For more information, contact:
City College of San Francisco Office of Public Information [50 Phelan Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112]. Jennifer Aries, College Communications [925-784-0574] [firstname.lastname@example.org]
* "Save CCSF Coalition" [www.saveccsf.org] [email@example.com]
* "Student Unity Movement" [groups.google.com/group/student-unity-movement] (subscribe by sending an e-mail to [firstname.lastname@example.org])
Editorial cartoon by Jos Sances and the California Federation of Teachers
2013-07-12 "Resolution In Support of Faculty, Staff and Student at City College of San Francisco"
Approved by the "California Faculty Association (CFA)" Officers [www.calfac.org/resolution/resolution-support-faculty-staff-and-student-city-college-san-francisco], and published as "Cal State faculty support faculty, staff, and students at CCSF" by "AFT 2121" [www.aft2121.org/2013/07/cfa]:
The California Faculty Association strongly opposes the recent decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (AACCJC) to pull the accreditation of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) in 2014.
If CSSF’s loss of accreditation becomes final, it would disrupt the school’s funding and mean an end to federal financial aid for its students. Credit for classes would no longer transfer to other accredited universities. In essence, losing accreditation would likely mean one of the largest public education institutions in the nation would close, some 85,000 students would be displaced and thousands of faculty would be out of work.
Nothing in the accrediting decision raises questions about the quality of education being offered by CCSF. Indeed, this community college has exemplary transfer and completion rates and as recently as 2007 was named by The New York Times as a model community college. The college is also a leader in maintaining the ranks of tenure track faculty while providing part-time faculty with fair wages and working conditions.
Like all institutions of public higher education in California, CCSF has suffered from terrible cuts to the state’s higher education budget. Recently, however, as result of sacrifices by CCSF faculty and staff, the passage of Prop 30, the passage of a parcel tax in San Francisco, the institution is on the mend.
CFA believes in a robust, thorough, and transparent accrediting process that is conducted by a qualified team and engages the entire education community. Such an effort can be constructive and helpful in developing short and long-term strategies for students’ success at any institution.
Sadly, the actions by AACCJC in the CCSF matter appear both arbitrary and punitive.
On behalf of 23,000 faculty members, coaches, counselors and librarians working in the California State University System we would like to express our vehement support for faculty, students, staff, and community members at CCSF who are working hard to ensure the survival of their institution.
Further, CFA urges the ACCJC to reconsider its revocation of CCSF’s accreditation and submit to a meaningful and public discussion of the complaints lodged by faculty and others about this decision.
in response to accreditation ruling...
March to Stop Privatizing Public Education March and Defend City College!
Tuesday July 9, 2013
4pm: Gather at Downtown Campus • 4:30pm: March to Dept. of Education
88 4th Street @ Mission (2 blocks from Powell St. BART) •50 Beale Street (btw Mission & Market)
Save CCSF Coalition Community Meeting
featuring Marty Hittelman, author of “ACCJC Gone Wild”.
Wednesday, July 10, 6-8pm
Mission Campus, 1125 Valencia St. (btw 22nd & 23rd Sts.), San Francisco
The future of San Francisco’s dynamic City College hangs by a thread. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has revoked CCSF's accreditation, which will close the school, effective July 2014. The ruling is tied to the federal Department of Education’s policy to privatize and downsize public schools from K-12 through college. At stake is the community’s access to affordable education. This past year there have already been massive program cuts, layoffs and changes that hit students of color and the poor the hardest. Save CCSF Coalition calls on students, staff, faculty and the community to march to keep CCSF open, affordable and PUBLIC.
