Author Archives: Bob Shireman

Why Arguments Blow Up Instead of Blow Over


There is no surer way to turn two siblings against each other than to tell both of them they are in charge. That truism is the best explanation for the epidemic of dysfunction at community colleges in California, where conflicting laws mean any disagreement can ignite a war.

Issues: Local Community College Governance

Looking for a Villain

Unfortunately, things aren’t looking so good for City College of San Francisco (CCSF). The college’s accreditor, frustrated that the college had not been attentive to problems it had been pointing out for years, set a March 15 deadline for CCSF to make the needed changes. Or else. If the college does not submit an adequate […]

Issues: Local Community College Governance

At California Community Colleges, 10+1>11

Ask faculty members in an academic senate what is the most important legislation in California community college history, and they will answer with no hesitation: AB 1725, enacted by the legislature and signed by Governor George Deukmejian in 1988. In their eyes, the bill gave them the right to establish policies on a list of […]

Issues: Local Community College Governance

‘Faculty Primacy’ at the Expense of Student Success

Upon the occasion of his retirement in 2007, a City College of San Francisco vice chancellor was honored in a resolution enacted unanimously by the academic senate. The proclamation commended him for his 25 years of outstanding service as an instructor. It also chronicled his “achievements that helped reshape City College and prepare it for […]

Issues: Local Community College Governance

The Missing Signature at Modesto Junior College

The signature page of the new governance handbook at Modesto Junior College tells the whole story. Engaging All Voices, which lays out a process for ensuring broad input into major policy decisions at the college, is signed by the student government representative; it is signed by the staff council and by the heads of two […]

Issues: Local Community College Governance

Only in California: The Academic Senate Filibuster

The Academic Senate at El Camino College, near Los Angeles, couldn’t take feeling slighted any longer. Over the objections of the Senate, the community college’s vice president had eliminated the study-abroad program to address budget shortfalls. He’d also cut out winter session online classes. To add insult to injury, some of the snubs had no […]

Issues: Local Community College Governance

Protected: Webinar: Repairing Broken Decision-Making at California Community Colleges

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Campaign for College Opportunity new report demonstrates the economic payoff of investing in higher ed

The Campaign’s news report shows that for every $1 California invests in public higher education, the state will reap $4.50 from taxes on the increased earnings of college graduates and lower costs for providing other state safety net services and incarceration. That’s a net return of 450 percent! Check out the key findings Check out […]

Issues: More College Degrees