The poorly run City College of San Francisco has eight months to prove it should stay in business, yet must "make preparations for closure," evaluators ordered Tuesday.
The stunning verdict by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges could result in the closure of California's largest college and a fixture of higher education in one of the nation's wealthiest cities. It has 90,000 students.
Only accredited colleges can receive public funding under state law. But City College's failure to fix serious, long-standing problems of leadership and fiscal planning means that the accrediting commission could vote as early as next June to yank the school's all-important certification, said Barbara Beno, commission president.
That perilous judgment was conveyed Tuesday in a letter to Pamila Fisher, interim chancellor of City College, as the commission released its comprehensive review of the school. The college now has the burden of proof to "show cause" for why it should retain accreditation.