Save CCSF Coalition demands the U.S. Department of Education:
--Revoke ACCJC's certification as an accrediting agency
--Hold ACCJC accountable for its unwarranted ruling against CCSF
--Tell the State Chancellor “No to a Special Trustee” who will unilaterally replace the elected CCSF Board of Trustees
--Keep all Community Colleges accessible and affordable to the poor and working class
--Denounce the corporate plan to privatize education
--Take measures to cancel all student debt
--Work to fully fund public K-12 and colleges
2013-07-09 "Stop the Accreditation Bullies and the Corporate Agenda to Downsize and Privatize Public Education"
Complete statement here: [http://www.saveccsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Accreditation-Bullies.pdf]
Please send comments or suggestions to the research committee: [ResComm11@gmail.com]
On July 3rd, 2013, the private Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges—the ACCJC— announced that it would keep City College on “show cause,” planning to terminate accreditation in July 2014. The Herculean efforts of the college over a short nine months were rejected as inadequate. The threat of closure could become real unless the College can turn itself inside out and meet the commission’s demands; work out a transfer of jurisdiction to another district; appeal successfully to the self-same commission; or unless a movement can mobilize politically and legally. Since loss of accreditation is really a death penalty for a college, in essence the ACCJC action manufactured a crisis, deepening the atmosphere of emergency that had hung over the college since the ACCJC put it on “show cause” in July of 2012. Under cover of “meeting peer standards” and protecting students, the ACCJC continues to discredit, disrupt and damage the college. City College has never before been on any sanction, and should never have been on “show cause” for a single day. The people of San Francisco love and need City College as a critical resource for education, civic culture, and opportunity for our young people. This is why in November 2012, despite an unrelenting series of negative articles in the SF Chronicle, 73% of the voters approved a special tax to save our college— Prop A.
In 2007, the seventy-seven year-old City College—one of the largest community colleges in the country-was featured by the New York Times as one of eleven model community colleges nationwide. How could the ACCJC’s actual agenda be to protect students, with the threat of closing the only real option for most low income and vulnerable students, leaving them with no education at all? What is otherworldly about the situation is that no one, including the ACCJC, has anything but praise for the educational offerings at the College (and you thought that accreditation was to assure educational quality)…
Statewide Chancellor Brice Harris announced that the state Board of Governors would appoint a super trustee to “rescue the college” by taking over governance from the CCSF elected board. The board of trustees had already been intimidated into consistently voting as instructed under threat of loss of accreditation—so why now an even more powerful super trustee role? Because—like emergency managers now being appointed in many cities and school districts nationwide--this role is essentially that of a dictator who can take unpopular measures that would never fly with even a semblance of local governance. While the current special trustee Robert Agrella already has the power to overrule the elected Board, it was still inconvenient to have to put up with public board meetings and comments, as hundreds of people packed most Board meetings, under the impression that local democracy was still in place.
Away from the public and working in the manufactured “shock doctrine” atmosphere, super trustee Agrella will be able to speed up the downsizing of the college, cutting out students, faculty, staff, campuses and programs. He will be able to ride roughshod over the unions; impose a higher ratio of part-time faculty with downgraded job security, pay and benefits; open the door for more outsourced contractors; and conduct a fire sale of irreplaceable public assets to downtown developers—including the prize land parcel at 33 Gough, close to the freeway to Silicon Valley, and already zoned for high rise.
Just like the K-12 standardized testing madness led by the Gates Foundation, George W. Bush and President Obama, now the Lumina Foundation and the ACCJC are working on a “Degree Qualifications Profile” that will become the new standardized metric to measure community college “outputs.” Parallel to the Common Core in K-12, corporations will produce a host of profitable items pegged to these new national student learning outcomes: textbooks, canned on-line modules, standardized tests and (no doubt) eventually new merit pay policies for faculty. Under the pious talk about “deficiencies,” these are the real “reforms” that corporate and political elites are after. (In Making Reform Work, Robert Zemsky explains that George Bush’s education secretary Margaret Spellings introduced two measures: No Child Left Behind for K-12, and student learning outcomes for postsecondary—the better to run colleges like FedEx distribution centers. NCLB was written into law, but widespread opposition blocked student learning outcomes. Spellings, now the education director for the US Chamber of Commerce, keeps beating the drum. Despite the lack of even one legitimate research study showing that SLOs improve learning, the ACCJC makes bean-count style “student learning outcomes” one of its main demands, as community college faculty can attest.)
Although the commercial media constantly brays about “mismanaged City College,” the big headline is that the whole community college system in California is being eviscerated, while elites abandon even the rhetoric of social responsibility. In the last four years, a total of 3 billion dollars have been cut out of the statewide community college budget, 24% of classes have been cut, and 500,000 students have been pushed out (600,000 if the same proportion of the population were still being served). Locally, City College has already been cut back well over 53 million dollars in state funding since 2008, and the number of students has already been cut from 100,000 to 85,000 (and counting).
