City College of San Francisco stakeholders joined in solidarity today to call on students to continue enrolling at the school despite accreditation concerns that could lead to its closure.
State Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, convened the meeting with representatives from the school’s administration, faculty, students and other groups associated with City College, which is facing a looming deadline set by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
The commission last July placed City College on “show cause” status, citing problems with 14 different aspects of the school, and required it to file a report by March 15 showing that significant steps are being taken to resolve the issues, which included having too many campuses and excessive non-instructional faculty costs.
If the school fails to show improvement, it could have its accreditation revoked and be shut down when the commission issues its ruling on June 10.
Ting, who called himself a proud former City College student, said “we are determined to keep this institution open and accredited.”
He said, “We’re reminding students who may have been wondering or thinking about other wonderful community colleges around the Bay Area … don’t enroll there, enroll at City College.”
School spokesman Larry Kamer, who came to the meeting on behalf of interim chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman, said City College has dropped from about 34,000 full-time students to under 32,000 in the past year, and said that reduction puts a strain on the school’s budget.
“Our belief is a lot of it is the focus and publicity on the accreditation issues we have,” Kamer said.
The latest bad news came earlier this month when City College special trustee Bob Agrella told the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges that the school will likely not meet the March 15 deadline.
Agrella cited remaining disagreements with the teacher’s union, which is unhappy about various issues including salaries, layoffs and the dismantling of the school’s department chair structure, which would reassign department chairs back to full-time teaching roles.
American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 president Alisa Messer, who also attended today’s meeting, said she did not want to talk about the divisions that still remain between the school’s administration and faculty.
“Today the message is really about what we agree on,” Messer said.
The various officials encouraged current or prospective students to apply by Friday, which is the last day to sign up for full-term credit classes for the spring semester.
More information about applying can be found online at www.ccsf.edu.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News