In Sacramento this afternoon, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) tasked the Bureau of State Audits to scrutinze the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and the accreditation process at three California community colleges. The move had strong bipartisan support, with a final vote count of 10 yes, 3 absent or abstaining, and 1 no vote.
Senator Nielsen opened with an especially stinging statement regarding the Accrediting Commission and its leadership:
“Senator Beall and I met with President Barbara Beno in my office. In all my career, in my thousands of meetings with agency individuals—representatives, secretaries, etc.—I have never dealt with a more arrogant, condescending, and dismissive individual” (View the meeting here; this statement is at approximately the 2:37:35 marker.)
Faculty organizations testified in support of the audit request, including CCCI, CFT, CTA, and FACCC. In addition, continuing his strong leadership on behalf of CCSF and California’s community colleges, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano gave a passionate plea to the committee to approve the audit, calling City College “a treasure.” CFT Legislative Director Mónica Henestroza’s testimony on behalf of the California Federation of Teachers, which follows Assemblymember Ammiano’s, can be seen at approximately 3:00.
Opposed to the audit were ACCJC Commissioner Dr. Frank Gornick and Krista Johns, ACCJC vice president of policy and research. Their arguments against the audit focused on the fact that the U.S. Department of Education investigation and review of the ACCJC should suffice. The State Chancellor’s office did not testify.
The audit request does not focus on City College of San Francisco, but will examine a series of elements related to accreditation at three community colleges, at least two of which are on sanction. It will look at a number of issues that have yet to be fully examined, including the cost of the accreditation process to institutions. It is expected to take about 7 months.