City College is actually being attacked not for its “deficiencies,” but for its strengths and its outspoken opposition to the business and political elite’s consensus vision for the California community colleges, called
the Student ‘Success’ Act (SB 1456, 2012). It is worth noting that City College and the statewide colleges do have real shortcomings, although these are barely mentioned by the ACCJC. Under a veneer of nice verbiage about improving student success, the California Business Roundtable and its allies advocate for a dramatic downsizing of California’s 112-campus network of comprehensive and low-tuition community colleges, by far the largest in the country. Shockingly, the ACCJC directly advocated for this legislation during the period when City College was opposing it. A greatly downsized system will mainly favor vocational training (read: publicly-funded training, free to businesses), with honorable mention for basic education and transfer, now a relatively small niche for suburban middle class students. This new rationing system will serve only those more privileged students who can rapidly complete vocational training, a credential, or prepare for transfer. The new narrow mission calls for getting rid of lifelong learning courses, cultural offerings, ethnic studies/diversity studies, civic engagement, and will likely downsize English as a Second Language—the very programs that have kept City College so vibrant and close to its roots.
Lifelong learning is caricatured as frivolous “Ukulele on Friday Nights,” while in reality most lifelong learning serves low-income adults with free classes, e.g. ESL classes, tai chi for elderly immigrants and parenting classes for low-income families, nutrition classes for vulnerable seniors, art classes for the disabled, etc.
Older adults, academically vulnerable students and discarded workers will be de-prioritized for registration and financial aid—in other words, thrown under the bus. In essence, the Student Success Act nullifies the promise of the California Master Plan of 1960 to provide an affordable and accessible education to all who can benefit. While officials rarely say these words in public, at one meeting special trustee Robert Agrella openly stated, “The Master Plan is dead.”
City College has always been a center of statewide resistance to this new restricted vision for the community colleges. The Board and Chancellor Griffin spoke out strongly against the Student ‘Success’ Task Force; 50 faculty, staff and students traveled to Sacramento to testify, with zero students speaking in favor; and the City College student body president Shanell Williams alerted students all over the state.
A corporate business plan masquerading as an education plan -
City College is a progressive institution with a strong faculty union, a three-decade-long tradition of equity for part-time faculty, and long-standing community and campus advocacy for student access and equity. The threat of closure is not really about failure to “meet standards,” but is an effort to discipline a progressive college and “bring down the big dog,” clearing the way for corporate-style education ‘reform’ statewide. Dis-accreditation is being used as a sword of Damocles to impose a corporate-led agenda to: end open access to comprehensive publicly-supported community colleges; open up a bigger market share for the sub-prime for-profit career ‘colleges,’ (whose taxpayer funding has been growing like cancer while the public colleges starve); jack up tuition to privatize education and force students toward predatory loans owned by the same big banks that brought us the mortgage crisis; bust unions and create a part-time de-professionalized faculty to administer canned and on-line curricula; remove governance from publicly elected officials; install an MBA-style administration with no ties to the community; and narrow the curriculum to create a technically proficient but politically inert corporate workforce. Interim chancellor Pamila Fisher put it like this: “We may save City College, but it will not be recognizable.”
The ACCJC president may be a bureaucratic dominatrix, but the question remains why political power in San Francisco and California looks the other way while she batters a venerable institution. The manufactured crisis at City College is part of a neoliberal strategy to downsize the public sector, transfer public assets to private hands, and turn education into a private market similar to what the US now has in health care. Responding to his campaign funders from Wall Street and the tech industry, in 2009 President Obama announced the closure of 5000 preK-12 public schools. This policy is now in high gear, replacing
public schools with private charter schools. Hundreds of schools are now being closed in Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, St. Louis and many other cities—overwhelmingly in African American and Latino communities being destabilized and gentrified. We have to deal with the sad fact that the upper ranks of the Democratic Party is all up in the privatization mess, with Senator Feinstein’s husband owning over 300 million in two major career ‘colleges,’ and John Burton—state chair of the Democratic Party—on the board of the University of Phoenix.
