The Continuing Saga of SF City College

by Brian Leubitz

San Francisco’s City College is massive. Despite SF’s population being just over 800,000, there were over 56,000 students enrolled in the system in the spring semester, with over 37,000 as undergraduates. But, despite that success in providing services to the community, times aren’t always easy for the district. They’ve been in an accreditation fight for the last few years, with the hammer coming down in early July:

Beset by mismanagement and unable to convince overseers that it had repaired extensive problems, City College of San Francisco will lose its accreditation a year from now and its elected Board of Trustees will be stripped of decision-making powers, the college learned Wednesday.

The decision by an accrediting commission allows the college of 85,000 students – among the largest in the country – to stay open until July 31, 2014, unless an appeal is successful or if the college can make enough progress to win an extension. (SF Chronicle)

The Board of Trustees has already been stripped of their powers and replaced by Special Trustee Bob Agrella. (You can read an interesting Q&A with him at EdSource… Where it all goes is still up in the air, with appeals still pending to the accreditation board, the ACCJC.

But now that very accreditation committee is under fire, and under a federal “Show Cause” order for violations of regulations and procedures.

In a delicious turnabout, the federal Department of Education has threatened to yank the accreditation of the ACCJC, the agency that is trying to shut down City College.

The move came in response to complaints by the California Federation of Teachers that the ACCJC is out of control and has failed to follow federal guidelines for site visits, conflicts of interests and other areas.(Tim’s SF)

You can read the full letter here… but it’s pretty technical. In the end, it doesn’t say that the committee is really “out of control” as Tim Redmond calls it above, but it does cast some of the same worrying tones that the ACCJC’s reports about City College used.

Look, City College clearly has some rather big issues. The finances are still in question, and one or more of the facilities may be closed by Agrella and his team as they work with interim Chancellor Dr. Thelma Scott-Skillman. But the system provides a quality education for thousands of San Franciscans every year, and the accreditation committee got this one wrong.

The DoE’s ruling on the ACCJC does not directly impact City College’s fight to keep their accreditation, but as Tim points out, it just may change a few minds there.

2 thoughts on “The Continuing Saga of SF City College”

  1. Like many other resources in San Francisco, CCSF hase been driven into the dust by incomptenece and mismanagement

    They kept building new campuses when they had no money for them.  A great idea, EXCEPT there was no money to build

    Additionally, City College is STILL offering FREE CLASSES

    In other words, they pay the instructor and all other costs and get NOTHING back from the students

    The trustees are basically a bunch of incomptents and opportunists.  One trustee (Mandelman) was a failed Board of Supes candidate who wanted an office. Is he qualified to run CCSF?

    One, Natalie Berg has been on the board for AGES (1996) and apparently never noticed they were running short of money

    The ultimate villian is the San Francisco voter

    Weve elected a slew of ifiots to the Board of Supervisors

    (see also Sheriff Ross Mirkirimi, Gavin Newsome & the 49ers)

    Wathc out !!

    The politicians of SF are going to run our own POWER COMPANY

    THAT should be well run and efficient !!!

  2. Is the CCSF Board of Trustees still getting PAID ????

    FOR WHAT ?

    They now have no duties !!

    The basic problem with CCSF is the incompetent Board of Trustees

    It should be abolished !!

    Let the Mayor appoint a CCSF President

    Save all the salaries and expenses of the Trustees

    Besides overspending and ignoring problems, WHAT do the Trustees DO ???

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