Pima Community College has been placed on probation, effective April 6, 2013.
The announcement comes from the Higher Learning Commission, which last month issued a scathing report about the college. The report included claims about sexual misconduct and a culture of fear among employees.
The probation means that conditions exist at the school that make it no longer in compliance with one or more of the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation. The period of probation is not more than two years, commencing with the date that the Board placed the institution on probation. During the probation period, the university's accreditation status continues and it has the opportunity to remedy the concerns that led to the probation.
The Commission's Board of Trustees took this action because of concerns related to integrity, financial management, personnel policies and procedures, shared governance, Board oversight of the institution and systemic and integrated planning. The Board based its action on the findings of an evaluation conducted as a result of complaints received by the Commission about the College.
The Criteria for Accreditation (effective January 1, 2013) identified in the Board's action as not being met are: Criterion Two, Core Component 2.A, "the institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff"; Criterion Five, Core Component 5.B, "the institution's governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission," and Core Component 5.C, "the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning."
The College is required to file a monitoring report no later than August 1, 2013, outlining a plan by which it will establish conformity with the Commission's Assumed Practices related to complaints and grievance procedures (Assumed Practice A.4) and to faculty oversight of the curriculum (Assumed Practice B.2.c) by July 2014. The College is also required to file a comprehensive self-study no later than July 2014 or eight weeks prior to the comprehensive evaluation. The self-study must provide evidence that the College has resolved the concerns of the Board identified in the Probation action and evidence that the College meets the Criteria for Accreditation.