Special trustee expected to guide CCSF through process to keep accreditation 

click to enlarge A special trustee might be brought into City College San Francisco to work on keeping the school's accreditation. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • A special trustee might be brought into City College San Francisco to work on keeping the school's accreditation.

City College of San Francisco trustees on Thursday said they are considering bringing in a special trustee on their own as the school works to keep its accreditation.

At a board meeting Thursday, trustees worried that if they did not bring on help, it would be imposed upon them by the state, which could result in less control over the process. In July, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges released a report showing many violations at CCSF and made 14 recommendations for improvement.

“The possibility of an imposed trustee is very real,” said Trustee Lawrence Wong. “Many of us think we have the luxury of saying we don’t want one and we’ll move forward.”

A special trustee could act as a mentor and offer advice rather than take over full responsibility of the governing board. A special trustee was imposed on Compton College in 2005 because of severe fiscal trouble, and that campus ultimately closed after losing its accreditation.

No special trustee was appointed Thursday, as questions remained about who it would be, how they would be appointed and how long they would remain at CCSF.

The move comes nearly one month after Jack Scott, chancellor of California Community Colleges, visited CCSF and recommended the board take on a special trustee as the school tries to prove to the accreditation commission that it deserves to stay open.

“These individuals are able to look at the fiscal condition and suggest kinds of reductions you’ll have to make, that all the community colleges have had to make,” Scott said at the time.

Since the July report, CCSF officials have been working to meet the recommendations. The school has until Oct. 15 to submit a progress report, then a “show cause” plan for avoiding closure must be completed by March 15.

A vote to ultimately approve voluntarily bringing in a special trustee is expected to happen Sept. 11.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board also heard an independent review by the Financial Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which provided a summary and recommendations for the college to provide fiscal solvency. A full written report will be released Sept. 18.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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