CCSF special trustee to retire; replacement to be named by end of month

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoRobert Agrella

mike koozmin/s.f. examiner file photoRobert Agrella

Robert Agrella, the special trustee tasked in 2013 with saving City College of San Francisco from losing its accreditation, will retire just weeks after the embattled school was given two more years to meet accrediting requirements.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to announce Agrella, 71, will step down.

“Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Robert Agrella for all he has done to support #CCSF in its recovery and best wishes for a well deserved retirement,” Harris wrote via Twitter.

At its July meeting, the Board of Governors approved a resolution authorizing Harris to reappoint Agrella as special trustee of CCSF through July 8, 2015, in place of CCSF's seven-member elected board of trustees.

Agrella was first given the role of special trustee in the summer of 2013, when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges voted to strip CCSF of its accreditation unless it met certain requirements.

But a lawsuit between the City Attorney's Office and accrediting commission led to an injunction that prevented the school from losing its accreditation until the trial was complete. Last month, CCSF learned that it qualified for restoration status, allowing two additional years to comply with accrediting standards.

Agrella will continue serving as special trustee until a replacement is named later this month, Paul Feist, the state Chancellor's Office spokesman, wrote in an email to The Examiner. He added that Agrella's retirement will not affect a plan explored by the Board of Governors in November to return full authority to CCSF's elected trustees by July 2016.

CCSF leaders expressed gratitude for Agrella's role in helping the embattled school get back on track.

“The college is in restoration thanks in no small measure to [Agrella's] leadership and he felt it was an appropriate time [to retire],” Feist said.

CCSF spokesman Jeff Hamilton touched on Agrella's contributions in an email to The Examiner, saying, “When he assumed full responsibility as Special Trustee the college was on the brink of closure. We are now in restoration and over 90 percent compliant with accreditation standards.”

Bay Area NewsCity College of San FranciscoeducationMy Brother’s KeeperRobert Agrella

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