CCP formally ousts Curtis as president

Stephen M. Curtis had led the Community College of Philadelphia and its 40,000 students since 1999.
Stephen M. Curtis had led the Community College of Philadelphia and its 40,000 students since 1999. (File photo)
Posted: June 08, 2013

The Community College of Philadelphia board of trustees voted Thursday to dismiss president Stephen M. Curtis and pay him $286,000 - a full year of salary and benefits, as prescribed in his contract.

This week, the college announced that Curtis, who has led the nearly 40,000-student college since 1999, would leave in September, more than two years before the expiration of his contract. Officials had declined to say whether he resigned or was forced out.

At the meeting, the board approved an "employment action" regarding the president after discussing the matter in private. Board chair Matt Bergheiser, executive director of the University City District, initially declined to say what the action was.

Pressed by The Inquirer for details, college spokeswoman Linda Wallace said: "The board terminated his contract without cause."

She provided a copy of Curtis' contract, which outlines terms in the case of termination without cause. The board must give Curtis 90 days' notice and pay him a full year's salary and benefits, which include a car and housing allowance.

If Curtis, 68, chooses to retire, he also could be eligible for retirement benefits, the contract says.

Curtis, who attended the meeting, declined to comment.

He is leaving at a time of tension at the college, which has seen state and city financial support wane.

In October, Mayor Nutter appointed himself and several key aides to seats on the Board of Trustees, in a clear and unprecedented move to take a more active leadership role.

Curtis had drawn criticism amid protracted contract negotiations with faculty and staff. The contract, which expired in August 2011, remains unresolved.

Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq. Read her blog at

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