to prison.

  5. It is time that the SMCCD is looked at. The Good Old boy system, bullying from managers, especially at Skyline College needs to stop. When a Vice President hires her friend and gives her a raise that puts her salary over 100,000 while removing duties from another manage and cut the other manager’s salary by 30,000$ dollars and the college president does absolutely nothing nor does the Chancellor or the Board what does that say about the district

  6. The Chancellor praised a Dean at a board meeting and stated he would be the next Executive Director of Equity. Guess who is in that role.
    The unions need to step up now that Ron is gone, maybe the teachers and staff will get a fair shake

  7. The Chancellor overstepped the unions and made an executive decision that hiring managers would be placed on the first step of all hiring committees. The same hiring committees that the hiring manager put together. Guess who get’s hired?
    The moral is in the dirt at Skyline and there is a MAJOR FEAR the Vice President of Student Services will be the next college president.

      • I’m not sure “far left liberals” accurately characterizes the perspective of Skyline’s former president:

        Leading to Transgress
        Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, President

        A theory of leadership – a multi-racial, multicultural identified, gender-influenced framework that is informed by leaders

        -who are a part of or situated closely to the masses of marginalized peoples of color

        -whose primary purpose is to influence allocation of resources in a way that breaks down or transgresses existing systems of power and privilege in the pursuit of social justice.

        Leading to liberate, strengthen, and educate. Leading to free the oppressed and to change the racist and sexist structures of power and privilege. Leading to make a difference in this world.

  8. Please stop bashing Skyline, it is the one school to be proud of in the last few years. Its former president announced her retirement a year before she left, don’t suggest otherwise in an attempt to smear her.

    • The faculty and staff at Skyline College put their hearts into their work to serve the students, however, bulling and retaliation is the culture. What does it say when during an opening day address prior to a visit by the Accreditation team, Skyline College’s President tell the campus, “We keep our dirty laundry in house” If there is a problem we will take care of it in house. Who is going to tell the truth questioned by the Accreditation Team.
      This is public knowledge!

    • Ron gave the former Skyline President a raving retirement email that made me sick and wonder what the president had on him. It was unbelievable. I find there are those who loved the president and those who did not and very few in between. Most of the rank and file I talk too did not like the president’s policies and bullying to get what the president wanted. Now I hear the former president has a consulting sweetheart deal with the district. It makes you think? Did Ron set this up? Is the shoe in for the replacement president. I hope we get someone from outside of our area.

      • I too saw Ron’s raving email about the retiring Skyline president and makes me think the DA should have a serious conversation with past Skyline president Standback-Stroud. She may or may not have done anything illegal herself but as someone who has been at Skyline for over 20 years there is no doubt in my mind that she has crossed the ethical line many times just to get her way. Yes, she is a bully and if she wants something she will ignore data and common sense if it contradicts her position. I really hope the district does not hire from within and gets someone from outside of the area and all the cronyism that exist in our district.

        • I am sorry but the stage is set for the Vice President of student services to become the next president and dean of Counseling to become the next VPS.
          The Classified Senate needs to make changes in leadership as well. No one wants to argue continuously. I tried having a conversation with my senate leader and felt as though I was talking with the former college President.

    • The statement that this could “rock the whole education system in California” is frightening – I think you’re saying it could do that IF there are OTHERS involved, not just Ron, right? If it’s members of the Board, I can see this having an effect on how Board members are selected. So true – a search warrant being approved means that there’s probable cause. Something is going on. I just keep wondering about the impact of this on ACCJC’s review this year.

  9. ALL TRUE!! Have heard all the bad things at Skyline – employees in FEAR. Though, the epicenter is in the District Office. All of the top people Vice Chancellors, Presidents, Vice Presidents (EXCEPT the recent hires at Canada & CSM) and ALL of HR mgmt need to GO! The (former) Chancellor DID change hiring practices to get his cronies hired – and other supervisors jumped on the bandwagon. Lots of people throughout the District would never have been hired otherwise. The unions DID try stop this many times – went to the board, talked to HR MANY times – no one would do anything.

    • Agree! HR unconditionally protects administrators to bully non-administrative staff. The cronyism is shameful and the blatant nepotism at Skyline College is disgusting!