The first country to have a neoliberal makeover was Chile in the 1970s, when “the Chicago boys” under Milton Friedman came in and imposed a private market in education and the whole public sector, complete with a bloody coup. Now Chile is also the first country to mount a very strong movement for public education as a human right. Chile’s powerful student movement has caused the minister of justice to step down, sent other corrupt ministers to jail, and the Chilean branch of the University of Phoenix was recently dis-accredited as a scam. Here in the US, Chicago was the first city to experience the school closure strategy, under the Renaissance 2010 plan penned by then education CEO Arne Duncan along with the Chicago Commercial Club. Chicago also is now a center of resistance and teacher-community unity for equal, highquality public education and an end to gentrification.
The accreditation apparatus in California and in the US is deeply influenced by the corporate forces it is supposed to regulate, with a “revolving door” of leaders moving between industry and government posts. A primary leader of the accreditation process for the US Department of Education for over a decade—Vickie Schray--left her government position in January 2012 to become a vice president of the second biggest forprofit career college (Senator Tom Harkin called Bridgepoint “an absolute scam.”) The vice chair of the national committee that is supposed to assure the integrity of the accrediting agencies—Arthur Rothkopf—is a long-time industry lobbyist and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce (the lobbying arm of the Fortune 500), now on the board of a standardized testing corporation. Here in California, read the 300-page CFT/AFT complaint to understand how the ACCJC is undermining public respect for accreditation overall.
We are all City College. The College enjoys tremendous public love, respect and support, and we must step up and commit ourselves to activating this caring into a strong movement. We must defend comprehensive community colleges with affordability, access and equity for all; rebuild our college on a strong foundation of education justice; and restore and deepen local democratic governance. Spread the word that City College is now fully accredited, with transfer credits and financial aid fully in place. Attend meetings and actions of the Save CCSF Coalition, and deepen your commitment to building social movement unions along with student and community organizations.
Today the destructive neoliberal education strategy for K-12 is “jumping the fence” into the community college sector. The danger of losing public education is real—for our children and our grandchildren, our obligation is to step forward and build a strong movement now.
• Take City College off sanction—support our school, don’t close it!
• Tell local, state and national politicians to stand up and speak out for public education as a human right—or don’t come around later asking for our votes.
• De-authorize the ACCJC, now up for re-certification by the US Department of Education. Restore the public accountability and integrity of the accreditation process, end regulatory capture by industry.
2013-07-09 "City College of S.F. trustees lose power"
by Nanette Asimov from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/City-College-of-S-F-trustees-lose-power-4653640.php]:
State officials stripped authority from the elected Board of Trustees for City College of San Francisco on Monday and installed a "special trustee" with unilateral powers to try and save the school from losing accreditation in one year.
The dramatic move by California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris and the college system's Board of Governors followed objections from faculty and a plea from City College Trustee Anita Grier to let the board remain in charge.
But Harris and a unanimous Board of Governors made it clear that the trustees' time has run out.
"I envision taking action in a much more rapid manner," Harris said. "The decisions have been very, very slow. ... There are broken systems that need to be corrected, and there's a need to bring different people in."
Harris named Robert Agrella as "special trustee with extraordinary powers," meaning that he will decide how the college should spend its money, though he can't dismantle labor contracts. Agrella has served as special trustee for City College since the fall, but in an advisory role. He declined to comment.
The move "is designed to save City College, not preside over its closure," Harris said.
Effort falls short
City College trustees learned last week that their yearlong effort to save the school fell short. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges said Wednesday that the college of 85,000 students will lose accreditation on July 31, 2014. Without that license to operate, the college - one of the largest in the country - could receive no public funds and would have to close.
The commission said that City College had satisfied only two of the 14 recommendations needed to meet accreditation standards, and that its money management and governance problems remain severe.
So Agrella will establish "a really clear game plan for how we're going to meet each and every one of those standards," Harris said.
Ineffective leadership is at the core of the college's problems, the accrediting commission found. City College is on its second interim leader since April 2012.
Agrella will also appoint a permanent chancellor, though faculty will be able to interview finalists.
