John Rizzo was the sole incumbent elected to the City College of San Francisco board of trustees in November.

For first time in 18 months, CCSF board of trustees to hold official meeting

The City College of San Francisco board of trustees will meet today for the first time since losing power a year and a half ago after the state's accrediting body threatened to strip CCSF of its accreditation.

John Rizzo, who was re-elected to the board last month, called the meeting “a big step forward” — even though local control of school affairs has not been restored to the seven-member board. At its Nov. 17 meeting, the California Community Colleges Board of Governors explored a plan that will return full authority to trustees by July 2016.

“This is the first opportunity [in] a year and half that the board will be together officially and having discussions,” Rizzo said. “There won't be any decisions made, but it will be a time for the board to actually start talking about things.”

CCSF trustees lost their power in 2013, when Robert Agrella was named a special trustee following the decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to revoke the school's accreditation the following year. In July, Agrella's position was reinstated through July 8, 2015.

CCSF remains open and fully accredited as it awaits a judge's decision next month following a trial over ACCJC's alleged unfair evaluations of the school. Separately, CCSF will find out, likely in January, whether it will qualify for restoration status, which would give it two more years to meet accreditation requirements.

Rizzo said a consultant is expected at today's meeting to provide training for the board. Training was initially meant to serve as the first of six phases for restoring authority to trustees, but at the urging of the trustees it will instead be incorporated into upcoming phases as well.

That leaves five other steps for the board before full control is restored, which will happen as early as nine months from now and no later than July 2016, said Rizzo.

Rizzo and newly elected trustees Brigitte Davila, Amy Bacharach and Thea Selby — Rizzo was the sole incumbent re-elected Nov. 4 — will be sworn in to their positions in early January. The new trustees will take part in today's meeting.

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