    • The Post should do a FOIA request for all documentation on all procurement cards at all three colleges. They would discover lots of “interesting” charges. All of our leadership, including the recent hires at Canada, are crooks.

  10. Also – look throughout the District at all the “Favorite” employees who were given unfair and improper job upgrades – I know the unions have tried to stop all of this…..HR works for management and supervisors, NOT to do the right thing!

    • Yeah and compare the number of executives, vice chancellors, vice presidents, deans, directors and managers this District has to other community college districts.

  11. Employees we have been lied to for years and now it will all come out. How can the Board justify to pay two chancellors 450k each and say we do not have money. How can the board justify paying Mr Whitlock head of HR his salary for a year that he wasn’t even in his office, supposedly fired last year but still with an office and in the directory? Also probably paid out in a lawsuit that he had against the district and Mr Galatolo for being fired. It is Mr Whitlock a former Prosecutor in the San Mateo DA office that has sparked the investigation. Now Mr Whitlock is head of HR at Berkeley. Thank God he is gone, he was also a big problem in our district. Maybe the district should look at one president for all three colleges, that would save money and just let the VP’s at each college run the day to day operations. Since most of the time you never see them anyway.

  12. I suspect it will take the D.A. a long time to unravel all of Galatolo’s schemes. But when he has, it will involve a lot of other people who collaborated with Galatolo. It will be a very big case that will involve many people. If they know what’s good for them, they should get lawyers now. Many of us have seen the corruption first hand. We know things have been very, very wrong. Of course the board knew, but they are going to pretend that this is a big surprise to them. They’re hoping the DA doesn’t find out what we already know. Just a matter of time …

  13. Dont blame Eugene Whitlock. We need people like him to do the whistleblowing. Who knows what really happened to him but i believe he is a person of good moral character and has been a victim of bullying here. I wish more people with inside knowledge would step forward now. Jordan Boyd at the DA’s office can also be contacted with any information if you dont want it to be made public on here. His email is jboyd@smcgov.org

  14. Looks like Eugene Whitlock was Ron Galatolo’s divorce attorney, go look it up in the San Mateo County court records dated 06/25/2008. They have had dozens of people on the books who get these packages of a salaries while being “let go.” Whitlock may have been one of them. The admin so insulated themselves with these practices that the District is practically impenetrable. It’s about time someone did a deep dive. Kudos to the Daily Post. Whitlock is not a person of good moral character, he was a bully just like the rest of them.

    • Wow! that IS interesting. Thick as thieves…..until one bites the hand that feeds, then all bets are off. Hope employees keep dishing what seems to be a LOT of dirt. This is as good as any soap opera.

  15. What can we expect when a county employee is allowed to hold such a powerful administrator position for 20 years? Perhaps there should be term limits for administrators in the San Mateo County Community College District.

    • That’s an excellent point! Two decades of the same leader overseeing public institutions does seem too long, but I don’t know how long a Chancellor typically serves.

  16. [Portion deleted — please do not accuse people of wrongdoing without proof] We do NOT need more private for profit health clubs in our community college campuses. CSM and Canada employees who speak out against these issues are intimidated, screamed at by Galatolo and some are even gone. Why should dedicated employees be mistreated or made to feel fearful? The focus should be on students and the hard working faculty and staff. It is time for the truth to come out. What about using his and other overpaid administrators salaries for more classes? Too many administrators. Mr Whitlock was defending wrong-doing against employees and the former chancellor didn’t like it. Galatolo doesn’t like anyone who questions him. So much for transparency.

  17. This is a very serious matter. If the DA finds evidence of financial mismanagement the district’s accreditation could be in limbo and the state could take over the place, like what happened in Compton a few years ago. If the board claims ignorance of Galatolo’s alleged mismanagement, the question will be: why didn’t they know?

  18. As a 30 year employee at Skyline, we’ve been to the mountain top and the swamp. However, the last 10 years have been terribly difficult. The cronyism, nepotism, and downright falsehoods have taken its toll on morale. Yet again, to those of us in the trenches everyday, as opposed to administration who sit in the ivory tower, my colleagues and I are 120% dedicated to our students.
    While I’m a firm believer in innocence till proven guilty, I can attest the many of the comments are true, and the rumors have some credence. The climate of fear and retaliation have kept our mouths shut, especially the non-tenured for fear of retribution.

