College accrediting commission for California ousted (San Francisco Chronicle)California Dumps Community College Accreditor after Fight over S.F. City College (AllGovCal)
In a major shift for California community colleges, the system’s Board of Governors voted Monday to oust the controversial accrediting commission that has overseen campus quality for half a century and is threatening to shut down City College of San Francisco.
The change could take years and is not expected to derail the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ efforts to require City College to comply with numerous standards or lose accreditation.
“The Board of Governors is looking to the future needs of our colleges and striving to ensure the highest level of quality for the 2.1 million students we serve,” board President Geoffrey Baum said in a statement after the vote. “There is widespread agreement among faculty, staff, trustees and other leaders within our system that the current accreditation process needs significant improvement. We look forward to examining a proposal for change early next year.”
Meeting at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, near Los Angeles, the governing board for the nation’s largest community college system ignored a last-minute plea by the accrediting commission’s chairman, Steve Kinsella, who argued that the group has changed its ways and is now more focused on improving college quality than on forcing compliance with every regulation.
ACCJC's Barbara Beno: "arrogant"
“You’re looking at old information,” said Kinsella, noting that the accrediting commission is “shifting to focus on quality improvement.” At the same time, he warned the board, “If you think you’re getting away from regulatory compliance, I think you’re mistaken.”
On Monday, the Board of Governors voted 14-0 to direct state Chancellor Brice Harris to create a plan to replace the commission and come up with a timeline by its March meeting. State officials say any new accreditor would be phased in, a process that could take years because each of the state’s 113 colleges is reviewed for accreditation every six years. A shift to a new accreditor will also require a lengthy approval process by the U.S. Department of Education. The private, independent commission is one of six regulated by the U.S. Department of Education….
...A press release from the city attorney’s office, which sued the commission to block the loss of accreditation, said: “The accrediting body's political agenda—shared by conservative advocacy organizations, for-profit colleges and student lender interests—represents a significant departure from the abiding ‘open access’ mission repeatedly affirmed by the California legislature and pursued by San Francisco's Community College District since it was first established.”....