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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014
Contact: Fred Glass, 510-579-3343
Li Lovett, 415-370-5279
ACCJC attempts to erase history with
Judge to issue statement after hearing
San Francisco—Today Judge Curtis Karnow heard arguments in San Francisco Superior Court in a hearing for summary adjudication of the suit filed by the City Attorney of San Francisco against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The purpose of the suit is to reverse the ACCJC’s decisions to place City College of San Francisco on “Show Cause” sanction in 2012 and pull its accreditation in 2013.
The judge, in his introductory remarks, characterized the dueling motions for summary judgment as “ships passing in the night.” During the presentations his meaning became clear, as Andrew Sclar, the ACCJC attorney, argued the court should dismiss the suit on legal, procedural technicalities, and Tom Lakritz, for the City Attorney, enumerated reasons why the Commission’s actions were unfair, unlawful, and should be reversed.
The ACCCJ lawyer also said that since these actions had taken place in the past, they could not be undone. He went on to say that the remedy sought by the City Attorney was already going to happen, since the college administration had accepted the offer, based on a new ACCJC policy of “restoration status,” and that under this new policy a new review team would be coming to CCSF in November.
Lakritz responded that the remedy was not the same; that ACCJC had inflicted harm with decisions based on a flawed, unfair, and illegal process and was likely to do so again in the future; and that the new review included instructions for the college in its self-evaluation to ignore any of the past actions that had been taken. Under restoration status, he said, the college was not in fact in the same situation as it would be if the judge returned the accreditation clock back to 2012 before the first ACCJC decision.
City College faculty union president Tim Killikelly, who attended the hearing, said, “The new process created for CCSF called 'Restoration Status' is part of the same illegal and unfair pattern of actions by the ACCJC. It treats CCSF differently compared to all other colleges.”
The judge asked many questions throughout of both parties. At the end he thanked everyone for their help. He said he had “learned a lot,” and will “get something out in writing” as soon as he can. If he does not choose to issue a ruling on all or some of the issues at stake, the suit will go to trial October 27.
AFT 2121 represents faculty, librarians, counselors and other certificated employees of City College of San Francisco. The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org