    I also want to make clear that not all administrators have done questionable things. I work with a dean whose values and integrity are above reproach.

    Let’s hope whatever comes out of this investigation, helps the College which I love so dearly emerge stronger and with a return of the credibility that it once had.
    Thank you

  19. One can question: What is happening with equity dollars for Skyline? You remove programs from the Dean of Counseling create a Dean of Equity department and now you have an Executive Director of Equity Institute making over 200,000 a year. Is this institute for staff only or have college funds been used to pay for staff to attend bogus events. Has it been sold out with folks around the state attending? As a community member I have supported SMCCD. However, now I find out you even have a Vice Chancellor, Chief of Staff? How many districts have this position.
    We have learned that the constituency groups are in negotiations. Will they get raises as deserved or will the fat cats at the top just say no.
    At this rate I would never support a bond measure to help this school district unless all funds go to student and not a penny to salaries.
    Mr Board President please do your job. We elected you!

    • Yes, and no one dared to question why there was a need to create a Dean’s position in a Department with only 3 staff members while other deans have to supervise ten times more faculty and some even with hundreds of student and classified staff! All those sons, daughters, daughter-in-laws and friends are on super fast tracks in promotion.

  20. Wow…I am Ron’s sister. I live in Livermore so I do not get the local newspaper in the San Mateo area. I did find out about the article and am reading the comments. As a brother, Ron is the best. I really hope everyone is able to be patient while the investigation runs its course. I pray for Ron and others that are mentioned as they go through the entire process. Thank you….

  21. LOL at one of the above comments about what the Board has to say. This is the same Board of Trustees “system” that hired Galatolo without going through the proper procedure which caused a raucous with some faculty at the time. The same Board of Trustees system that went to the taxpayers and asked them to pass a parcel tax during the budget crisis, only then to turn around after the crisis passed and rubber stamp a third VP at each of the community colleges. That third VP position ostensibly overseeing “administrative services” probably gets paid in the $100,000+ range was created because the District had a glut of Vice Chancellors when one of the Vice Chancellor’s came back to the District after serving as interim president at Canada College. Instead of bumping the admins back down the chain of command they left them in as vice chancellors or moved them into the new VP roles. Interestingly enough, the VP of Administrative Services (Jan Roecks) was responsible for overseeing the sale of KCSM. AND even more interesting, why does College of San Mateo now list two VPs of Administrative Services in their directory? How much do you want to bet that Jan Roecks is one of those admin earning a salary for working on a “special project” from home? Let’s not forget that it took the state of California stepping in to break up the Board of Trustees by forcing the District to vote in trustees by regions. The whole institution stinks and they’ve made themselves and their friends well paid in the process.

  22. Now would be a good time to look at who is living in SMCCD housing.
    Are they indeed employees or are they the children or grandchildren of employees?
    Have they been living there past the allowed seven years?
    Has the district apportioned district housing according to when employees got on the waitlist or is there a bias towards faculty members getting district housing ahead of classified employees?

    • I know faculty who live in staff housing and brag about making six-figures a year, their husbands make six-figures a year, they own a home which they rent out and profit off of AND were granted an additional time in staff housing. I know another faculty member who is currently trying to get her time in staff housing extended in order to qualify for a “Senior Only” community at the discounted senior rates by the time she is ready to move out of staff housing. While I am over here living in unsafe, unsanitary conditions and in a toxic relationship because I cannot afford to live on my own but make to much to qualify for low income housing assistance. Heard the new interim President of Skyline College just moved into staff housing. Must be nice to have friends in high places.

  23. Good point. Housing is an issue to those of us who are paid a minimum salary compared to the miultitude of administrators It is us who deal directly with students. If the former chancellor or one of the presidents walked into a classroom would students even know who they were? They do know their instructors and club advisors coaches and service employees and counselors who work with them day in and day out assisting them on their journey. Unions, committees and other employees have asked about the “housing list” we have heard is kept by the Chief of Staff, no respsonse ,but we do know that some administrators live there. And if there are concerns regarding construction contracst has anyone asked why the new athletic and wellness building at Canada was torn down in fall of 2017 and just recently the foundation being laid. Coincidence? Taxpayers need answers.

