City College of San Francisco, faced with possible closure in July 2014, may have found a lifeline.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) has threatened to pull CCSF’s accreditation over concerns about its finances and governance. But according to the S.F. Examiner, a little-known clause in the bylaws of the ACCJC allows for a fresh review of its ruling.
Last month, CCSF submitted a formal request for review, but at that point it was following commission bylaws that seemed to suggest that the ruling could be reconsidered only under specific criteria. These criteria would require CCSF to demonstrate that it submitted erroneous information, that ACCJC evaluators made errors or displayed bias or prejudice, or that the commission’s final ruling was not supported by the evidence.
However, the clause in question allows for further action. From the Examiner:
But if the commission denies CCSF’s request to review the ruling, school officials can then file an appeal in which new information can be presented on behalf of the 85,000-student college. Under commission rules, any such information must be new and not available at the time of review. It also must bear “materially on the financial deficiencies identified by the Commission.”
If the evidence does warrant a review, the appeal hearing would be postponed until a newly appointed committee rules on the new evidence, the bylaws indicate. If the new evidence is strong enough, it could reverse the original sanction. If it’s not, the original appeal hearing can continue.
This suggests that CCSF administrators have until the date of an appeal hearing to straighten out the college’s finances — that work has already begun.