City College of San Francisco Hires David Martin as Chancellor

Dr. David Martin will be City College of San Francisco's new chancellor starting Nov. 1, 2021. Photograph courtesy of CCSF

The Ingleside Light is a reader-funded community news outlet. If you find its journalism useful, please consider subscribing. You can do so here.


City College of San Francisco officials announced Wednesday that the search for a permanent chancellor is over.

CCSF Board of Trustees President Shanell Williams said David Martin will become the next chancellor starting on Nov. 1. Trustees approved Martin’s contract at their meeting last week.

Martin currently works as the superintendent-president at Monterey Peninsula Community College District. He formerly served in roles at CCSF from 2015 to 2017 as the chief financial officer and interim vice chancellor for financial affairs.

Besides his work at community colleges, Martin has worked as a senior associate executive manager for public accounting firms, including Vavrinek, Trine and Ernst & Young.

Martin earned an associate degree from American River College and continued studying at California State University San Bernardino, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also earned a MBA at CSU East Bay and doctorate in higher education leadership from Drexel University.

“In addition to his strong financial background, as evidenced by word and deed, Dr. Martin brings a strong commitment to the work we do for students,” Williams said in a statement. “He has a proven commitment to transparency, collaboration and equity, and he is passionate about providing opportunities for access and success to all students.”

Trustee Alan Wong issued a statement Wednesday saying that Martin understood the challenges the college currently faces.

“I am confident that he brings the necessary skill set to reign in the fiscal challenges that the College faces, bring in additional enrollment, and find new funding sources,” Wong’s statement reads.

Other finalists for chancellor position included Christopher Villa, the former Portland Community College-Rock Creek superintendent-president and Kristina Whalen, who currently is the vice president of academic services Las Positas College in Livermore. Whalen was also a former CCSF employee, serving multiple roles.

Candidate Forums

During chancellor candidate forums held in August, Martin said he would take input from the college’s various constituencies to create a plan to bring the college’s beleaguered budget back to solvency without providing specific details, the CCSF student-run newspaper The Guardsman reported.

“Part of a chancellor’s responsibility is to continue to advocate for resources at the statewide level as it applies to the budget development process specifically to City College,” Martin said. “Because that is a critical component to building and understanding future budget scenarios and fiscal implications of decisions, but not only our legislators are making today, but the system itself is making as well.”

Moving Forward

Former Chancellor Mark Rocha was put on administrative leave and later submitted his resignation in late March of last year.

“It’s been a two year process to get to this point. I started my presidency with this process and so it’s amazing to see us get to this point,” Williams said at the meeting.

CCSF’s Office of Human Resources, Compliance, Risk Management, and Safety Deputy Chancellor Dianna Gonzales took over as the interim chancellor following Rocha’s resignation. 

Trustees then hired retired superintendent-president at Pasadena City College Rajen Vurdien as interim chancellor. Vurdien’s contract ended at the end of June and Gonzles returned to serve as the interim chancellor once again. 

Williams thanked Gonzales for stepping up during the search for a permanent chancellor.

“Chancellor Gonzalez, we owe you a huge debt for stepping in during this transition multiple times,” Williams said. “You didn’t have to do so. You have really been so amazing for us and for the college and for San Francisco.”