  24. Employees are saddened by this dark cloud. There are so many of us who serve our students and take pride in our work. We are here for the right reasons. The housing situation is a major concern of employees, is it being handled fairly? And we agree, why was the old cañada gymnasium building demolished in 2017 and two years later there is finally movement starting on the large empty lot. With all of the Bay Area construction development especially in Redwood City, there is no reason for such a long delay. Maybe they were working on jobs in Maui and Lake Tahoe.

  25. As much as you may want to hate Ron Galatolo, he did do great things for our colleges. So lets wait and see what comes out of this. Remember innocent till proven guilty. But I do fault him and the board for some of the hires they approved at the administrative levels. (and that’s at all 3 Colleges) The buzz word at Skyline for the last 10 years was “shared governance “the employees have a say in who gets hired and priorities of the college (Transparent) Ex-President Regina Steinbach-Stroud ruled like a dictator. Thou these were the rules we were supposed to follow she always undercut and hired who she wanted. If you investigate the hires, she had you will find out that many were friends and relatives. Even to the point that she intimidated workers in admissions to have a family members grades changed on their transcript. Good luck with accreditation many of us cannot wait to talk with the auditors. At least 50 percent of the staff will have a vote of no confidence for our administration. If they were smart, they would start applying for jobs somewhere else. Skylines next president should be someone from the outside that has no ties to this district. AND CLEAN UP THE MESS and bring back the great Skyline Moral we had under president Vicky Morrow.

  26. Skyline College and the district has been a mess for years. They made up VP, deans, and directors positions. At Skyline the former President reclassified her daughter in law position to a director position with no prior director experience. For people who have been working here for years don’t even get an opportunity to move up. People won’t say anything because they are afraid.

    • Wrong. She’s actually a project director, it was a managed-hire and she is qualified…you might want to get your facts straight or have the humanity to ask her yourself, rather than hiding behind the anonymity of the internet…office phone numbers and emails of all district employees are public information. Nevertheless, all Districts and Colleges have issues, there’s no need to bash fellow/former hardworking employees, there’s room for everyone to shine, if you want to. Just keep the salt out of it.

  27. I’d like to echo the comments coming out about Skyline. As a former Skyline employee, I experienced the bullying tactics from the VP of student services, blatant sabotage for career advancement within the college, and deceitful hiring practice. It’s not uncommon at Skyline for a hiring committee to make a decision to NOT move candidate forward in the process and see the candidate was hired; THEN learn they were someone’s son, cousin, best friend, sister, etc. It’s expected that classified staff work beyond their scheduled hours to meet unrealistic timelines, set by administration without any input or consideration from their staff members. Deans will pass off their duties with no guidance to classified, frame it as a “learning experience” and if mistakes were made that made the dean or administration look bad, blame would come down solely on classified. The toxic work environment tried on the hardest working people I worked with. The general consensus was if you pushed back you’d be bullied and shamed to the point of apathy and just keep your head down and serve your students to the best of your ability. Good luck Skyline folks, this former employee knows exactly what you’re going through! I hope issues within the college are taken seriously!

  28. DA/reporters/SMCCD employees following this: Read our Board Reports for our Board of Trustees. You often can see staff get months of “severance pay”. For example, look at the Board Report for February 27, 2019. Notice the resignation effective February 28, 2019 at Cañada College for Director of Post-Secondary Success & Completion. Now look at the Board Report for January 9, 2019. You’ll see this same position was filled, by a different person, effective December 3, 2018. There also was an interim-Director of Post-Secondary Success & Completion in November. The person who “resigned” February 28, 2019 was given at least four months of a Director’s salary when they were not at the college for at least four months. This is just one example of what you will see if you look at the Board Reports with a critical eye. Corruption. Helping out friends. Pay offs. It is demoralizing to work in a place that this type of behavior is standard at the top.

    Board of Trustees, if you happen to see this, it is your duty to continue to clean this district up. Please help. Don’t stop with Ron.

