CCSF delaying search for permanent chancellor in face of accreditation issues

Courtesy Photo“They have to focus on accreditation

The search for a permanent chancellor at City College of San Francisco has been halted to allow trustees and college officials to focus on keeping the school’s accreditation.

John Rizzo, president of the board of trustees, said that given all the challenges CCSF faces, the institution needs to find a long-term interim chancellor to help fix the problems.

“They have to focus on accreditation,” Rizzo said. “That’s something an interim would be more willing to do.”

Chancellor Don Griffin, appointed in December 2008, retired in April after revealing that he had a brain tumor.

Retired former Chancellor Pamila Fisher was asked to fill in until October.

In June, the board approved a $150,000 contract with Gold Hill Associates to conduct a nationwide search, according to a resolution from trustees.

But in July, CCSF received a scathing report from the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

CCSF must now go through a series of processes to keep its accreditation. An update on its progress is due Oct. 15.

By March 15, the college must submit a final report. Then the accreditation commission has until June to make its final decision.

Additionally, later this month CCSF expects a 65-page report from the Financial Crisis and Management Assistance Team outlining numerous flaws in the way the institution has handled its finances.

Rizzo said any candidate to be chancellor might have his or her own priorities for CCSF, but what the school needs now is someone with experience in California and at handling accreditation.

“A chancellor is someone on the upward track careerwise; we need an interim chancellor who has a lot of experience,” Rizzo said.

Rizzo said the college will use the same firm to find a second interim leader, who they hope will be in the position for at least a year.

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