Bring it, sunshine is truth's friend.
It appears at least that over the past 12 years CCCS-wide, ACCJC broke (or coerced CCD CEOs/Boards to break) their own adopted Policies (esp. conflict of interest), Code of Federal Regulations governing USDOE-recognized regional accrediting agencies (see USDOE report & limited definition of accreditors role in ensuring academic quality only), various CA state laws, CA Code of Regs. (CCR Title 5, ACCJC Eligibility "Standard" IV is entirely about governance: increasing upper-management, busting up unions, violating CBAs, marginalizing Academic Senates' critical advisory role in academic policy formation, illegally excluding students & staff), various CA regulations in Education & Government Code, and usurped CA's well-defined State Legislature, BOG/CCCCO, & CCD's rights to make state & local public higher education policy. In CA or SF versus the ACCJC, my money is on the home team.
One thing that many of the out-of-state & recently-transplanted ideologues simply didn't (don't) factor in is that Californians are very wary of external agendas being imposed on our state's affairs, and San Franciscans cherish local control across the partisan spectrum, from capitalist to commie to the mainstream in-between.
Had more information been public about the Bay Council's role in forcing an unnecessary 2nd BART strike despite being close to agreement to run down transit unions' political capital, needlessly killing 2 people trying to replace skilled trades workers with a (scab) management trainee-driver, regional public opinion toward BART management would have mirrored that directed toward House Republicans for shutting down the federal government in exactly the same fashion.
This effort against CCSF has been an arrogant overreach, given 12 years of facts in public records thanks to CA state sunshine laws, that appears airlifted in prefabricated, without any thought to context, the public interest, San Francisco, local employer needs, or public sentiment toward CCSF (Measure A got 73.9% of the SF vote in 11/2012, trolls). Glad that this agenda's backers don't understand the public sector or higher education industry nearly as well as their corporate (as distinct from "business") ideology led them to believe. Crony capitalism, equally hated by free market capitalists as by progressives.
Because the City & County of SF, SFCCD employees, CCSF students, and San Francisco taxpayers are different parties with different standing on different issues. Specifically, violations of California laws and codes of regulations must be settled in state court, which is potentially far more extensive than violations of federal ones.
Despite USDOE's ability to sanction or decertify the ACCJC completely as a regional accrediting body in light of the 4 areas of federal regulations violated in the Commission's review of SFCCD specifically, and possible further systemic, state-wide areas of non-compliance, those two actions are their only options.
As recently reported here, it is ACCJC who is stalling court proceedings, in an attempt to defer a California judicial ruling before USDOE determines whether to rescind their certification August 2014, rendering the point legally moot. As in all legal stalling strategies, it makes it a battle of pocket depth, favoring the privately funded ACCJC over the City & County of SF, employees, students, and San Franciscans.
The 2009-2012 AFT2121 contract starts full-time, tenure-track, 1st year faculty with a Masters salaried at under $54k/year at 1.0 FTEF, maxing out at under $96k/year for FT TT faculty holding a Doctorate with decades of service. While FT faculty do qualify for health benefits, pensions, and retiree health benefits, it is industry standard practice nationally, and SFCCD & the employee both contribute. Counting health benefits as cash income belies the fact that health insurance can not be used for food, rent/mortgage, or transportation. Further, the substantial hours that faculty put in for lesson planning, preparation, and grading are all uncompensated, so it is fallacious to pretend as though faculty only work while lecturing in a classroom, which has prompted the IRS to begin counting those hours toward determining FT vs. PT employment starting next year, in part because studies show that student learning suffers when taught by temporary contract adjuncts, compared with the same professor with working conditions comparable to FT faculty.
Sabbaticals one semester per 3.5 years and summer professional development are as necessary for the professoriate to remain current in their field as CEUs for physicians in a clinical setting, practicing attorneys, credentialed teachers, LCSWs, LVNs, RNs, NPs, and clinical & counseling psychologists with an MFT. As one of the lowest compensated professions that someone with a doctorate can engage in, community college faculty often spend their summers teaching for 1-2 extra course sections, working a job elsewhere (sometimes service sector for adjuncts), or consulting for government or industry in a handful of disciplines (primarily in the sciences, business, economics, metric subfields of sociology & political science). "Overload" is academic speak for "overtime", as it is a standard practice to compensate hours beyond FT at 150% across the economy, so not exactly the perk or cash hand-out portrayed, and an area of the personnel budget of a CCD that expands massively during the 2-3 years of accreditation review every 6 year cycle, thanks to the ACCJC.
It's specious to imply that the parallel efforts of the Academic Senate, administrators, new Chancellor, and Special Trustee to appeal ACCJC's Notice of Closure through standard channels are somehow incompatible with the Save CCSF Coalition's mobilization of concerned San Franciscans, CFT/AFT's credible complaints to USDOE, or SF City Attorney Herrera's suits over illegally coercive back-room policymaking by ACCJC, usurping the legal role of the State Legislature & Board of Governors for CCCs. If USDOE & the state judiciary are taking these matters seriously, their expertise & judgement clearly trumps any layperson.
