Cooperation, Respect and Innovation: Pathways to Success

Now that CCSF has a new draft of our Show Cause report, we must confront a blossoming dysfunction in our community. What’s needed at CCSF now is more cooperation. We must work together to get through the challenges of Showing Cause.  We need to go back to basics, back to a foundation of manners. The atmosphere of intolerance that has crept into our community is unacceptable. We need to model how to work together to strengthen and nurture our most precious commodity: ourselves.

First, I urge each and every one of us to raise the standards of our professional courtesies from today forward. When we are engaging in difficult conversations, and these are trying times, we must default to a more mindful and conscious communication style than normal, one that is characterized by respect and courtesy. After all, we have to live with each other; we are a community; this is our college. Let us address each other kindly, affording one another the dignity and respect of a collegial relationship, so that we can look each other in the eyes when next we meet in Batmale Hall or MUB. Let us work to resolve problems rather than attack people, people who we will need to work with again in the future. This includes Students, Classified Staff, Faculty, Administrators and Board Members.

Every person in our community is worthy of dignity and respect.

Second, who are you fighting for? If you’re not standing up for our students, to make sure they have a future, a college to attend for the next century, then it’s time to regroup. Much needed fiscal reform and innovations are the demands of our times. We, CCSF, have to change in order to remain viable, relevant and sustainable for our students. Defending the status quo will not lead to innovations, fiscal reform or an equitable outcome for our students. It may have just the opposite effect; it may lead to the closure of our college. We have to organize ourselves in such a way that allows us to leave a legacy of empowerment for our students and community. I don’t want to be the ones that shut CCSF down—for any reason.

Today is the day to change your attitude and thinking about the future. It’s time for us to reinvent ourselves. We can’t continue to fight for chalk when we have white boards; as one of our nation’s largest public education institutions, we should be leaders in innovation; we should set the trend in cutting edge pedagogical approaches; and we should produce record numbers of educated people. That sounds thrilling to me. Where are our ideas, our risk-taking passion?

Lately, when I ponder our reactions to our current accreditation challenges, I have reflected on Lisa Delpit’s germinal work in Education Studies, “Other People’s Children.” Here’s what comes up for me: How many of us see CCSF as an institution that serves “other people’s children”? I think, How many of us would behave differently if we believed that CCSF was the destination of our very own children? Would we still be willing to put our accreditation at risk?

There is no question in my mind that if CCSF were the destination for our own children, then we would be behaving very differently now. Otherwise, how could so many of us so easily dismiss the problems CCSF faces and simply demand that our salaries remain intact, that nothing change, that our administration and board be disrespected and protested? The stakes are low, because suddenly, it’s only a job, and we fight solely for some rights and privileges (largely monetary) that ignore our obligations as public servants. We can callously dismiss ACCJC as anti-union and ignore the urgency of Showing Cause for Our Students, because, our kids don’t need CCSF. It’s a question of priorities: Keep the college open, or preserve the status quo.

Below is a series of Ted Talks addressing education today and tomorrow. It helps to consider what others are doing and thinking about the role of static institutions. If we are to preserve our institution for our students, then we should be far more aggressive in our attempts to redefine ourselves.




One response to “Cooperation, Respect and Innovation: Pathways to Success

  • Rodolfo Padilla

    Public Disclosure of Program Learning Results

    From Bob Pacheco, Dean of Institutional Planning, Research and Grants Mira Costa College and RP Group Assessment Chair. Listserv Moderator for Student Learning Outcomes Coordinators in California.

    Here is a message from the Chair dated Saturday 2, 2013 at 5:30PM.




    I couldn’t help but notice the email volleys on the public disclosure of program level outcomes results asked in the latest ACCJC SLO annual report.

    I wanted to share some information on what schools, organizations and accreditors are expecting on this issue. I do not know chapter and verse the ACCJC policy docs, standards and handbooks, but I will take a look soon and report back to the group what I find. In the meantime, listed below are some resources on the public disclosure of outcomes results that I have at my fingertips in my role as RP Group Assessment Chair.

    The ACCJC request is by no means novel, however, and in fact, follows the clear trend in outcomes assessment nationwide to place a premium on transparency and sharing of information. That is, the public has a right to know about our work in student learning, especially prospective students and parents who want to consider the rigor of faculty involvement in looking at learning and acting on the results as a factor in selecting schools. Moreover, faculty learn by examining the work done at other schools.

    Now what has been a snug pair of shoes to put on has been the short window of time provided to colleges to respond to the request.

    The issue of union involvement raised seems inapposite to the discussion of the disclosure of student learning results. Unions address working conditions, not academic and professional matters – and there are many nonunion schools in our region, and in a growing number across the country, nontenured as well.

    In the same boat as you,

    Bob Pacheco
    Listserv Moderator
    Dean of Institutional Planning, Research and Grants MiraCosta College"



    1. CHEA

    The Council for Higher Education (CHEA) issues annual awards for outcomes assessment and the degree to which an institution discloses success with respect to outcomes to the public is an express criterion when selecting winners.

    Sample award winners include Community College of Baltimore County which provides on the web executive summaries at the course, program and GE levels.

    Mesa College in Arizona, another winner, produces an annual report on results and improvements (including archives) on the web.

    2. NILOA

    The National Institute on Learning Outcomes Assessment has long been a proponent of full disclosure of outcomes results to the public and has created, in cooperation with the Universities of Illinois and Indiana University, the Transparency Framework for outcomes disclosure.

    The UI/IU study can be found at
    Model examples include Truman State and St. Olaf College

    Voluntary Responses to Accountability

    The Voluntary System of Accountability, a group of over 500 schools from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities has created the College profile which encourages the open disclosure of outcomes and achievement results. There are even comparison tools there.
    The private colleges and universities are following suit.

    Accrediting Agencies

    1. WASC Senior – while not an express requirement in the standards per se, public disclosure of student learning is a goal of the Senior Commission.

    The University of Hawaii , Manoa and Colorado State University report program and degree results on their web pages.


    2. Program Accreditors are expecting colleges to report the outcomes results, as well. The International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education requires public disclosure of outcomes results and even have a standard template. A sample from St. Thomas Aquinas College is here:

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