December 2013 Advocate – CSM Senate

CSM Senate opposes ACCJC’s decision to revoke CCSF’s accreditation


The CSM Academic Senate on November 26 unanimously endorsed a statement (shown below) in opposition to the decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to revoke the accreditation of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and supporting those who have been questioning the ACCJC’s practices, including the U.S. Department of Education and SMCCCD Chancellor Ron Galatolo. The statement was drafted by a subcommittee of the CSM Senate after they received a resolution on the subject being circulated by the California Federation of Teachers to community college Academic Senates around the state.

Statement of the Academic Senate Governing Council, College of San Mateo, Regarding the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and City College of San Francisco

The Academic Senate Governing Council of College of San Mateo finds unacceptable the decision of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to force the closure of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) by rescinding CCSF’s accreditation.  

The deficiencies cited by ACCJC in its accreditation report were primarily related to administrative and operational functions, and CCSF has made substantial improvements in these areas.  The quality of education furnished by CCSF was never at issue.  ACCJC identifies no problems in instruction or learning at CCSF, which is CCSF’s fundamental mission.  

Thus, the closure of CCSF is not justified; it will leave tens of thousands of students without viable or affordable educational options; it will also leave hundreds of faculty and staff without employment.  No good can come from this.  

We support our Chancellor, Ron Galatolo, who has recently articulated the troubled nature of the relationship between ACCJC and many of its member institutions, including the extraordinary frequency and severity of sanctions levied by ACCJC against California community colleges compared to sanction levels and types seen in other regions of the United States.  

We likewise support the United States Department of Education in its review of whether ACCJC is following nationally-accepted norms and standards of accreditations and sanctions.  

And we support the recently passed resolution of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (2.04), calling for ACCJC to make a clear distinction in its reporting between “action required” and “recommendation.”  

We urge ACCJC to preserve CCSF’s accreditation; to focus on the needs and interests of students; to aspire to fairness and accountability; and to foster a more collaborative and respectful spirit in its work with California community colleges.

    The CSM Senate has sent their statement to each of the other community college district Academic Senates in the state for their consideration, and to the President of the Academic Senate of California Community Colleges (ASCCC).

    The Board of Trustees is now considering passing their own resolution on the ACCJC to be voted on in January, and at their last meeting they expressed an interest in looking at the CSM Senate statement before passing their own resolution.