Faced with losing accreditation on July 31, City College of San Francisco supporters are hoping for more time — and calling in political allies to pressure the accrediting commission. Ninety-five percent of the mismanagement and governance deficiencies have been corrected, college officials claim.
“The U.S. Department of Education is threatening to “limit, suspend or terminate” federal recognition of the accrediting commission that has threatened to shut down City College of San Francisco. The California Federation of Teachers, which represents faculty and staff at the college, had filed a complaint about the commission’s action.
Two-year college accreditation is toughest in the West, according to an Education Sector analysis.
City College of San Francisco will lose accreditation in one year — unless a special trustee appointed this week can resolve financial and governance problems. Closure is unlikely, but it’s not clear what entity could take over the multi-campus system, which has 85,000 students.
On many community college campuses, “corruption, cronyism, abuse of power, and fiefdom-building constitute business as usual,” writes Rob Jenkins, a Georgia Perimeter College English professor. Feudalism and Soviet-style dictatorship are the most common governance models, he writes.
Facing the loss of accreditation for mismanagement, City College of San Francisco has proposed an improvement plan that includes spending less on enrichment classes and collecting $400,000 a year in unpaid tuition.
City College of San Francisco could lose accreditation and close this spring, because nobody’s in charge under California’s “shared governance” model. Forty-six faculty committees develop policies that must be approved by an executive council — or a ful faculty vote.
Plagued with weak leadership and budget deficits, City College of San Francisco could lose accreditation and close within a year, stranding 90,000 students.