By Carla Rivera, L.A. Times
San Francisco’s only community college will remain accredited for at least two more years in a reprieve announced Wednesday to keep the institution’s doors open for nearly 80,000 students.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges granted City College of San Francisco the additional time to resolve financial, academic and management deficiencies that had threatened to close it.
The commission, a private body based in the Marin County city of Novato, approved the plan at a three-day meeting last week after considering a new evaluation of the two-year college.
I don’t feel any relief that the restoration status was granted. It is a continuation of an unfair set of practices the commission has been involved in. – Tim Killikelly, City College of San Francisco political science instructor and president of the faculty union
“This is an important step forward for CCSF,” commission Chairman Steven Kinsella said in a statement. “Although the evaluation team found 32 areas of continuing noncompliance, ACCJC’s judgment is that the college, assuming a concerted and good faith effort, has the ability to resolve these issues within the two-year period.”
The extension comes as a San Francisco judge considers a lawsuit filed by the city attorney accusing the accreditation panel of acting unfairly against the college.
The commission’s latest action was “welcome news,” said City College spokesman Jeff Hamilton.
“It’s an acknowledgment of the extraordinary progress we’ve made as an institution,” Hamilton said. “We’re very much looking forward to continuing the work we’ve done to complete the transformation of City College.”
But some college defenders criticized the commission’s action.
Under a so-called restoration status, City College will be reviewed again in 2017, but the commission can still revoke accreditation without appeal if the college does not fully comply with standards.
That requirement is stricter than that imposed on other colleges under sanction and creates a double standard, said Tim Killikelly, a City College political science instructor and president of the faculty union.
“I don’t feel any relief that the restoration status was granted,” Killikelly said. “It is a continuation of an unfair set of practices the commission has been involved in.”
The reprieve was the latest move in a long-running saga that has pitted City College and its powerful backers against the little-known but influential accrediting panel, setting off national scrutiny of accrediting practices.