Special Trustee Agrella was charged by the CCCCO & BOG to regain accreditation by any means necessary, so institutional resources are squarely focused on this immediate crisis, including service by faculty also protesting ACCJC's zero-to-closure sanctions & lack of federally regulated due process with Save CCSF on their own time. Further, the ACCJC appeal's Accreditation Committees are monopolizing the time of administrators and committee service loads (& overloads) of faculty that could instead be working on the core issues facing the CCD, trying to radically reshape the college to meet the "standards" of an accreditor that may not exist come 1 August 2014 if USDOE decertifies them. This is a pattern that has been repeated for 2-3 years per 6 year cycle state-wide for the past 12 years. Regardless, due to all this media attention and governmental oversight, even if ACCJC survives, it will be a political necessity to either grant a 1 year extension before closure, or downgrade sanctions to Probation, Warning, or Show Cause, as specifically instructed by USDOE.
As for "$1 billion" in deferred maintenance, cite a source. While there is a substantial amount, this is the first time I've encountered that specific number. Under sound management by a non-interim administration, capital bond monies should be allocated for any facilities and capital improvement costs, rather than raiding the General Fund, which is in part the operating budget for the offering course sections needed to both attract & retain students looking for timely graduation/transfer, and to preserve state-funding levels pegged to Full-Time Enrolled Students (FTES). All this misleading bad press about CCSF's supposed loss of accreditation has already lead to 12-15% enrollment drops each cycle, losing SFCCD tens of millions in state funding by dropping a tier in size.
To those that compare CCSF to Stanford, specifically % of annual budget spent on personnel, retiree pensions, and benefits, thank you for demonstrating why the hubris of the managerialist, corporatist, & neoliberal assumptions that management is a transferably skilled profession applicable to all industries and all sectors is so dangerous when applied to complex public institutions producing a public good such as education. Calling faculty overload a "benefit", for example, is simply ignorant, as overload means overtime, and with a time-sensitive existential deadline approaching, as many commentors have been calling for devoting more energy to the ACCJC's formal appeal process.
As a cultural sector employer myself, I'd have no business if I micromanaged the creatives' processes, or assumed that my understanding of technical aspects of production was superior to skilled, trained, and experienced specialists. One thing that makes me good at what I do is speculating on human capital, and granting creatives autonomy of process within a structure that reliably delivers the desired product at high quality. Have minimal managers also prevents a layer of self-serving executives from adding cost without value, and distancing me from decision-making in a business that is entirely my investment, as growing executive power in publicly traded companies since the 1980's has done in separating shareholders from the corporations they own. The reason that I have characterized many of the comments here as anarcho-capitalists is that they argue the rule of law passed by our democratically-elected representatives or direct referendum via ballot initiatives should be ignored, violated, or eliminated entirely, in favor of running a non-profit public college like a for-profit large corporation (never like a small/local business, though, where community relationships are vital to success), which has never been demonstrated to increase the quality of education offered. If I ran around ignoring laws & regulations I disagreed with, yet relied on the public court system to enforce my contracts, while denying employees the right to do so also, I'd both a hypocrite and open to serious liability.
A very selective, elite, private research university and an open-admissions, 2-year, public, community teaching college's % of budget spent on personnel are meaningless apples and oranges, esp. out of context. Stanford University was created with a generous private endowment that has been built over the years through donations from successful alumni, government funding, industrial research, legacy gifts, endowed chairs, named buildings for capital improvements, and substantial tuition compared with the even the elite public sector. Further, CA community colleges, like CSU & UC, have statutorily defined missions and purviews, enshrined in extensive codes & regulations from the State and board & administrative policies from the system, prior to any institutional discretion.
In the philanthropic world of higher education, community college alumni who transfer for a Bachelors tend to donate to their undergrad institution, not the 2-year that got them there. As teaching and research institutions have completely different economic models, the former focused strictly on educating students, the latter jockeying for position in the rankings tables which are based on research output, the most prestigious grants for governmental & industry-funded research, number of citations to university faculty's publications, institutes & centers, training graduate students, perception among peers, and other indicators of research productivity or quality.
The following is the statutory Mission primary & secondary missions for CA community colleges from CA State Ed. Code. Write your State Legislators if you actually want it changed:
66010.4(a)(1) The California Community Colleges shall, as a primary
mission, offer academic and vocational instruction at the lower
division level for both younger and older students, including those
persons returning to school. Public community colleges shall offer
instruction through but not beyond the second year of college. These
institutions may grant the associate in arts and the associate in
(2) In addition to the primary mission of academic and vocational
instruction, the community colleges shall offer instruction and
courses to achieve all of the following:
(A) The provision of remedial instruction for those in need of it
and, in conjunction with the school districts, instruction in English
as a second language, adult noncredit instruction, and support
services which help students succeed at the postsecondary level are
reaffirmed and supported as essential and important functions of the
(B) The provision of adult noncredit education curricula in areas
defined as being in the state's interest is an essential and
important function of the community colleges.
