As of last month, City College of San Francisco is in restoration status, meaning the school has two more years to comply with accrediting requirements. CCSF officials have said the policy should “remove all doubt” about the school's future.
But school officials have also expressed concern about the restoration status, which holds CCSF to a higher standard than other colleges because the school must fully meet all accreditation requirements by January 2017. The school cannot appeal if it is found to be non-compliant.
There is, however, possibly another option for CCSF.
In his tentative ruling Jan. 16 of whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges unfairly sought to strip CCSF of its accreditation in 2013, Judge Curtis Karnow directed the City Attorney's Office to draft an injunction that could allow CCSF to proceed with restoration status, or require the commission to vacate its 2013 accreditation decision and evaluate CCSF anew.
The accrediting commission was also asked to provide language for the injunction, which both the commission and City Attorney's Office filed on Tuesday.
And a portion of the documents submitted to Karnow by the City Attorney's Office this week include a letter from CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the first piece of correspondence from the school's leader to Herrera regarding this case.
In the letter dated Monday, Tyler claimed that the accrediting commission “violated the law” and therefore CCSF would prefer that the court revoke the commission's decision to strip CCSF of its accreditation two years ago, as long as a “reasonable schedule for CCSF going forward” is established.
“Specifically, CCSF would request that the court revoke the 2013 termination action and direct the Commission to conduct an evaluation of CCSF in October 2016 as currently planned,” Tyler wrote. “However, that evaluation should be conducted applying the same standards as are applied to any other comprehensive evaluation conducted by the Commission, with the same rights of appeal.”
The letter is significant because it answers a question Karnow posed during closing arguments in the trial last December about what path CCSF would prefer: rescinding the termination decision in 2013, or proceeding with restoration status.
Karnow is expected to issue a final ruling on the case later this month.