We Need More Public Information about Where the College is Headed

Classes are in session at CCSF and most folks at the college are spending the majority of their time doing all the things we usually do as a semester wraps up it’s third full week. At the same time, the college continues to work toward meeting the October 15 deadline set by our accrediting commission.

Here’s a quick summary of that other activity:

  • Accreditation response work groups met almost every day in August and the beginning of September (see the schedule).
  • Students have been meeting and organizing to do what they can to save the college.
  • The faculty have been working to fully implement the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that help us better track and respond to what our students are learning and not learning — we’ll be spending all day on SLOs during a special professional development day, September 12.
  • The Board of Trustees appears to be on the verge of inviting a special trustee and of finalizing changes to the mission statement at their special meeting, September 11 at the new Chinatown campus (go here to see the agenda and to get information about what a special trustee means for the college).

So, with about a month to go till we have to submit our first report to the commission, we will be focusing on a new mission, probably working with a special trustee, and should be holding ourselves accountable for student learning more thoughtfully and systematically.

But, a lot of important issues are still not clear or resolved. Chief among these:

  • What will our budget look like?
    There are lots of rumors/ideas about reducing classes and/or programs, reducing the amount of money the college pays for non-instructionally related work, closing campuses, and many other things — but no concrete plan in public. When will we see it?
  • What will our organizational structure be?
    Again, there are plenty of rumors/ideas, including eliminating or reducing the number of department chairs and reducing the number of committees at the college — but nothing in public, not even a schematic idea, about what the structure might look like.

City College is a crucial, irreplaceable resource in our community. Since the college is facing dramatic changes, the community is watching closely and, if we can’t tell where the college is headed, rumors fly. Rumors tend to exaggerate risks and to increase fear.

The need for information and accountability increases when the stakes are higher. To reduce the anxiety and promote transparency and participation, the college needs to systematically and regularly (probably at least weekly) publish updates and other information about the college’s path through the accreditation crisis.

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