The California Community College Board of Governors appointed Executive Vice Chancellor Erik Skinner as acting chancellor while the search continues for a successor to Jack Scott, who is retiring at the end of this week.
The Board has scheduled a special meeting on Sept. 20 to interview finalists for the post and hopes to announce the new chancellor by the end of September or sooner.
Paul Feist, the vice chancellor of communications, said it’s his understanding that the Board considered dozens of people from within California and from other states. However, there has been some concern that qualified candidates were discouraged from applying because of the salary. Chancellor Scott earned nearly $200,000, but some community college presidents and district chancellors earn close to that amount or more and might see this as a lateral or downward move in terms of compensation. The new superintendent of the College of the Sequoias, for example, earns $225,000.
City College of San Francisco still in jeopardy
Chancellor Scott told the Board of Governors that City College of San Francisco is far from being out of the woods regarding its potential loss of accreditation.
The Chancellor’s office hired the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) to examine the college’s finances and, though the report won’t be made public until next week, Scott told the Board: “I will have to be honest and say it is fairly negative.”
The 90,000-student college has until Oct. 15 to submit a plan to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. A loss of accreditation would mean students would no longer be eligible for financial aid.
College of the Redwoods and Cuesta College also received the most severe finding of “show cause” by the accrediting agency. Scott said that they are both making progress toward getting that sanction removed.
Enrollment rationing approved
The Board also unanimously approved new enrollment priorities recommended by the Student Success Task Force and aimed at boosting the number of students who earn degrees and certificates or transfer to a four-year college.
The policy allows students to go to the front of the line if they meet certain qualifications, including:
- New students who have completed college orientation, taken assessment exams, and developed education plans;
- Continuing students in good academic standing who have not exceeded 100 units (not including remedial math and English courses or English as a Second Language).
Within those groups, active-duty military and veterans, and current and former foster youth will receive first place in course registration, followed by students in Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and Disabled Students Programs and Services.
Scott said prioritizing enrollment will ensure that students who are committed to completing community college programs will get into the classes they need at a time when budget cuts have reduced the number of course offerings by about 24 percent.
“In the past, community colleges have been able to serve everyone and students could accrue a large number of units or do poorly in all of their courses and still receive priority registration,” said the chancellor in a written statement. “Now that colleges have had to cut back on the courses they can offer, those students were taking up seats in classrooms and crowding out newer students focused on job training, degree attainment or transfer. Our Student Success Task Force identified this as a major barrier and recommended these changes.”
The new regulations take effect in the fall of 2014.