The Future of City College

San Francisco for Democracy, together with The Noe Valley Democratic Club and the Upper Noe Neighbors, is sponsoring a panel discussion about the new situation at City College. The meeting will take place on Wednesday August 28 at 7:30 pm, and will address the issues resulting from the possible denial of accreditation in 2014 by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

This is a very timely topic and of great importance to all of us. We hope you can join several former and/or current City College Trustees and Faculty members, including Rafael Mandelman, John Rizzo and Alisa Messer. Steve Ngo has also been invited, as well as Special Trustee Robert Agrella, though the latter is not able to attend at this time.

Each panelist will have about 10 minutes to speak at the beginning. After the initial comments, there will be a Question and Answer Session ending around 9 pm.

Wednesday August 28 at 7:30
St Philips Church
725 Diamond Street
Between 24th and Elizabeth Streets
(Parking on the street or behind church off Elizabeth)

Hope to see you there!

NOTE THAT THIS MEETUP IS NOT AT SCHROEDER'S!

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  • Tom B.

    There are a core group of dedicated student activists on campus who have done a wonderful job of bringing this issue to the public's attention. Among them: Shannel Williams, Eric Blanc and Lalo Gonzalez. These and other student leaders organized the recent sit-in at Mayor Lee's office demanding that he defend our beloved City College. Although Dennis Herrera has announced his lawsuit against the ACCJC, the Mayor remains silent.

    August 30, 2013

  • marvin

    Thanks Tom for your response. I'm reading and will follow up on your suggestions.
    I'm at Ocean campus every morning and it's very sad that there is no
    student involvement there---any ideas?

    August 30, 2013

    • Wendy

      Really? That IS sad. Maybe we should send in reinforcements from Berkeley to show 'em how to be activists. :-) For my part, I've been handing out to my fellow dance students, even at East Bay dance venues, blue postcards (addressed to the mayor) in support of the college. I'm surprised how many people are NOT aware of the situation, despite news coverage. Once I explain the situation, they readily agree to sign and return the blue postcards.

      August 30, 2013

  • Tom B.

    Good questions. 1) we don't really know what the plan is because of imposed secrecy. The State legislature is auditing the ACCJC. Check out this 7 minute video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmMwEMrTh6w And the city is suing ACCJC to prevent closure.

    2) Agrella and others on campus are working on the campus appeal and presumably addressing all of ACCJC's concerns. But there is distrust of Agrella because at a recent press conference he said the trustees won't be returned to power any time soon and alluded to what may be a secret deal with the ACCJC to have them extend the July, 2014 deadline. This is troubling because the feds insist that all "deficiencies" (this is a technical term subject to interpretation) be resolved in a two year period and therefore even the all powerful Beno doesn't have authoritiy to go beyond that. 3) the community can ask questions of Agrella (especially yours) and submit 3rd party comments about the ACCJC to the Dept. of Education.

    1 · August 30, 2013

  • marvin

    I am new to SF and late to the CCSF loss of accreditation. I started taking classes last year. I was disappointed with how short on specifics the presentations were last night. Three elected CCSF Board Trustees spoke with shock about their recent forced removal, professors and former students spoke about the importance of CCSF as an institution, another speaker proffered that it was all a plot by private colleges and banks to get rich. The situation seems in free fall, with everyone hoping that the city and federal legal challenges will reverse the sanction. The response is very fragmented. At this stage, those, like me, who would like to help need to know 1) what is the plan of Dr. Bob Agrella, who is now in charge of CCSF, and what is the state and city doing 2) Who is working to address CCSF's deficiencies, assuming the sanction is reversed? 3) What can the public do?

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • Tom B.

    CCSF already deleted "lifelong learning" and "cultural enchrichment" from its mission statment. As to "big deficits" compelling the need to sell off real estate: - renting space in these facilities is a much better strategy than selling, because its reversable.
    -prior to the July deaccreditation letter, the budget was in the black, with a surplus of about $500,000.00, and an approved 8 year "fiscal stability" plan.

    -after the ACCJC decision and with the start of Fall enrollment, CCSF is experiencing a new crisis in declining enrollment of about 10% from last Fall. That equates to a NEW budget deficit of perhaps $20 million, thereby wiping out the $15 million annual benefits coming from Prop A.

    --Bottom line: the unreasonable sanctions issued by the ACCJC have done tremendous damage to the fiscal viability of the college. If it were not for the downward enrollment spiral caused by the de-accreditation decision, CCSF would now be in fine fiscal shape.