(C) The provision of community services courses and programs is an
authorized function of the community colleges so long as their
provision is compatible with an institution's ability to meet its
obligations in its primary missions.
(3) A primary mission of the California Community Colleges is to
advance California's economic growth and global competitiveness
through education, training, and services that contribute to
continuous work force improvement.
(4) The community colleges may conduct to the extent that state
funding is provided, institutional research concerning student
learning and retention as is needed to facilitate their educational
What RobertoRobot2 & JohnD have written are important points, and matters of factual public record. For those of you clearly new to SF, like the rest of CA we have open meetings, records, & other Sunshine laws, and as the capitol of the tech sector, our public bodies including SFCCD post these public records online in easily searchable or browseable places. AFT2121 & SEIU1021 contracts are publicly available once agreed & adopted, as well. So take some personal responsibility for your ignorance and remedy it by at least acquainting yourselves with the facts before making counterfactual assertions that discredit your intended point in public discourse.
Additionally, there are rules governing California Community Colleges enshrined in both federal & state law, the CFR, the CCR, Education & Government Codes that no elected official or administration can legally violate, full stop. If you don't like them, write your State Legislators. Encouraging the SFCCD Chancellor (once Special Trusteeship is over) or elected Board of Trustees to break laws or regulations leaves them open to criminal prosecution and civil liability, so even setting civics aside, it would be a foolish business decision to potentially face multi-million dollar non-compliance fines from the state, civil suits from employees & students, ADA/504 compliance class action suits by disabled students, ULPs by breaking CBAs & NLRA, and other penalties during a time of lowered revenues.
Finally some facts: USDOE found that ACCJC had broken “federal law, state law and their own guidelines” in reviewing CCSF in response to CFT's complaint, USDOE will decertify ACCJC as a regional accreditor no later than August 2014 unless it gets into full & systemic compliance immediately, the faculty union's supposed "greed" has nothing to do with the current financial woes of CCSF, many mismanagement & planning issues arose in 2008 due to the string of Interim Administrations needed following former CCSF Chancellor Philip Day & 2 other chief administrators' indictments over multiple felony charges to which they plead guilty, there are no deficiencies in an academic quality which is above-average for the system state-wide & praised even in the ACCJC Closure Report, AFT2121 opted to defer contractually-entitled raises for 5 years straight to ensure adequate course offerings during the downturn (ensuring comparable state funding based on enrollment), AFT2121 negotiated a voluntary further 2.85% pay-cut for '12-'13 before the Interim Chancellor & Special Trustee imposed a further 5% one by fiat, and no credible party has asserted that these are not matters of fact other than largely anonymous online commentors, a couple of fairly new non-profit think tanks funded by the student loan industry, and a few opinion pieces in the corporate press. The United States DOE, State Legislature's Joint Audit Committee (Republicans included), state CCC Chancellor's Office, state Board of Governors for CCC's FCMAT, SF City Attorney, and SF Board of Supervisors are taking these facts seriously, though they may have come to different conclusions about next best steps.
As a native, I have seen CCSF's positive win-win-win impact on the San Francisco & Greater Bay Area economies over decades, for first-time students that can then enter the labor market after learning a skilled trade or earning an academic degree, for post-baccalaureate workers affordably upgrading their tech skills or preparing for grad school, for businesses of all sizes in continually educating the region's workforce, and for the public sector through training essential civil servants like EMTs, nurses, firefighters, & police, providing ESL & Basic Skills education to immigrants & re-entry students, allowing taxpaying customers to raise their incomes, increasing the state & city revenue base, decreasing lifetime reliance on public social welfare programs, and increasing their households' discretionary income, consumption, savings, and ability to invest.
As an employer myself, I rely on institutions like CCSF to train potential employees, as well as educating potential customers, and though one might not know it from newspaper comments sections, there is a strong consensus in the local and/or small business community that CCSF is one of the most vital economic institutions in the region, esp. in the long-term, even among Republican & Libertarian employers. Due to the fact that I have literally only heard the views on CCSF expressed in these comments sections from highly paid young tech workers recently transplanted from elsewhere that appear to be ideologically anarcho-captalist, rather than the more pragmatic & mature minarchist Libertarians that have always been a part of the business community, I'd have to agree that these comments sections appear to be filled with astroturf.
If you dislike the culture, values, society, laws, and institutions of San Francisco (& Northern/Coastal California) so very much, please do leave for some locality that shares your values. San Diego or Orange County may prove more hospitable culturally, are perfectly lovely areas of California located near major metropolii, and have world-class research universities. If you aren't even living or working in SF or California at all, and are indeed a paid corporate schill or ideologue of the Koch Brothers stripe, please respect our state's right to self-determination by the local electorate. Some of the anti-democratic sentiments expressed here are deeply disturbing, regardless of party affiliation or belief system.
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