The recent flurry of exchanges among U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Department of Education and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has made it clear that the ACCJC has the authority to give CCSF more time to retain its accreditation.
Its entrenched refusal to do so prompted Pelosi to demand that “… new leadership is needed at ACCJC.”
Just a few of the numerous examples of the ACCJC’s failed leadership:
The ACCJC now claims the “scope and depth of CCSF’s failure included academic quality and educational oversight.” What it fails to mention is that no one questions the high quality of education at CCSF, including the ACCJC’s own evaluation team, which said, “City College of San Francisco is commended for several exemplary models of demonstrated educational quality.”
The ACCJC claims its mission is to protect students failing higher education institutions.
What it fails to mention is that CCSF performed better on the state chancellor’s scorecard than any of the institutions of ACCJC commissioners.
The ACCJC claims it “moved to withdraw CCSF’s accreditation based on wide-ranging, long-term problems identified by peer institution evaluators.”
What the ACCJC fails to mention is that it is on its own show-cause sanction for being out of compliance with four DOE regulations, one of the four being that it violated this very principle of peer review.
The ACCJC failed to have a reasonable representation of faculty on the CCSF evaluation team, appointing only one academic on the nine-person team.
The ACCJC claims CCSF had “years of notice.”
What it fails to mention is that another one of the four reasons it is on sanction is precisely because it did not clearly communicate and identify deficiencies that CCSF needed to address. The ACCJC gave CCSF full accreditation in 2006, albeit with recommendations. It was not until 2012 that it identified deficiencies.
The follow-up evaluation team returned in April 2013. So, in fact, the ACCJC gave CCSF only eight months, not “years,” to come into compliance.
n The ACCJC claims that candidacy status is the only way forward for CCSF; however, it acknowledges that for CCSF to continue to have access to federal resources, the DOE would need to waive the normal two-year hiatus on eligibility for federal aid.
This is by no means a given and is probably one of the many good reasons why CCSF administration has strongly rejected this route. Despite the lack of viability of this option, the ACCJC continues to push for it. Why? To abrogate union contracts? To avoid the litigation in progress against it? To destroy the college and pave the way for developers to snatch up prime properties?
Thanks to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the ACCJC’s actions at this point are moot. A court injunction prevents it from revoking CCSF’s accreditation until the conclusion of the trial, which will occur this fall.
Herrera claims in his suit that the ACCJC is motivated by a political agenda. The commission seems hell-bent on proving him right.
Wendy Kaufmyn is a member of the Save CCSF Coalition and has been a CCSF engineering instructor for 31 years.