San Mateo County Community College DistrictWe are a three College District located between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. Our Colleges serve more than 40,000 students each year and offer the first two years of instruction in a wide variety of transfer programs as well as more than 90 vocational-technical programs. Students can earn either Associate in Arts or Science degrees or receive Certificates of Proficiency in their chosen fields.
4200 Farm Hill Boulevard,
Redwood City, CA 94061
Cañada Campus Map
1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd.
San Mateo, CA 94402
CSM Campus Map
3300 College Dr.
San Bruno CA 94066-1698
Skyline Campus Map
Public Hearing on Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
The Board of Trustees will hold a Public Hearing on the Final EIR on Dec 9 at 6 p.m.
Setting the record straight
NBC Bay Area has been pursuing a story about what they believe are unauthorized expenditures made by Chancellor Galatolo for more than a year. The Chancellor told NBC that he was willing to provide a live, unedited broadcast to ensure that his answers would be delivered in the proper context and fairly represent the facts. Instead, 12 hours later, Ms. Nguyen ambushed the Chancellor outside of a Board meeting and filmed him without his permission.
Ms. Nguyen raised an issue about a "kit car" owned by a friend of the Chancellor’s which was stored in a vacant building on one of our campuses for several weeks. The car was not purchased by the District and was never registered to the District. Chancellor Galatolo told Ms. Nguyen several times that the "kit car" was never registered or titled in his name either. He also told her that he has no knowledge of any District vehicle registration being placed in the windshield of the car. Chancellor Galatolo suggested to Ms. Nguyen that perhaps the person who tipped her about this “story” is the person who placed a District vehicle registration on the car. The District asked Ms. Nguyen to provide any evidence she had regarding the incorrect registration so our Public Safety Department could investigate further. She declined to do so.
NBC Bay Area also reported they believe the Chancellor is not following the District Policy on Domestic Conference and Travel Expenses, which is designed to cover the obligations of individual employees and students traveling on behalf of the District. This policy does not cover other District activities such as business meetings, conferences and entertainment that are legitimate business expenses incurred by individuals on behalf of the District which are also reimbursed by the District. As part of the activities necessary to perform his job, the District Chancellor may need to host visitors to our campuses, solicit major donors, meet with vendors and business partners and engage in activities with other organizations, etc. These expenses, which fall outside the scope of the Domestic Conference and Travel Expense policy, may involve payment for meals and these meals may include alcoholic beverages, which are appropriately reimbursed by the District.
Out of 13,500 expenses submitted by the Chancellor over a 2½ year period, Ms. Nguyen is questioning less than half a dozen expenditures totaling a few hundred dollars for 2 mojitos, several beers, 1 bottle of wine, and what she termed were "multiple martinis, Rieslings, Malbecs, etc. at a staff dinner..." Ms. Nguyen obtained purchase details (which the District does not have) directly from restaurants and hotels. We asked her to provide these to the District for further review but she declined. Of the expenses in question of which the District is aware:
- The wine was purchased as part of a business dinner with prospective bond underwriters which was scheduled during the time the Chancellor was attending a Community College League of California CEO meeting (he is President of this group). Part of this trip was reimbursed to the District by CCLC.
- A dinner was hosted by the Chancellor in conjunction with the California School Employees Association Statewide Convention held in Las Vegas (the choice of Las Vegas as a venue was the CSEA Statewide Committee’s choice, not the District's). Chancellor Galatolo was invited by CSEA to attend this conference. There were 14 or 15 people attending this dinner, and the alcoholic beverages Ms. Nguyen referred to consisted of a total of 16 alcoholic beverages consumed amongst the 14-15 attendees (none by the Chancellor). This dinner was an opportunity to build a better team relationship between the CSEA leadership and District personnel, and the total expense for the dinner was less than $70 per person including tax and tip.
- During an international student recruitment trip to five countries in 28 days, a few beers totaling $22 were purchased for guests at a dinner meeting with local dignitaries and business leaders in Viet Nam. During this trip, Chancellor Galatolo attended 28 major functions and made presentations at 19 of these events. Growth of the District’s international student program has been a Board goal and, because of efforts such as this, the District receives hundreds of applications annually, and our international student count has grown by more than 300% since 2011/2012. These students pay full tuition which provides additional revenue to the College District which we use to expand opportunities for all students—domestic and foreign.
- The above are examples of legitimate job-related activities which go outside the scope of the individual employee travel expense policy.
- The District recently refinanced bonds to save taxpayers $17.4M in bond repayments. As part of that process, the District’s credit worthiness was reviewed by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Rating Services—both of which gave the District their very highest rating. At the time, this District was the only public college/university in California to receive these ratings. In fact, only one other college or university in California received a similar rating at that time--Stanford University.
- The District’s annual audits (of all funds: operations, bond performance and financial, capital outlay and OPEB Trust; these funds total more than $500 million) rarely have any findings and the 2013-14 audit had no findings at all. This includes financial audits as well as federal and state compliance matters.
- All three Colleges were granted full re-accreditation in October 2013, which is quite an accomplishment given that, in a three year period, 69% of community colleges that underwent an accreditation review received some sort of sanction.
- Twice in the last decade the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury issued commendations to the District on the policies and procedures we use to control and manage large construction projects and the Grand Jury strongly recommended that all other school districts in the County adopt the District’s practices.
- Two years ago, the District conducted a comprehensive needs assessment involving community members, students and local businesses. Among students, 97% indicated that they would recommend one of our Colleges to family and friends. Among community members, 92-94% were satisfied with the quality of instruction provided.
- Finally, in November 2014, 66.4% of voters in the County approved the District’s request for a new bond measure, which is an impressive majority—only 55% was needed.
Again, the NBC “investigation” is focused on insignificant expenditures.
In order to develop a shared vision of the future that faculty, staff, students and the community understand and support, the District, through its participatory governance processes, has been working to develop an integrated strategic planning model. This model will incorporate and build upon five elements: the District's Strategic Plan; the Facilities Master Plan; a coordinated institutional research component; a coordinated program review process; and an annual budget that is based upon the other four elements.More information about strategic planning
AlertU - Emergency Text Message Notification
The San Mateo County Community College District has partnered with a new vendor to provide emergency text-notification to students, faculty and the community.
Sign up for AlertU Notifications
Your Bond Dollars at WorkWe thank you for passing our bond measures and helping us build and update our facilities to benefit the students and community.
Construction Notices - Find out which portions of the campus are impacted by construction.
Community Information - View our awards, commendations and photos of construction projects.
Web Cameras - Watch the campuses evolve via our web cams.