Harris said he wants a permanent chancellor by Oct. 1. Asked by board member Henry Ramos what would happen if no one stepped forward to take such a precarious position, Harris said that "outstanding leaders have expressed interest. ... More than one."
Just six of the nine state board members voted Monday. Deborah Malumed was absent. Two others were recused because they were personally involved in the turmoil that has gripped City College for a year and has led to labor strife, protests and fear in the community that one of the Bay Area's most valuable public assets will cease to exist.
In addition to serving on the state Board of Governors, Natalie Berg is a City College trustee, while Joseph Bielanski serves on the accrediting commission. They sat out the vote together in another room, watching the proceedings on a monitor. It's not clear what, if anything, they said to each other.
Defending the college
Before their vote, the state board heard from faculty and trustees defending the college's efforts and questioning the accrediting commission's motives.
"The problems at City College didn't warrant the extreme judgment," said Grier, a trustee for 20 years. "I'm firmly convinced that City College is on a stable path. ... City College needs policymakers like me to make the decisions for us."
The state board took a different view.
The experience at City College should "send a message up and down the state" that trustees need to manage the money and stay accredited, said Vice President Geoffrey Baum.
"You have to make decisions that aren't popular," Baum said.
And with that, the board told Harris to hire the special trustee and suspend the board.
2013-07-03 "City College of San Francisco Receives Accreditation Decision"
statement from City College of San Francisco:
(San Francisco, CA) – City College of San Francisco has received the decision from the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges today in regards to their accreditation status. The Commission’s decision is to terminate City College’s accreditation effective July 31, 2014, approximately one year from now.
College officials will immediately begin the process to request a review of the Commission’s decision per ACCJC’s policy on review.
During the review process, City College remains open and all programs and services remain accredited. Units will transfer, eligible students will continue to receive financial aid, and the College will continue to enroll students for the Fall semester, which begins August 14.
“We are disappointed in the Commission’s decision. We will be filing a request for review and will do everything in our power to have this decision reversed,” said Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman.
“What is of utmost importance at this time is that City College remains open, and instruction and services will continue. We want to assure our students and their families that we will serve them and continue to provide the high quality education that they expect from City College. We will continue to register new and returning students for the Fall semester and look forward to their arrival on campus in August.”
For additional information, please contact Jennifer Aries at (925) 784-0574 or email at email@example.com
2013-07-02 "California Union Cries Foul Over Accreditor's Document Destruction"
by Peter Schmidt [chronicle.com/article/California-Union-Cries-Foul/140095]:
The California Federation of Teachers has filed a federal complaint accusing the accreditor of community colleges in that state of shredding documents to thwart the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Education.
In a letter sent to the Education Department on Monday, the union amended an earlier complaint against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges with allegations that the regional accreditor had responded to the prospect of a federal investigation by adopting a policy of concealing its tracks and by discouraging former evaluation-team members from making incriminating statements.
[ ... ]
2013-07-03 "Save CCSF Coalition Rejects Legitimacy of ACCJC Ruling"
Today, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) revealed that they aim to terminate City College of San Francisco’s accreditation, though they added that the “action to terminate is not yet final” and is open to both review and appeal. The Save CCSF Coalition -- which represents faculty, students, staff, and community members -- rejects the legitimacy of this announcement. “This announcement clearly shows that the ACCJC is a out-of-control rogue institution that must be stopped by the Department of Education,” said CCSF Professor Wendy Kaufman.
The ACCJC is currently under investigation by the Department of Education, following the complaint filed by the California Federation of Teachers and the AFT 2121 union, which cited the accreditation body’s violation of Federal and State laws, violation of their own policies, conflicts of interest, violation of due process and lack of transparency. “Our city, state, and federal representatives must step in immediately to reverse this outrageous announcement,” stated CCSF Student Trustee Shanell Williams. More information about the complaint can be found here: [http://www.aftguild.org/hot-topics/CFT-Fight-Back-Plan-against-ACCJC.html]
It was one year ago that the ACCJC put CCSF on the most severe sanction, ”show cause”, despite the fact that CCSF has excellent educational programs and is considered one of the top community colleges in the nation. This decision is unacceptable, as has been the whole process over the past year. The Save CCSF Coalition calls on our college administration, San Francisco officials, and the Department of Education to step in immediate to overturn this overreach, which will further harm the students and community of CCSF.
