Sunday, January 05, 2014
[I]t’s politically impossible that City College of San Francisco will actually, for real, close in a year. It’s not going to happen.
I say this with no special or privileged insight into the inner workings of CCSF. I know it has over 80,000 students. That’s enough.
City College would be forced to shut down if it lost its accreditation. The college’s closure would be “catastrophic,” [Judge] Karnow said, and would have an “incalculable” impact on its 80,000 students, faculty, staff and the city’s economy.In his decision, the judge noted that the college’s enrollment has dipped 20 percent during the accreditation crisis.“Given the fact that the balance of harm tips sharply, strikingly, indeed overwhelmingly, in favor of the interests represented by the City Attorney, this is enough to authorize preliminary relief,” wrote Karnow.
The injunction may be the signal to shift the discussion in a more useful direction. I hope it is. In the meantime, I’ll count last July’s prediction as fulfilled.
I think so too but would put a slightly different emphasis on the issue: the Great Recession has made tuition, student loans, and university spending a much bigger (and still growing) issue. When college costs were low, or relatively low, it was pretty easy to ignore some of the long-term problems in higher education. But as tuition costs have gone up and loan burdens have increased, those issues get harder and harder to ignore.
That's especially true in conjunction with your observations about hiring.
Wow. I have to disagree with this strange stereotype. All the conservatives I know (as well as all my liberal friends) believe very strongly in the dream of upward mobility, for themselves and for their children. Similarly, all the liberals (as well as all the conservatives) believe that economic outcomes should match moral merit.
No one I know believes that merely attending college, or making a college education available, will satisfy either of these.
I don't know enough about ancient history to even guess what happened to tuition during the Great Depression. Did it change as much as it has subsequent to the 2008 Depression? What were the different dynamics at work?
Thanks for the poli sci reminder that even the judiciary is part of the political system, but it still remains to be seen if the accrediting agency itself is subject to those same forces.
I'm concerned that the judge in this case bought into the disaster scenario painted by the city attorney far too easily. It's important to note that California has a model for what happens to a community college that is stripped of its accreditation: Compton College (2006). In fact CCSF's new chancellor was the special trustee that led Compton College through its loss of accreditation and transition to a center as part of El Camino College.
Clearly CCSF is an order of magnitude larger than Compton was, and the solution or solutions would be that much more difficult. However, none of the powers that be in California would have left 80,000 students in San Francisco out in the cold if the college was in fact ordered to close.
When a school's accreditation is revoked, what affect does it have on the students who attended while it was accredited? Do they lose all ability to transfer credits earned while it was accredited? Do they get a remission on any loans they had to take out?
Also, if a school loses its accreditation, does it happen automatically, or is it phased in for, say, 1 or 2 semesters?
I'm not sure if the answers to these questions, whatever they are, really tell us what we *should* do, but I'd be curious to know them, and too lazy to look them up myself.
If push does come to shove and the accreditor(s) must invoke the nuclear option and the legal system allows it, is there a way to do it that has the least impact possible on the students involved, say, by revoking the accreditation on a "rolling" basis to give people a chance to land on their feet or find another option, without losing the credits they had earned?
Did they just think they were "too big to fail" and didn't have to worry about keeping accreditation? Losing accreditation, to me, means the students aren't getting the education they deserve.
All credits earned while the college was accredited have their original meaning and value, so classes completed before the July action deadline would "count". The college has to make provisions (probably through the state system) to provide transcripts for former students. This would be part of the closure plan the college was required to prepare by last summer. The only way to soften the effect would be if an accredited college ran classes on the CCSF campus.
IMHO, the inaction on the part of many different parties, individually and collectively, is one of the strongest arguments against CCSF. Go read the original report that details things that they were supposed to do that had been ignored for a decade.
Contrary to what Anonymous@2:28PM said, some were things that the admin could do without any faculty involvement and some were things the faculty could do without any admin involvement, so it is not the case that the only things left undone were those that required collegial actions.
Ultimately, there's plenty of blame to go around about the long standing ills at this institution. As such, a reductionist approach to blaming one group on campus or the participatory governance structure at CCSF (or California in general) fails.