In one of the most dramatic and devastating developments in higher education this year, San Francisco City College has been warned that it will be stripped of its accreditation an forced to close next summer if does not convince its accreditors that it has made certain required changes. The California Federation Teachers, which represents over 1,000 faculty at this college is protesting this potential disaster, which could throw close to 90,000 students out of higher education in the Bay area.
Reading through the accreditation report, I was struck by the lack of discussion of recent state budget cuts to higher education in California. In a now classic neoliberal two-step move, the state first reduces the funding of a public institution, and then later, someone applies some arbitrary assessment measures to declare that the institution is failing its public mission.
In another neoliberal gesture, the report bemoans the relatively low level of upper administration and the high level of shared governance and faculty involvement. Not only does the report believe that too much of the school’s money is being spent on faculty and staff, but the accreditors believe that only a top-down management style can deal with the college’s fiscal and academic shortcomings.
If CCSF is forced to close, you can be sure that the students will be pushed towards for-profit schools that live off of governmental funding, student debt, and empty promises of future employment. For more info, click here.