In a bid to stay open and accredited, City College of San Francisco’s board of trustees voted to dismantle the school’s shared governance model, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. The decision to streamline the school’s unusually complicated and expensive faculty governance model was made in an attempt to trim $2 million from the troubled institution’s budget.
Unlike other similarly sized schools, City College did not rely on deans to conduct the day-to-day business of the college. Instead, the school utilized three separate governance systems, which featured 46 various committees and subcommittees and involved more than 400 administrators, faculty, staff, and students in the decision making process.
The school’s decision to minimize deans, there were only 39 deans in the old model, effectively turned the dozens of department chairs into their own independent administrators, each of whom had direct input on the college’s budgetary process.
The labyrrinthian governance model, as well as the school spending 92% of its budget on salaries and benefits, was cited in a July “show cause” order from City College’s accreditor, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, as one of the reasons for beginning the process for revoking of the school’s accreditation.
City College’s board of trustees have until March 15 to address all 14 of the major problems identified in the accreditor’s report, chief among them the school’s financial well-being. A state audit team found that the school had a $15 million deficit for the 2013-2014 school year and that administrators had made no contingency plans for if the city and state tax measures pending on the Nov. 6 ballot fail to pass.
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