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • katie h.

    The panel that spoke was excellent. Thanks to each of the 4 panelists, 3 of which are Trustees elected to http://www.ccsf.edu/NEW/en/about-city-college/board-of-trustees.html. Learned alot. Rafael Mandelman, Alessa, CCSF Trustee President John Rizzo and Trustee Chris Jackson spoke well. I didn't realize that the current school board had been deposed; consequently they have no say whatsoever in what happens to CCSF. All decisions are now to be made by one unelected person, Dr. Bob Agrella doesn't seem to be working to serve in the best interests of CCSF as he appears to side against students/faculty: http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/02.20.97/news-9708.html

    Also Agrella was against AB 420 which passed in spite of his efforts to undermine it: http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/srjcadjuncts/state.html#3vendetas Because apparently he was against raising the pay of part-time profs in this letter he wrote:
    http://www.angelfire.com/ca4/srjcadjuncts/articles.htm Look at his track record.

    1 · August 29, 2013

  • marvin

    I have not read the detailed accreditation findings, but some questions jump out at me, like whether 8 separate campuses can be afforded. I have taken 6 classes at Ocean, Mission and Downtown campuses in the past year: all had 15-20 students, with room capacities to serve many more. The aggregate supply (of buildings, administrators, maintenance staff, instructors, etc) seems to exceed the demand. If tuition were raised from the current $46/credit, registration would probably decline. So, unless Government will continue to underwrite big deficits, the # of campuses will likely need to shrink for the others to succeed. How to achieve this, is a political dilemma. Beyond this, issues like whether CCSF should change it's current stated mission as resource for the entire SF area and instead only provide for credit classes for those seeking degrees, whether tuition should be raised for non-credit adult education, etc., require more study for the future of the college.

    August 28, 2013

  • Jeff W

    Oops! I have Pinter Wednesday night.

    August 28, 2013

  • Tom B.

    Wendy, Thanks so much for asking people to enroll for credit classes at CCSF to help save it. Your dance class sounds great. Even though I am retired, I did what you are suggesting: got my self admitted to CCSF as a credit student and enrolled in a Humanities class (Comparative Religion). The last data I saw said that CCSF's student body count this Fall is down 10%. That's a direct result of potential students believing the propaganda put out by the accreditation forces which keeps telling us the college is broken and will close down next year. It won't! Also, people don't understand that even if CCSF lost its accreditation next July, all work done at any level prior to that date would still be accredited and count as transfer work to another college. Tom

    August 27, 2013

    • Wendy

      Yes. I'm inclined to believe that. However, I don't know if it was the accreditation hit squad or an incompetent administration; but it is VERY discouraging to try to register -- even online! Added to that is the $50 parking ticket I got last Wed. even though I followed to the letter the instructions on the posted sign. Now I have to go fight that. They really do wear down anyone who's inclined to support them. Commuting alone from East Bay ~$12, then another $3 to park (apparently). So that's an extra $45/week to attend the classes there. On second glance, not such a bargain... But I will continue to support, nevertheless.

      August 27, 2013

    • Mike

      My reply is to Tom Brown who registered for Comparative Religion at CCSF this semesteer. I just took that class at CCSF last spring. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken. Bon chance! (I'm taking French this semester at CCSF)

      August 27, 2013

  • David George J.

    Wish I could make this but I have to work. Have a great discussion and brief us after with information please!

    August 27, 2013

  • Wendy

    Also -- If anyone is interested in taking advantage of the CCSF awesome dance program/classes (while they're still there..), NOW is the time to register -- preferably for Credit (which you can take either for a letter grade or for pass/fail), because that is the category of student that is being used for the artificial metrics. Apparently Continuing Education students aren't as valued. They need to prove interest by Credit students in the CCSF classes by 8/28.
    http://www.ccsf.edu/Schedule/Fall/physical_education#Dance_-_[masked]

    August 22, 2013

  • Wendy

    Thanks for putting this together. I signed up for 5 classes there; since 2 of them are on Wed. night, I won't be attending this important meeting. The more I hear about what's going on and the various tactics that have been employed, the more slimy it sounds. We really need to rally the troops and whip up support. Between now and 8/28, for any CCSF class you might be interested in (but especially for Dance), I would advise talking to the instructor first in person to get good information about registering, which section to choose, etc. Show up for any class the teacher is teaching and express your interest. It doesn't have to be the same class that you're thinking of taking. Bottom line: become a Credit student in the next few days, which are critical.

    August 22, 2013

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