Local Community College Governance
While management dysfunction is too common at California’s community colleges, not every college has fallen victim to the confusion created by the state Board of Governors. A number of colleges have instead established shared governance structures that are modeled on successful approaches at other colleges and universities in California and across the country. Here are three examples.
Bob Shireman was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Community College Business Officers’ annual conference where he provided examples of how improving higher education takes more than slogans and quick fixes but instead requires digging into the policy details. He discussed our work on college enrollment by zip code across the state, the need for […]
Read Lande’s blog post looking at Washington Monthly’s article about continuing management dysfunction at California’s community colleges which leaves no one accountable for decision making, and why fixing this dysfunction might not be enough.
California’s community colleges are burdened by an only-in-California decision-making structure that thwarts rather than values leadership and collaboration. Here, we’ve launched a series of blog posts about how this broken decision-making structure is undermining higher education in California, and how the problem can be fixed.
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.
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 […]
A well-functioning community college is one of the best ways to help students succeed by providing access to degrees and technical credentials that are crucial in today’s economy. But right now, California’s community colleges are burdened by an only-in-California decision-making structure that thwarts rather than values leadership and collaboration. Here, we’ve launched a series of […]
Robert Shireman was a keynote speaker at the annual conference of The Association of California Community College Administrators. He addressed issues relating to “faculty primacy” and spoke to the confusion around Academic Senate “10+1 academic and professional matters.” View the 10+1 myths
Read Bob Shireman’s latest op-ed on CCSF’s continuing struggle to make the changes it needs to keep its accreditation and stay open in the face of a looming deadline. Read the op-ed
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 […]
We respond to Chancellor Harris' refusal to address broken decision-making at California Community Colleges
On December 12, 2012, California Competes filed L.C. 1 – a legal challenge with the California Community College (CCC) Board of Governors seeking to repair the broken decision-making process at the 112 local colleges in the system. The challenge sought to clarify that locally-elected community college trustees are ultimately responsible for the operation of the […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Leaders agree that changes are needed to fix regulations that invite discord. “Robert Shireman, executive director of California Competes, blamed the regulation, which he alleged gives excessive power to academic senates representing faculty on individual campuses, for contributing to a host of problems, including preventing colleges from graduating enough students to meet the state’s higher […]
California Competes filed a legal challenge with the California Community College (CCC) Board of Governors asserting that the regulations that provide veto power to academic senates are invalid, illegal and should be reversed. Our legal challenge calls for CCCs to repair the broken decision-making system in California’s community colleges by restoring a clear line of […]
Bob Shireman addressed the CCSF faculty to urge them to make it possible to hold trustees fully accountable. His statement shows that the regulations that grant veto power to academic senates: plainly conflict with AB 1725 and other provisions of law; are contrary to accreditor and professional standards; disempower students, staff and the community; disenfranchise […]
A report by the Fiscal Crisis and Management Team, a state agency tasked with assisting public colleges and schools through fiscal crises, released a 150-page report warning that CCSF is in “a perilous financial position”: “Under this organizational and cultural model there is no responsibility or accountability because it is often unclear how or by […]
In a San Francisco Chronicle commentary, Bob Shireman explains how an obscure rule adopted 22 years ago leads to community colleges that too often cannot adapt to reduced budgets and to the changing needs of the state. The flowchart below gives a detailed look at the mandated faculty primacy process the state currently imposes on […]
Bob Shireman testifies at Little Hoover Commission hearing on the re-imagining of California's system of higher education
August 28, 2012 Bob Shireman laid out California Competes’ recommendations around enhancing accountability and creating a Higher Education Investment Board at the Little Hoover Commission’s public hearing on the issues facing California’s higher education system. Read Bob Shireman’s testimony
This brief shows that establishing California Community Colleges as an independent and autonomous entity can help California toward its goal of graduating more students on time with the skills they need for good jobs.