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San Francisco City College Won’t Meet Accreditation Deadline

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San Francisco City College (CBS)

Students study solar technology at San Francisco City College (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — City College of San Francisco leaders need more time to come up with solutions to the school’s financial and management problems, and plan to ask for an extension on a deadline set by an accrediting commission, a school spokesman said Wednesday.

City College special trustee Bob Agrella told the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges at a meeting in Sacramento on Tuesday that CCSF will not be able to meet a March 15 deadline set by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, school spokesman Larry Kamer said.

The commission last July placed City College on “show cause” status and required it to file a report by March 15 showing that significant steps are being taken to resolve the problems, 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.

Agrella, who was brought on as a special trustee to oversee the college’s efforts to correct the problems, told the state board Tuesday that while the school has made progress in some areas, other issues are harder to resolve, including disagreements with the Federation of Teachers Local 2121 over salaries, Kamer said.

“We’ve got to fix the today problems and the forever problems,” Kamer said. “Time is what we don’t have right now.”

Agrella and interim City College chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman plan to ask the commission to extend the March 15 deadline or to acknowledge that the school has made some improvements and upgrade it to probationary status when the commission issues its ruling on June 10 on whether to revoke CCSF’s accreditation, Kamer said.

Probation would be “a passing grade, but barely” and City College would pledge to continue resolving its remaining problems, Kamer said.

The accrediting issue will likely be discussed at a special meeting of the City College Board of Trustees on Thursday. California Community Colleges Executive Vice Chancellor Erik Skinner is scheduled to join the trustees for a conversation about the school’s status.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the school’s Ocean campus at 50 Phelan Ave.

On Friday, City College staff and students plan to protest Scott-Skillman’s welcome address and denounce proposed pay cuts and downsizing of the school and its mission. The rally is planned for 9 a.m. Friday, also at the Ocean campus.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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