If anyone has been on this campus long enough, then you understand the hostile climate is crippling its functions.

From seemingly endless brawls (both verbal and physical) over a calendar change which eliminated a winter intersession, a reorganization (or is it realignment?) of the academic divisions, and lawsuits galore over alleged working conditions violations, bribery, and other tawdry issues have come up in just the last two years alone. What seems to be the root of this issue?

Many shared governance groups, including the Associated Students run under former President Simon Fraser last year, and the Academic Senate headed up by Dustin Hanvey, both argued that shared governance had become virtually meaningless in the final decisions made by the Board of Trustees on major issues. Both groups passed votes of no confidence in the administration regarding this.

Something obviously needs to be done to fix this catastrophe, and not just to keep everyone happy and peachy keen.

The last three visits by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) left the college with repeated recommendations to fix communication gaps and a broken shared governance process. Another visit is planned for Spring 2015 and the college has yet to completely fix these issues, giving it just over a year to heal a festering wound.

In the last few months, conversations and arguments over whether or not to bring in a third party consultant is the next best step of action to keep accreditation afloat.  How ironic and very exposing that campus constituents have gotten down to the point of arguing over having someone stop the arguing.

Shared governance groups such as the College Council, headed by president Mark Rocha (who strongly supports bringing in a consultant to fix the campus climate), and the Academic Senate, headed by Eduardo Cairo (a member of the FA, which is in the middle of a working conditions lawsuit with the District) which has major concerns over the effectiveness of bringing such a person in, have argued on opposite sides of this issue and are still arguing over it.

It seems obvious then, that it is absolutely imperative to bring in a third party consultant to keep the fighting children apart on the playground.

This college has many programs that are nationally acclaimed, but it would be a shame to have to put student success at risk over increasingly ridiculous and nonsensical fights between the people responsible for how it runs.

City College of San Francisco is just a few short months away from closing its doors due to scarily similar shared governance issues on its campus, ultimately because the ACCJC took away its accreditation.

If we don’t fix this problem and bring in someone who isn’t involved in the fights to do it, we will ultimately be at risk of losing our accreditation, too, and failing to meet the needs of students and their success.

5 Replies to “EDITORIAL: A third party consultant is desperately needed”

  1. Fact Check:
    College Council is not a shared governance group.
    It performs as a puppet committee, and is purely an Admin-created, Admin-run club.
    1) When Shared Governance is followed, Admin works with Academic Senate to reach agreement on important matters. If no agreement is reached, no changes are made. That is state law (AB1725)
    2) Rocha violates Shared Governance when his schemes are pulled out of thin air and imposed on the college.
    College council was revived by Rocha as a rubber stamp for his peculiar whims.

  2. Associated Students former President Simon Fraser and the Academic Senate headed up by Dustin Hanvey do not understand shared governance.

    Simple as that.

    1. Absolutely. Shared governance probably works when the college doesn’t have to deal with budget cuts. When budget cuts are the new normal, “shared governance” turns into “all bets are off”.

  3. The campus has a president problem, not a climate problem.

    Rocha will never take the 180-degree change in direction and methodology necessary to save the college. The leadership by decree, the bunker-style strategies, and the violation of state law — all must end.

    Bandaid consultants are great for appearance’s sake.
    PCC deserves better.

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