    • It appears as though at the top administrators in the District Office, Which may include the many Vice chancellors, HR, perhaps college Presidents and some others, Including a Vice President at the District office (when there is not even a President there) hired under Ron are so out of touch with the the working class employees, the faculty and the unions, and certainly the students they were supposed to be lobbying for are consumed with greed. Their salaries are absurd in public education. We do not need that many administrators in a District of this size. And if we do need a few, then allow current employees to have opportunities, do not hire friends and family members. Please SMCCD Board members, protect us, our students and our colleges from this level of out of control spending. Cut their contracts now and save our District some money and embarrassment

  29. I’m an ex-smccd employee. You guys have no clue how good things are at CSM, Skyline & Canada College. I work at City College & its a fire fight everyday. Enrollment at City is down 10~11%. SERP notices were issued few months back many department are down to half the staff. $30+ million in debt, poor & constantly failing online registration system. Depleted classrooms & buildings (checkout science hall) either the rooms are too hot or cold ask freezing students. Most of the employees hate coming to work. Frustrated faculty.
    You guys need to be happy & enjoy new buildings in all three campuses, multi-million dollar bond initiatives to keep thing fresh, money from the state for many other projects. Many district quote your examples on how lucky San Mateo is to receive all this funding. I’m not saying Ron is perfect but under his leadership a lot got done & you need to be thankful.
    City College & San Mateo were established around the same time but they are so far apart.

    • What you say about City College was true back in the 1980s, when I taught as an adjunct faculty member there. However, as you state in the above post, you’re speaking primarily about physical, tangible changes to the campus under the Galatalo tenure. Yes, we’re fortunate that the citizens of SMCCCD are generous to finance major improvements on the campus. However, if you have ever visited building 1, then you’ll change your tune. Building 1 was scheduled to be demolished and a new Creative Arts/Social Science building to be erected. That was over seven or more years ago, and every time we were ready to box up our offices, there was a delay. The last straw was this past year, when we were told that Building 1 would not come down, and refurbishing it would not begin till next year. Why? The bond money to pay for the new building instead went to the Environmental Building which hangs over the cliff near the overlook up the hill. That ran over budget; the building has only four classrooms, plus a lovely venue to hold community events and weddings. Who benefits from that? Not the students, not the faculty. Building 1 is unsafe, we’re not wired for WiFi, classrooms leak, and the list goes on and on. Don’t forget lead in the pipes, and we can’t even get a hydration station in a timely fashion.

      Enough about physical changes. What you fail to mention is the emotional toll the continual nepotism, questionable hiring practices, berating by administrators in public, and continual frustration with lack of response from administration regarding issues we continually bring up.

      Who answers to the fact that the Environmental building, which was a Galatalo baby, ran over budget, but we can’t get even some new flooring that doesn’t have asbestos in them? Or new media equipment that is not 20 years old? The ex-chancellor continues to earn $467,000 a year, works from a remote location. We now have two chancellors each making $467,000. Faculty is working without a contract this academic year.

      I’ll rest my case,

    • San Mateo and City College are funded differently, which can account, to some extend, for such dramatic differences. CCSF is funded, like most CA community colleges, by “apportionment,” that is, they get a portion of state funds based on enrollment. The inventive is to get more students into seats, though the new Student Centered Funding Formula also rewards access for low-income students and student success metrics. Given funding based on enrollment, these colleges are susceptible to the “counter cyclical” nature of enrollment and the economy – as the economy improves, students go back to work and enrollment goes down – therefore, funding goes down. Thus, these institutions can’t rely on a stable levels of funding, which makes planning difficult In contrast, San Mateo is “basic aid,” which means it does not rely on enrollment, but is funded by local property taxes. Given that the San Mateo District is in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with stable and increasing property taxes, its funding is dramatically different from CCSF. As a faculty member at San Mateo once said, “We are so well funded, we don’t worry about money.” Perhaps that is why they can afford a Chancellor and Emeritus Chancellor with combined salaries of $1 million, plus benefits.

  30. City College San Francisco has a beautiful new huge building that we see off the freeway! Could it be that the person defending the former chancellor may have received compensation while no longer working in the District? Bottom line, CSM, Cañada and Skyline Colleges are public educational institutions, not someone’s private company. Presently, SMCCD professors, clerical staff, and custodians are all working without contracts- why? Will the District Office higher ups decline unions requests to provide a decent cost of living raise and benefits for working folk? Or will they keep the money for themselves; just another case of the rich getting richer.

