Nutter, key aides taking seats on Philly community college board

The Community College of Philadelphia could undergo a major shakeup starting with a new board of trustees.

It’s all at the request of Mayor Michael Nutter.

Of the 15 spots on the college’s board of trustees, seven will be held by the mayor and his key aides, including his first deputy chief of staff, a deputy director of policy and others.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald says it’s part of the mayor’s plans to improve job training and workforce development in the city.

“With all those considerations in mind, the mayor wants to put a bright spotlight on all of those systems — the school district, the city, the higher education system,” McDonald said. “At the center of that is Community College of Philadelphia … it is a key element of the K through 16 pipeline.”

City Councilman Jim Kenney is surprised at the move, saying he resigned from the board because he couldn’t keep up with the time commitment necessary to do the job.

“The board is a very active, engaged board that meets regularly in committee levels and retreats and all kinds of things,” he said. “I don’t know what the rationale is behind replacing most of the board.”

McDonald was asked if the influx of new board members is just part of a plan that includes removing current college president Stephen Curtis.

“Dr. Curtis is the president, and the mayor will be working with administrators,” he said. “What the future will bring, I’m not able to say. The other board members need to learn what CCP is about.”

In a statement, Curtis said he hopes to have an even stronger collaboration with the new board in retooling and training the workforce and graduating more students from the college.

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