CCSF addressed ALL the Accreditor “Recommendations”

by Rick Sterling on July 15, 2013

According to the “Show Cause Evaluation Report”, produced by the official Evaluation Team, City College of San Francisco (CCSF) partially or fully addressed ALL of the fourteen recommendations imposed by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) on the institution in summer 2012.

This is in sharp contrast with the image which has been widely disseminated over the past ten days. For example, a Huffington Post article last Friday July 12 claims “The accrediting commission recommended 14 changes in 2012, but said the school has only responded to two.”

According to the Show Cause Evaluation Team report, CCSF fully addressed four of the fourteen, and partially addressed or was on course to fully addressing all the others.

At the bottom of this article is a chart showing findings, evidence and conclusions from the Evaluation Team regarding each of the fourteen “recommendations”. Readers are encouraged to look at the entire report where the Recommendations begin on page 66.

The following is apparent:

• The Decision of the Accrediting Commission does not match the Findings and Evidence of the Show Cause Evaluation Team.

• In two cases, the Accrediting Commission changed the conclusion of the Evaluation Team.

• The overall tenor of the Evaluation Team report is qualitatively different than the tenor of the Accreditation Commission decision letter. The Evaluation Report was positive about the high effort and success in rapidly responding to the “recommendations” imposed on the college just nine months previously. In contrast, the overall tenor of the decision letter written by the Accrediting Commission President Beno was negative and suggested that little had been done or accomplished.

Since last Monday July 8, Special Trustee Bob Agrella has become “Special Trustee with Extraordinary Powers”, supplanting the elected Board of Trustees and thereby making it impossible to fully address Recommendation 14.

At the same time, California Community College Chancellor Brice Harris has been calling on the CCSF community to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the appointed administrators in addressing the remaining shortcomings seen by the ACCJC. Is he suggesting that has not been happening? If so that does not seem accurate. ,as evidenced by comments in the Show Cause Evaluation Report praising the work and accomplishments of CCSF faculty and staff.

The Show Cause Evaluation Report documents the tremendous work and progress done at the college. This has been achieved while dealing with false media reports and sensational but erroneous FCMAT allegations. This has been accomplished while maintaining high teaching standards and simultaneously struggling to retain enrollment and campaigning to win public support for Measure A. By any measure, the accomplishments of the CCSF community have been remarkable.

The Show Cause Evaluation Team report stands in sharp contrast with the ACCJC decision to disaccredit CCSF. It raises serious questions about the Accrediting Commission, its secrecy, its evident bias and whether it is abiding by the Dept of Education regulations which stipulate that an accrediting agency’s standards, policies and actions must be “widely accepted” among educators and employers.

Recommendation Eval Team Findings and Evidence Eval Team Conclusion
Recommendation 1.
Mission Statement
“trustees instituted a timeline for review of the mission statement, which will take place at the board’s annual summer planning retreat”

“the issue of process would be addressed by the Chancellor with the Research and Planning Office”

Partially Addressed;
Expects to be fully addressed by end of summer.
Recommendation 2.
Effective Planning Processes
“The college has developed a strategy for fully implementing its planning process.”

“A defined timeline for planning activities, which includes clearly prescribed roles for those involved in the planning process, has been developed and has been followed.”

Partially addressed.
Recommendation 3.
Assessing Institutional Effectiveness
“Program review has been fully implemented for all instructional areas, programs, and support services. Program reviews have been completed for most programs across the college. A review of posted program reviews shows them to be thorough, addressing the college Mission, linking to measurable goals, addressing data, and including resource requests Addressed.
Recommendation 4
Student Learning Outcomes
“the college has made exceptional progress towards addressing this recommendation. Student learning outcomes have been defined for nearly all courses, programs, support units, general education areas, and at the institutional level.” Addressed.
Recommendation 5
Student Support Services
“Overall, the institution has made significant progress, although limited by resource constraints”

“Student Support Services has completed its plan for reorganization and the premises for implementing a one-stop support services model on the Ocean Campus and each of the centers”

Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 6
Human Resources Components of Evaluation
“A workgroup was charged with responsibility for taking the lead to develop and actionable plan”

“By spring 2013, approval was received to include a SLO component of evaluation in all applicable performance instruments for faculty, department chairs, classified staff and administrators with direct responsibility for student progress toward achieving the stated SLO.”

Recommendation 7
Human Resources Staffing and Planning (Increase the number of Administrators)
“The Board approved the proposed Academic Affairs re-organization in October 2012…..”

“the resultant recruitment and management hiring appears to pose challenges and continued reliance on interim appointments.”

“The concern … that there is a need for ‘staff and administrators with appropriate preparation and experience to provide the leadership, management or services necessary to support the institution’s mission and operations” is in the process of being addressed as a result of the administrative reorganization of academic affairs and student services.”

Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 8
Physical Resources
“The college assembled a workgroup to specifically identify all costs required to appropriately operate and maintain existing facilities and incorporate them into the college’s long-term planning and budgeting process. As a result of the college’s development of a comprehensive total cost of ownership (TCO) model, and pending completion of the model and its integration into the planning and budgeting process, the college suspended the Performing Arts Center. ”
“The TCO model remains a work in progress as the college continues to collect and sort data by center and major locations to better understand the total costs associated with operating each center and site.”
Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 9
Technology Resources
“The college has developed a comprehensive plan for equipment maintenance, upgrade and replacement that is integrated with the institution’s revised processes for program review, planning and budget allocation.” Addressed.
Recommendation 10
Financial Planning and Stability
The college revised its mission statement to identify the priorities …. to guide and focus a revised integrated process of program review, planning and budgeting”

“The college has taken initial steps to match annual expenses with annual resources by making adjustments to its 2012-2013 budget. This was accomplished with the agreement among all the collective bargaining union partners….”

Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 11
Financial Integrity and Reporting.
“The college temporarily increased staffing to support the timely completion of the year end 2011-2012 Annual Audit and State reports that are used to determine annual general fund budget allocations. To improve access to up-to-date budget information, the college purchased software to improve the systems necessary to provide accurate and timely financial reporting.” Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 12
Leadership, Governance and Decision-Making
“Board members, administrators, faculty and classified personnel have participated in a number of workshops and training sessions on college governance and roles and responsibilities in a participatory governance system.”

“The Show Cause Visiting Team found evidence of improved understanding of roles and responsibilities as well as a need for ongoing workshops and better practices by governance constituents.”

Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 13
Governance Structures.
“The Show Cause Visiting Team found that implementation is very much a work in progress. The Show Cause Visiting Team also found that the evaluation and development processes, conducted over the last year were inclusive, reflecting broad engagement among all constituencies.”
“It was clear to the Show Cause Visiting Team that all constituencies are sincerely engaged in implementation of the governance structure and that they are working collaboratively so improve decision making.”
Partially Addressed.
Recommendation 14
Effective Board Organization
“CCSF Board has participated in several workshops and other activities on governing board roles and responsibilities.”

“The Board has a schedule for evaluating its own policies, and has reviewed and revised its own policies that inform its conduct, roles and responsibilities.”

“the Show Cause Report presents evidence that Board members have difficulty in delegating authority to the Chancellor, by either undermining decisions made by the Board or by interfering with the implementation of policies adopted by the Board……. At the same time, Board members …. spoke to the commitment to change, noting that more recently their behavior at Board meetings and, as individuals, away from Board meetings, has improved. Other college leaders verified that claim.”

Partially Addressed.

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