Since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior
Colleges made its appalling decision to terminate City College of
San Francisco’s accreditation four years ago, AFT Local 2121, the
faculty union there, and the CFT have fought back through
legislation, lawsuits, political pressure and protests.
At the end of a CFT Convention Friday night Community College
Council meeting that went over the 10 o’clock ending time,
Richard Winn said he wanted to continue being a “thinking
partner” with the CFT and thanked everyone for their honesty.
He might have preferred a little less honesty. Winn is the
interim president of the Accreditation Commission of Community
and Junior Colleges, and the assembled members of CFT had plenty
to say about the commission’s unfairness, lack of transparency,
and meddling in collective bargaining. The CFT has a federal
lawsuit against ACCJC and continues to fight for a new
The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, a
private 19-member panel that oversees community colleges in
California and Hawaii, has been much in the news over its threat
to pull City College of San Francisco’s accreditation — a battle
the union and college recently won with the January 13 news that
its accreditation is fully restored for the next seven years.
Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier convened a panel discussion
at City College of San Francisco on November 28, her third on the
topic since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior
Colleges revoked the accreditation of City College in 2013.
Speier pointed out that the people of San Francisco love their
college, having just voted in November for a second parcel tax to
support it, and passing Proposition W to make tuition free. She
is “hopeful and optimistic” about the college’s future and
defeating the ACCJC.
One thing for certain about Congresswoman Jackie Speier: she is
consistent. On November 28 at a City College of San Francisco
(CCSF) forum that she organized and hosted, the Bay Area
congresswoman sang the praises of the largest community college
in California. She also made clear that no matter what the
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
decides in its January meeting about CCSF, she will do everything
in her power to keep the school open and serving its tens of
thousands of students.
Rain, wind, and a four-hour round trip from her home could not
keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San
Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike
in the school’s history.
“I wanted to support my fellow faculty,” she said. “There’s a
lack of respect for faculty here. That’s what led to this strike
and all the time, energy and effort the union has put into it.”
The City of San Francisco went to court in October to stop
the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from
effectively shutting its beloved City College and ending
affordable higher education for 80,000 students.
Statewide, community colleges are fighting for fair accreditation
and one college that lost its accreditation is working to get it
back. Classified staff are helping.
The trial to determine if the Accrediting Commission for
Community and Junior Colleges acted unfairly when it pulled City
College of San Francisco’s accreditation will go ahead on October
27. In the meantime, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera
won a victory when the trial judge ruled on September 19 that
accreditors “violated controlling federal regulations” by having
an unbalanced evaluation team, with only one academic
representative to evaluate the college in 2013.
City College of San Francisco started 2014 with some much-needed
good news. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ruled
that the school’s accreditation cannot be revoked until a trial
determines whether the Accrediting Commission for Community and
Junior Colleges, or ACCJC, acted unlawfully in sanctioning the
college. Karnow said in his ruling that closing the college would
Cañada College alumnus and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo called
community colleges lifeboats and springboards for Californians.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier said they keep our workforce vibrant.
And state Sen. Jim Beall said seven of his nine siblings went to
community colleges, the only way they could afford higher
AFT Local 2121 continues the fight to save City College of San
Francisco after the Accrediting Commission for Community and
Junior Colleges labeled the college with its most severe
accreditation sanction, “show cause.”
In early July, more than 300 people packed a San Francisco
meeting hall to express their outrage over a letter from the
Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges saying
City College of San Francisco must prove its fiscal stability by
March 15 to remain accredited.
Though faculty and students at San Francisco City College
are fighting to keep their college open following a report from
the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges, Local
2121 says changes such as reducing health benefits for part-time
faculty are off-limits.