John Rizzo College Board questionnaire

John Rizzo College Board questionnaire

Postby Jeff_W on Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:51 pm

Name: John Rizzo



1) Why are you running for The Community College Board?

To continue the work I have done in my first term.



2) What is your background in Education?

I have also taught adult education classes in computer literacy and have designed on-line courses.



I have serviced on the Board for almost four years. I currently serve as the Vice President of the Board of Trustees. During my first term I have worked to prioritize spending to maximize benefits to students, while seeking equitable ways to implement state budget cuts that are fair to faculty and other employees. I have made green jobs training for disadvantaged communities a priority of the District and helped bring in several grants to fund new programs. I have also championed the hiring of economically disadvantaged San Francisco residents for the District's construction projects.

I chair the Facilities, Infrastructure and Technology Committee, which oversees the District's construction projects and technology initiatives, including green buildings and computer infrastructure. I also serve also serve on the Budget and Planning Committee and the Audit Committee.

I am a member of Board of Directors of the City College Foundation. This year, I helped negotiate a new master agreement between the Foundation and the Community College District. Traditionally, the Foundation has raised money for scholarships for students of need. I am working with the Foundation to help them raise money to restore some of the 1500 classes we have had to cut due to state budget cuts.



3) If elected to this position, what are your top three priorities for improving City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in the next four years?



1. Dealing with the budget crises. Drastic cuts in education by the Governor, as well as declines in property tax and sales tax revenue, have created a budget crisis that has persisted through the past two budget years. It will likely continue for another two years. This past year we eliminated 1500 classes at a time when student enrollment is up. There is no single bullet to deal with the crisis. This is approach I am working for:



· Collaboration with employee bargaining units in seeking budget solutions. A cooperative approach has been productive.

· I have supported the goal of no layoffs to full time faculty and staff. Staff reductions so far have been with laying off part-time faculty, as well as a combination of hiring freezes and retirement incentives.

· Reduction in the number of administrators and managers

· Give-backs by employees at all levels, including administrators, in the form of salary freezes and cuts, furloughs, and other mechanisms.

· Protecting student services, such as counseling and other programs for special-needs students that are important in keep students in the program.

· The continued use of audits as a tool to find cost savings.

· Seeking new sources of funding from grants and philanthropy.

· Seeking to lower the coast of healthcare by seeking new providers.

· Lowering utility costs by implementing energy-saving measures in buildings, by implementing



2. Improving student success rates.

Disadvantaged students have a drop-out rate much higher than other students. Often they come in with lower skills and have more work to do to get to required levels.

We can improve student service for students of special needs by providing adequate funding. This has been challenging, given that the State cut student services by 60 percent last year. We must keep these services running. These include the Math Bridge, which helps students complete required math courses, as well as programs like the Second Chance Program for recently incarcerated students, our new program for veterans, and programs for foster youth.

The Board of Trustees can also provide a framework to enable the development of new types of curriculum and changes to current curriculum. However, the Board must respect the principles of academic freedom that are required by law, and should not impose changes to curriculum.

3. Affordable Housing

During my first term, I added student housing added to the District’s five-year capital plan. Currently, City College offers no housing to students. I believe we can partner with other educational institutions, non-profit developers, and the city’s Office of Housing to come up with a way to provide low-cost housing to the most needy students and their children.





4) If elected to the Community College Board will you ensure that the process of shared governance occurs, regarding matters of policy? If not, why?

Yes.

5) How would you assess the distribution of general education classes throughout CCSF campuses? Is it equitable? Do you believe changes can be made? If so, what changes will you make if elected to the Community College Board?

Changes have been made in the past four years—the situation has improved. I pushed for science classes at the Mission Campus to make it a full-service campus, rather than having it focused only in English as a second language. There are now basic science classes, as well as technology classes in computers, publishing, and TV and radio.

I am now supporting science classes for the new China-North Beach Campus, scheduled to open in 2012. I voted to support the addition of basic skills classes in the Southeast campus. Twenty new general education classes are now at Southeast. At the Facilities Committee that I chair, I voted to add a new Southeast Campus building to the District’s five-year, to enable more general education classes to be housed in the southeast part of town. This was passed by the Board.

6) What role does the CCSF administration currently have regarding childcare for students with children? Do you believe their current role is sufficient? If not, what changes would you make if elected?

The CCSF administration relationship to the Child Development Department is the same as it is with other departments, which is that it is the direct overseer of the departments. Department chairs report to the administration. However, there were two incidents (in 2008), which put the department at risk. Audits that I pushed for and go approved found that other departments also had problems. Changes have been made, and the administration is currently undergoing a reorganization.

Last year, in addition to the standard cuts all departments were taking, the administration proposed an additional cut of $300,000 from the childcare program. I opposed this, and helped get it reinstated by a 4-to-3 vote.

The Child Development Department serves student in two ways, by providing childcare for students, but by also teaching students how to be professional childcare providers. Childcare is also provided free of charge to low-income families.

The Child Development Department has just received a significant amount of space in the brand new Multi-use Building on the main campus, which is opening this month. Students who are parents will be able to use these much-improved facilities.

7) What is your position regarding privatization in the public sector?



I oppose privatization of the public sector. I don’t believe it saves money in the long term, and evidence shows that it does not provide better services to the institution. Privatization in various government areas has lead to less oversight and less public access.

In fact, for the past few months I have been fighting privatization of city parks by the the Recreation and Parks Department. There are disturbing cases all over the city. Most of these issues were not related to City College, but one is:

The Recreation and Parks Department evicted a City College Child Development program that serviced the community for 40 years. The program was provided to community members free of charge, and was housed in a public building owned by Recreation and Parks. The Department privatized the public facility by evicting City College and leasing the space to a private entity. The public no longer has the benefit of the program and no longer has access to the facility.

I attended three hearings in City Hall to oppose this privatization, and met with the Chair of the Recreation and Parks Commission, but was not able to stop Recreaction and Park from privatizing the facilities.

8) Do you favor the use of Project Labor Agreements at CCSF? Please explain your position.



Yes. Project labor agreements prevent the possibility of strikes. A strike during a construction project can drive up costs tremendously.
Jeff_W
 
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