  31. San Mateo and City College are funded differently, which can account, to some extend, for such dramatic differences. CCSF is funded, like most CA community colleges, by “apportionment,” that is, they get a portion of state funds based on enrollment. The inventive is to get more students into seats, though the new Student Centered Funding Formula also rewards access for low-income students and student success metrics. Given funding based on enrollment, these colleges are susceptible to the “counter cyclical” nature of enrollment and the economy – as the economy improves, students go back to work and enrollment goes down – therefore, funding goes down. Thus, these institutions can’t rely on a stable levels of funding, which makes planning difficult In contrast, San Mateo is “basic aid,” which means it does not rely on enrollment, but is funded by local property taxes. Given that the San Mateo District is in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with stable and increasing property taxes, its funding is dramatically different from CCSF. As a faculty member at San Mateo once said, “We are so well funded, we don’t worry about money.” Perhaps that is why they can afford a Chancellor and Emeritus Chancellor with combined salaries of $1 million, plus benefits.

    • It’s not about affording an overvalued Chancellor— he fought hard for this funding structure. Meanwhile the district has been cutting classes they deem lightly enrolled even if they fulfill core degree requirements. The District has been at once passing expensive bonds for many new buildings and taking large strides to be an on line college. Why all the real estate AND an on line college. They don’t want staff— we are in the way…

      • I don’t know the history of how San Mateo became “basic aid” rather than more typical “apportionment” funding. Perhaps the Emeritus Chancellor “fought hard for this funding structure.” The question is, who is benefiting from it? Students, staff, faculty, OVERPAID administrators? Richard Carranza, the former public school chancellor in San Francisco, Houston, and now the head of NYC with over 1.1 million students, earns a measly $345,000. NYC is not an inexpensive place to live. Do we have to pay a Chancellor and Emeritus Chancellor $467,700 each for a job with significantly less students, staff, responsibility, and headaches? Do we really have to give the “Emeritus Chancellor” a three year contract and pay half a million a year to do one job: develop and administer the “CSU Silicon Valley 2+2 Program and Initiative Pilot Project”? Will he supervise any staff, affect the lives of any students, be accountable for any outcomes? Is this project more taxing than the job of Chancellor of NYC Schools? “Emeritus” is an honorarium for an administrator AFTER retirement. Sometimes, they come back as a consultant for a “pilot project” funded by a state initiative grant. Why are the taxpayers of San Mateo paying full salary and generous benefits as an employee to an “Emeritus Chancellor”? Why isn’t the salary for this pilot project being shared with CSU? Inquiring minds want to know.

        • Fantastic questions. Several employees believe the title “Emeritus” added to the former employees’s title is insulting whiles the salary paid is a misuse of funds.

          • As the Board is responsible for bestowing the title of “Emeritus,” for creating an additional line in the salary schedule for this position which has nothing to do with a retired chancellor, for negotiating a new contract for an unprecedented position, one which shields the former chancellor from being fired for cause due to infractions while previously serving as chancellor (because the old contract has been superseded by the new one), and now infractions of the new contract leading to potential dismissal must be adjudicated by “the judge (retired),” and the new contract provides a salary and benefits approved by the Board, someone should be asking the Board how they can justify these decisions?

  32. I encourage The Daily post to keep digging in the public records regarding a harassment claim by a former employee. Why did the District protect Ron and pay for his attorney fees after she reported him to HR? Why was she fired for speaking up while he received another raise on top of his already inflated salary?

  33. There should be an investigation into the SMCCD Foundation as well. It receives sizable contributions from the contractors, architects and unions hired to work on the three campuses.

  34. Ah yes, the SMCCD Foundation. More hand picked high paid administrators who put on events such as The Chancellors golf tournament at the beautiful Stanford Golf Course, The Chancellors Cirlce Dinner that employees hear about but are never invited to but the College President and all the Vice Chancellors get to go, and other high and mighty events that we wonder who pays the tabs. Many of the previous Fiundation staff abruptly left several months back, could they have known what was coming?

  35. As the Board is responsible for bestowing the title of “Emeritus,” for creating an additional line in the salary schedule for this position which has nothing to do with a retired chancellor, for negotiating a new contract for an unprecedented position, one which shields the former chancellor from being fired for cause due to infractions while previously serving as chancellor (because the old contract has been superseded by the new one), and now infractions of the new contract leading to potential dismissal must be adjudicated by “the judge (retired),” and the new contract provides a salary and benefits approved by the Board, someone should be asking the Board how they can justify these decisions?