The threat of closure has been used to force massive cuts in student programs, impose non-negotiated salary cuts to faculty and lay-off dozens of classified staff. This strategy to downsize and privatize public education has done great harm to CCSF students who are largely people of color, immigrants and working-class for whom CCSF is a lifeline.
We call on all labor unions, student groups, and community organizations to unite to take action against this attack -- which is an attack on all public schools in California.
Next Tuesday (July 9, 2013) there will be a March to Save City College in response to the accreditation ruling at 4pm starting from the Downtown Campus of CCSF On Wednesday (July 10) there will be a community meeting at 6pm at the Mission Campus. (more info below)
[signed] Save CCSF Coalition (July 3, 2013)
2013-07-03 "ACCJC announces it will pull CCSF's accreditation in 2014"
newsflash from Brian Riley from the "Student Unity Movement":
The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has announced that the City College of San Francisco's accreditation will lose its accreditation from that agency on July 31, 2014.
So far there has been no word as to whether officials at CCSF will seek accreditation from a different agency.
See also: [tinyurl.com/ccsf-google-news]
Full text of 2013-07-03 ACCJC letter by Barbara A. Beno to City College of San Francisco Interim Chancellor Dr. Thelma Scott-Skillman, made available to the public by the "Student Unity Movement" at [studentunitymovement.org/CCC/CCSF/Beno-to-Scott-Skillman_3_July_2013.doc]:
Dear Chancellor Scott-Skillman:
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC), at its meeting June 5-7, 2013 took action on the accreditation status of City College of San Francisco. The Commission carefully considered the Show Cause Report submitted by City College of San Francisco on March 15, 2013, the Show Cause Evaluation Report prepared by the evaluation team that visited the College on April 4-5, 2013, the letter from Chancellor Scott-Skillman sent to the ACCJC on May 20, 2013, and the testimony provided at the Commission meeting on June 6, 2013, by Chancellor Scott-Skillman, Special Trustee Robert Agrella, and Accreditation Liaison Officer Gohar Momjian. As part of its deliberations, the Commission also reviewed the 2012 Evaluation Team Report and the Commission's July 2, 2012 action letter addressed to City College of San Francisco, placing the institution on Show Cause.
After careful consideration, the Commission acted to terminate accreditation effective July 31, 2014. This date was chosen to provide the college with one year to deal with all of the possible ramifications of the Commissioners' action, including time to arrange for teach out agreements that may be necessary so that students will be able to complete their certificates and degrees. The Commission may extend this date at its sole discretion if it determines that conditions warrant such action.
The Commission action to terminate accreditation is not yet final. City College of San Francisco has the right to request a review of the Commission's adverse action in accord with the Commission's Policy on Review of Commission Actions. If the decision of the Commission, following the review, upholds the termination of the institution, the institution will then have the right to appeal in accordance with the ACCJC Bylaws. Failure to request a review in timely manner will waive the institution's right to appeal the adverse action in accordance with the ACCJC Bylaws, Article IX, Appeals.
The institution's accredited status of "show cause" will remain in effect until the termination action becomes final. If City College of San Francisco requests a review, then the institution will retain its accredited status until the review process of the Commission is completed. If the institution files an appeal, then during the period up to and including the pendency of the appeal, the institution's status with the Commission shall remain the same as it was prior to the decision being appealed, namely, Show Cause.
The Policy on Review of Commission Actions requires that City College of San Francisco send its request for review to the ACCJC, signed by the Chancellor and the Chair of the governing board, within 28 days of the date of this letter. In order for the review request to be considered timely, it must be received by the Commission on or before July 31, 2013. Otherwise, the Commission's action to terminate becomes final on that date.
