City College of San Francisco is safe from closure, for now. A ruling from San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow issued Jan. 2 would bar City College’s accreditors from terminating the college’s accreditation until after legal proceedings against it are done.
The loss of accreditation would make City College’s future degrees basically worthless, resulting in its closure or merger with another district.
“I’m grateful to the court for acknowledging what so far accreditors have refused to, that educational access for tens of thousands of City College students matters,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said at a press conference announcing the judge’s decision.
Now Herrera and his team have time to save the school, and City College will keep its doors open for the duration of the suit — win or lose.
The ruling was the result of an injunction filed by City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Nov. 25 as part of his office’s suit against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in August for allegedly using the process to carry out an ideological agenda against CCSF. The ACCJC openly lobbied in public hearings and via public letters for education reform across the state, reforms which City College’s administration believed would harm San Francisco’s most vulnerable students: the poor, certificate seekers, and lifelong learners.
Only part of the injunction was granted by Karnow, however. The ACCJC is barred from shutting down City College, but it can still revoke the accreditation from any of the other 112 community colleges it oversees across the state.
The ruling also doesn’t stop it them from making preparations to close the college, Herrera said.
“It does not stop them from continuing their review and analysis and evaluation, it stops them from issuing a final ruling with respect to taking accreditation of City College,” he said.
Not everyone agrees with Herrera’s efforts.
“Court intervention is not necessary to keep City College open,” State Community College Chancellor Brice Harris wrote to Herrera in a Jan. 2 letter.
Harris argues that the lawsuit detracts from the efforts to save the school made by the special trustee Robert Agrella, who was assigned by Harris to replace City College’s Board of Trustees just after the accreditation crisis broke out.