Sacramento—Recent actions by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges have created the impression that City College of San Francisco has been “given more time” to address the problems the ACCJC identified and that have left the institution seemingly on the brink of closure. But a close reading of the ACCJC’s new “restoration status” policy, adopted last week over the objections of the CFT, shows that it is unnecessary and unlawful—in other words, business as usual for this unaccountable and destructive agency.
CFT shared this information in a July 1 letter with community college leaders from CFT president Joshua Pechthalt, and Jim Mahler, president of the CFT’s Community College Council. The Community College CEOs had earlier expressed concerns with the ACCJC and its tendency to ignore its own policies.
Detailed CFT analysis of the new “restoration status” policy has found it is unnecessary. Existing ACCJC policies allow it to extend time for colleges to meet accreditation standards for “good cause.” Despite numerous public statements by ACCJC officials that it lacks this ability, the US Department of Education has affirmed it can do so already; in fact the ACCJC has done so on numerous occasions for many other colleges, as noted last week by the Auditor’s Report.
The ACCJC has been forced to respond to growing public awareness of the false pretenses under which CCSF was originally sanctioned. Most recently, last week’s Legislative Audit Report confirmed that the ACCJC is inconsistent in standards application, lacks transparency, and does not observe accepted accreditation standards for site team composition and in appeals procedures, among other problems. The agency is maneuvering to present a show of fairness, under cover of which it is actually attempting to tighten its grip on CCSF’s future. But in denying a basic right of appeal, the new policy is also unlawful.
“Instead of digging City College into a deeper hole, the ACCJC should finally do the right thing, rescind its improper sanctions of the college, and start over with a new, fair accreditation review free of the violations of accreditation norms and conflicts of interest that fundamentally flawed the first review,” said CFT president Joshua Pechthalt.