To: CCSF Community
From: Dr. Thelma Scott-Skillman, Interim Chancellor
On Monday morning, February 25th, I had an opportunity to meet with five students who had participated in protest activities last week and asked to meet with me. We had a frank discussion about the state of affairs at the College.
City College has worked tirelessly to reform itself in the eight months since receiving the Show Cause sanction. Processes have been implemented to provide for open and transparent sharing of information, and incorporating diverse points of view. Obviously there are some individuals and groups that disagree with the processes implemented to engage this college community in transparency of information and dialogue.
– Since August 2012, CCSF students selected by their constituent leadership – have served on all 15 accreditation task force work groups.
– CCSF held eight meetings last October and November specifically designed for student input. More than 300 students were in attendance and gave extensive input.
– Students have also participated since December 2012 in the newly established Participatory Governance meetings and voiced robust opinion there.
– During every board meeting since August 2012, students have provided public comments on accreditation matters.
– Students, like all other constituent groups have been encouraged to review the accreditation draft and provide feedback/comment through their leadership.
Unfortunately, the protests last week have brought even more negative attention to CCSF. Unification in CCSFs work efforts is necessary toward keeping its accreditation. To do otherwise does not do justice to the enormous work that has been done including the work of many students, faculty, and staff – to reform the College.
We Will Not Go Back to the Old Ways of Doing Things
Accreditation is the paramount goal. Keeping the Colleges accreditation wont happen without difficult choices and real reform. CCSF cannot, and will not, go back to the old ways of doing things.
The draft Show Cause report has been posted on the ccsf.edu website since late January and available for comment. This draft report will be presented to the Board of Trustees tonight, February 28 for action. The College community has had ample time for input and change over the last eight months to address the ACCJC recommendations.
The accreditation process will not stop with the March 15 report. There is still much more work to be done. An Accreditation team will visit the College later this Spring, and there are numerous reports and updates that CCSF will be providing the team.
Proposition A Funds Will be Spent As the Voters Intended
City College will utilize all Prop A funds precisely as the ballot language described, and exactly as the voters intended. The Board of Trustees has already made clear that it will not ask the City of San Francisco for a ‘bridge loan’ against Prop A funds. It is irresponsible to suggest that CCSF should pile on additional debt particularly given its current high indebtedness and recommendations from both the Accrediting Commission and FCMAT focused on fiscal solvency matters.
Since receiving the Show Cause report eight months ago, CCSFs position has been clear: CCSF will take responsibility for the problems cited: CCSF will take the necessary steps to fix them; and, CCSF will do so in a way that is transparent and inclusive.
What this administration will not do, and has not done, is blame others. Complaints about the accreditation process will do nothing to reform City College in a way that positions the institution for long-term stability and success.