The Commission also reviewed the Draft Closure Report submitted by the College and found it did not provide sufficient detail to ensure orderly closure, if the loss of accreditation would cause the college to close, including adequate retention of student records and transcripts, and the ability of students to complete their educational programs. The College is required at this time to submit a Closure Report to the Substantive Change Committee in accordance with Substantive Change timelines and processes so that it can be considered at the November 2013 Substantive Change Committee meeting and considered for action at the January 2014 Commission meeting. The Closure Report must carefully follow the Commission's Policy on Closing an Institution and provide details for how the institution is addressing its closure, as required by U.S. Department of Education regulation 34 C.F.R. § 602.24.
The Commission took action to terminate the accreditation of City College of San Francisco after a one-year period in which the college was placed on Show Cause and required to demonstrate that it had adequately addressed all of the deficiencies outlined in the Commission's action letter of July 2, 2012. On the basis of the College's 2013 Show Cause Report, the Show Cause Evaluation Report, Chancellor Scott-Skillman's letter, and the testimony provided by College representatives at the Commission meeting, the Commission concluded that the college is still significantly out of compliance with Eligibility Requirements 5, 17, 18, and 21, and significantly out of compliance with Accreditation Standards, including Standard I.B (Institutional Effectiveness); Standard II -- Student Learning Programs and Services, including II.A (Instructional Programs), II.B (Student Support Services), and II.C (Library and Learning Support Services); Standard III.B (Physical Resources), III.C (Technology Resources); III.D (Financial Resources); Standard IV -- Leadership and Governance, including IV.A (Decision-Making Roles and Processes), and IV.B (Board and Administrative Organization); and Commission policies on Distance Education and on Correspondence Education, Institutional Degrees and Credits, and Institutional Integrity and Ethics. Specifically, the Commission determined that City College of San Francisco does not yet meet standards I.A.3; I.B.1; I.B.2; I.B.3; I.B.4; II.A.1; II.A.2; II.A.6; II.B.1, II.B.3; II.B.4; II.C.1; II.C.2; III.A.2; III.A.6; III.B.1; III.B.2; III.C.1; III.C.2; III.D.1; III.D.2; III.D.3; III.D.4; IV.A 1; IV.A.2; IV.A.3; IV.A.4; IV.A.5; IV.B1; and IV.B.2.
The 2012 Evaluation Team Report, and the Commission's action letter of July 2, 2012, provided City College of San Francisco with fourteen recommendations that, if followed, would help the institution come into compliance with accreditation requirements. The College has fully addressed two of those recommendations (Recommendations 6 and 9), and has resolved the deficiencies associated with those recommendations. The College has addressed and nearly resolved the deficiencies noted in one other recommendation, (Recommendation3), which is expected to be fully implemented next year. However, eleven of the fourteen recommendations were not adequately addressed, including recommendations identified in the 2006 comprehensive evaluation as noted in the 2012 evaluation team report and Commission action letter. As noted above, the institution remains out of compliance with many Accreditation Standards.
While the institution and many of its staff have worked very hard to move the institution forward in order to comply with Accreditation Standards since the 2012 evaluation team identified deficiencies, City College of San Francisco would need more time and more cohesive institution-wide effort to fully comply with accreditation requirements. The testimony provided to the Commission by College representatives, and the Show Cause Evaluation Report, indicate that institutional deficiencies in the area of Leadership and Governance (Standard IV) have inhibited the institution's ability to move effectively and with appropriate speed to resolve its problems. The governing board has been unable to perform its appropriate roles and assume responsibility for united leadership, and its actions undermine the ability of the Chancellor to move expeditiously to make needed changes. The Show Cause Team Report states, "As reported in the Show Cause Report, and verified by the Show Cause Visiting Team, the Board still engages in behaviors that violate its own code of ethics and definition of roles and responsibilities. In addition, the Show Cause Report presents evidence that Board members have difficulty in delegating authority to the Chancellor, either by undermining decisions made by the Board or by interfering with the implementation of policies adopted by the Board." (Show Cause Evaluation Report, Page 77)
