City College of San Francisco (CCSF), the largest community college in California, is facing closure due to financial and management issues.
The college, which has more than 90,000 students enrolled in various courses, is running the risk of being closed by June next year if it does not improve and fix problems of leadership and money.
In a letter written to the Interim Chancellor of CCSF Pamila Fisher last Tuesday, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges fixed March 15 as the deadline for the college to complete a "Show Cause Report" and explain the plan of how it will address the various issues including budgeting.
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If the community college loses accreditation, it will not receive any funds from the state government and will have to face the similar fate like Compton College, which was shut down in 2005 after losing accreditation. The letter also mentioned that "the college must make preparations for closure" if it loses the accreditation during the show-cause period.
The commission president Barbara Beno cited the college's "unrestricted fund salaries and benefits exceed 92% of the total expenditures excluding transfers. The remaining 8% is not enough for other operations and maintenance." She also mentioned about the lack of administrative leadership and education quality.
In 2006, an evaluation team had mentioned eight recommendations to be implemented by the college. According to current reports from the accrediting commission, the college has only partially addressed five recommendations, while the remaining three were never addressed. Now, the commission has come with a total of 14 recommendations that need to be attended to.
"It's a severe verdict, which essentially puts the burden on City College to make substantial financial and structural changes in a very abbreviated period of time," Reuters quoted college spokesman Larry Kamer as saying. "The task is quite formidable."
"City College is not closing. We are not going to let that happen," he added.
Interim Chancellor Fisher has announced plans to set up a committee that will include faculty, staff members and students to implement the accreditation commission's recommendations.
City College which was established in 1935 has nine campuses and is one of the largest public colleges in the United States.