CCSF special trustee could be reinstated for another year

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoRobert Agrella

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoRobert Agrella

City College of San Francisco’s special trustee, Robert Agrella, could remain in his position for another year as the embattled school continues to fight for its accreditation.

The Board of Governors that oversees California’s community colleges will consider a resolution Monday that would authorize California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris to reappoint Agrella to his post through July 8, 2015.

Agrella was first placed in that role last summer after the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges voted to strip CCSF of its accreditation unless it met commission requirements. The decision was to be effective at the end of this month. Agrella had previously served as a mentor to CCSF as it worked to change its operations.

Since then, Agrella and CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler have helped the school reach “substantial compliance with accreditation standards,” said Paul Feist, the state Chancellor’s Office spokesman.

“The college is at a pivotal point in its struggle to retain its accreditation,” Feist said. “Under Dr. Agrella’s leadership and Chancellor Tyler’s leadership, the college has made a tremendous amount of progress in the last year.”

But some feel reinstating CCSF’s elected board of trustees is a better move for the college.

“Democratic rule is always better than autocratic rule,” said Tim Killikelly, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, CCSF’s faculty union. “We don’t think that the special trustee with extraordinary powers should be returned.”

Killikelly also pointed out that in March, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to pass a resolution calling for the re-empowerment of the elected trustees.

Meanwhile, multiple barriers prevent CCSF’s impending accreditation loss. Last month, an appeals panel ruled that the commission must conduct another assessment of the school. The ACCJC also offered a new policy that could give CCSF two more years to come into compliance with accrediting standards.

Additionally, an injunction barring CCSF’s accreditation loss stands due to an upcoming trial between The City and ACCJC. A motion filed by the commission to halt proceedings in the case indefinitely will be heard July 16.

Losing accreditation would effectively force CCSF to close.

Arthur TylerBay Area NewsCity College of San FranciscoeducationRobert Agrella

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