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Op-ed: As CCSF’s ship sinks, is anyone in charge?

Friday, September 14, 2012

As City College of San Francisco flirts with bankruptcy and possible shutdown, education advocate Robert Shireman’s op-ed in the Chronicle points the finger at an obscure 1990 state law requiring local college trustees and chancellors to defer to academic senates as a huge source of the college’s dysfunction.

A former hand in both the Obama and Clinton administrations, he calls for CCSF’s academic senate to step aside and let the board of trustees be accountable and says “if CCSF can’t get its act together, those in charge should be fired.” An excerpt after the jump:

CCSF went all-out in implementing the new state requirement. Today, an Office of Shared Governance manages 46 committees that develop policies that feed into a faculty Executive Council. Further, a petition process can put any issue to a full faculty vote. The CCSF Board of Trustees, elected by the voters of San Francisco to run the college, is required by the state to rubber-stamp the Shared Governance decisions (or indecision) or risk going to court to prove that the disagreement was "exceptional" and "compelling." The result of this blurring of responsibility is predictable: Decisions don't get made, no one is held accountable, and everyone blames everyone else.

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