  36. Hey, why are there hundreds of thousands of dollars and six staff alone at College of San Mateo dedicated to an international student program? Including a “retention specialist” meant to make sure that international students (mostly from China) have what they need and are successful at CSM? Why does the District have employees in China (contracted employees)? Because international students don’t count against the enrollment numbers that the District actively keeps low so it remains a “basic aid” school. Meanwhile, the fat that the District lives off of gets filtered into programs that are not supporting our students.

  37. Are the elected Board of Trustees members willing to come to the campuses and speak with employees? Granted personnel issues cannot be discussed however, blatant disrespect by administrators to silence employees must be addressed. Ask questions. Please.

  38. Trustees probably will not come to campus and talk to employees as their job is policy and to hire a Chancellor to be the Chief Executive Officer who deals with on the ground operational issues…Trustees should not micromanage. You can address the Trustees at the Board meeting, though, during the period when comments from the public are allowed. That may be persuasive, as Trustees often are not familiar with what is really happening at colleges; their knowledge is filtered through what the Chancellor and Presidents choose to tell them. The Board meeting may be the only opportunity to make your opinions known.

  39. Many of the comments above have to do with the culture at Skyline College. Some have expressed deep frustration and fear of retribution for speaking up.

    One of the commentators (Tina) above even said, “The faculty and staff at Skyline College put their hearts into their work to serve the students, however, bulling and retaliation is the culture. What does it say when during an opening day address prior to a visit by the Accreditation team, Skyline College’s President tell the campus, “We keep our dirty laundry in house” If there is a problem we will take care of it in house. Who is going to tell the truth questioned by the Accreditation Team?”

    The college is in the midst of an accreditation review and the visiting team has scheduled two “Open Forums” for community members. Attend one of two Open Forums for all community members to ask questions and to share views with the ACCJC Peer Review Team:

    Evening Open Forum
    Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Building 6, Rooms 6-202, 6-204, 6-206

    Daytime Open Forum
    Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m.
    Building 1, Theater

    If Skyline College means something to you, expressing your opinion at a forum is an opportunity at this important meeting.

    https://skylinecollege.edu/accreditation/sitevisitresources.php

  40. Well as time goes buy little is being said, but don’t worry stay tuned. Investigations take time, we should be hearing something within the next 3 months as the investigators are probably gathering lots of evidence against the former chancellor. The question is how many other employees at the district office and the 3 colleges are involved. If the chancellor did scam the district and taxpayers of money there are other employees who are involved or knew something was going on and did not say a thing. As the chancellor was put on a pedestal by all employees as the man who saved the district. [Portion deleted — Don’t accuse people of crimes unless they’ve been charged. No charges have been brought in this case.]
    As far as the different allegations connected to all 3 college on how the colleges were managed, that is not of interest to the DA office. Those are internal problems that the board of trustees need to launch an investigation by an outside agency to find all the evidence that the corruption and miss use of power by College Presidents. Start at Skyline, then Canada, and finally at College of San Mateo. I can pretty much guarantee that there are less issues at College of San Mateo.
    It is time for new blood at some of the colleges and the district office. It is time to bring in outside eyes to run the colleges, not the good old boys or girls’ network. The morale at Skyline college is already better with the opportunity to bring in a new president with a new outlook on the college. To refocus on the community and our students. Not to waste taxpayer’s money on trips to Africa to bring back international students to a community college. Which Skyline sent 6-8 employees on a all paid trip to bring 1 student back. To College of San Mateo, that has employees based in China trying to recruit students to come to College of San Mateo. To the construction projects that they are being built for fitness centers at San Mateo and Canada college with bond money used to finance as a cash cow for the district. Whatever happened to the ideas of using taxpayer’s money to renovate old building and bringing facilities up to current codes?

  41. Cummunity College District employee and Taxpayer: very well said.
    I just hope the D.A’s office does a good and thorough job uncovering the truth and looking at wealth generation over the the last 10yrs for anyone involved and let’s see if charges are brought. Can only hope it’s not swept under the carpet or put in the too hard basket!
    Would love for other employees to make contact with the D.A too, as I have done. They will not reveal your identity for coming forward. Be brave and step forward for the sake of justice and make a better District for everyone.

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