The evidence found in the institution's Show Cause Report, the Show Cause Evaluation Report, and the testimony provided by the college representatives indicate that disagreements and undefined relationships still characterize the institution's (new) governances system, and significant divisions in the faculty and in the wider institution prevent the institution from responding effectively to requirements of accreditation and providing a sustained quality education. Testimony indicated that, within the college, some faculty feel strong pressure, even intimidation, to defer to designated faculty leaders even when they feel that a different approach should be considered. While some groups work to make needed changes, others militate against change. The acrimony is evident in behaviors at governing board meetings among other venues. Two new governance groups created through Board Policy were intended to restructure decision making, but the Show Cause Evaluation Report indicates, "The Participatory Governance Council and the relationship between it and the Collegial Governance System has not yet been defined. The Show Cause Visiting Team found that no operating principles or processes have been defined for the revised governance structure. Through interviews with constituency leaders, the Show Cause Visiting Team found that some participants believe that decisions affecting the college are too rushed and too "top down." Some also believe that instability in the senior administration has led to some confusion in decision making and that the interim administrators may not understand the culture of the college." (Show Cause Evaluation Report, Page 76)
The Show Cause Team Report notes that, "The pace and substance of decisions has led to concern expressed by college constituencies (primarily faculty) that decisions have not been discussed and vetted adequately. However, in spite of turnover among senior administrators, including the assignment of two interim Chancellors, the decisions and actions taken by the interim administrators have been unified and, as presented in this report, largely effective thus far." (Page 62)
The Show Cause Evaluation Report notes that two interim chancellors over the last year have:
"focused on correcting the deficiencies cited by the Commission in 2012, as well as leading the college through a fiscal crisis." and, "Many of the elements of the standard (Standard IV) are met as it related to the CEO (emphasis added); however, the institution is only as strong as its leadership throughout the organization. Institutional effectiveness is not dependent on the CEO alone. It requires the collaboration and support of the members of the Board of Trustees who are elected to adopt strategic goals, institutional priorities and stable financial practices leading to a vibrant organization. It is the actions of college leaders, including those on the Board of Trustees, in the administration, and among faculty and staff that enable the college to embrace the values and goals leading to institutional effectiveness." (Page 62)
Nevertheless, active protests against the direction the college is taking, expressed at governing board meetings, and against the college leadership, indicate that not all constituencies are ready to follow college leadership to make needed changes in a timely manner.
Finally, City College of San Francisco has still not addressed, and appears to lack the capacity to address, the many financial management deficiencies (Standard IIID) identified by the 2012 Evaluation Team Report. The College has very significant internal control deficiencies that were largely unaddressed over the last year. The College contracted with the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) in 2012 and the team made 53 recommendations, most of which the Show Cause Evaluation Report found to be unaddressed as of 2013. In spring 2013, City College of San Francisco contracted with FCMAT for a second study designed to identify problems with financial processes and to inform an improvement in financial controls, but that report was not completed at the time of the Commission's deliberations. The institution's inability to identify the costs associated with all of its sites and centers, identified as a problem in 2006, still remains. The institution does not meet Eligibility Requirement 18 or Standards for financial accountability.
I have previously sent you a copy of the Show Cause Evaluation Report. Additional copies may now be duplicated. The Commission requires that the Evaluation Team Report and this action letter be disseminated to the College staff and to those who were signatories of the institutional Show Cause Report when the Commission action becomes final. This group should include campus leadership and the Board of Trustees. The Commission also requires that the Show Cause Report, Evaluation Team Report, and this Commission action letter be made available to students and the public when the Commission action becomes final. Placing a copy on the College website can accomplish this.
Federal regulations require the Commission to post a Public Disclosure Notice (PDN) for institutions placed on Probation or Show Cause, or when accreditation is terminated. The PDN is used to inform the public of the reasons for such a severe sanction. When the Commission action becomes final, you will be sent the proposed notice for City College of San Francisco. At that time, you will be asked to provide the College's response, if any, for posting. You will have approximately 30 days to submit your response.
Please do not hesitate to call this office for any assistance you need.
Sincerely, [Signed] Barbara A. Beno, Ph.D. President, BAB/cms
* Policy Review of Commission Actions
Policy on Closing an Institution
Substantive Change Policy and Manual
cc: Mr. John Rizzo, Board President, San Francisco Community College District
Ms. Gohar Momjian, Accreditation Liaison Officer, City College of San Francisco
Ms. Sandra Serrano, Team Chair
Ms. Martina Fernandez-Rosario, U.S.D.E.