Whereas, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges has proposed sweeping revisions to the Accreditation Standards for the community colleges that mirror the current Department of Education's preoccupation with quantitative measures over all else, inculcate a corporate model of organization and functioning, and complete the movement away from concern for minimum standards and quality of education;
Whereas, The proposed revisions minimize collegial governance in its own right, entirely delete reference to academic senates, focus institutional leadership on recognition of the "vested authority" of governing boards and college presidents, and generally retreat from attention to processes designed to foster academic standards, the credibility of the transcript and the assurance of educational excellence for students;
Whereas, The proposed standards require institutional effectiveness planning based on quantifiable outcomes as the main criterion for accreditation, while qualitative issues and educational standards are largely absent and issues of institutional integrity are minimized; and
Whereas, Student needs are addressed primarily through "learning objectives" and "outcomes" without appropriate regard to the fiscal, social, or other human needs relative to an educational experience of quality, and emphasis on developing programs responsive to student and local community needs is largely absent;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate urge the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to reconsider its proposal to refocus accreditation primarily on management by objective and the use of quantitative assessment and outcomes, and to reinstate appropriate concern for minimum standards, educational quality and institutional integrity;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate vigorously object to the removal of a central commitment to collegial governance as an expectation for institutions of higher education and insist that the Commission remove from the proposed standards the elevation and privileging of the college president's authority over the collective expertise of faculty and the processes of collegial consultation; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate provide detailed refutation of the proposed standards and work with faculty colleagues in University of California and California State University as well as American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to initiate a wider discussion of the role of accreditation in ensuring educational excellence and integrity as well as the implications of current trends for the credibility and viability of the accrediting process.
The Academic Senate submitted the resolutions of the body, along with extensive written and oral testimony to the Commission, objecting to the focus on outcomes, the inattention to baseline resources, the retreat from collegial governance, and the privileging of presidential authority. ASCCC also worked with ICAS after the adoption of the 2002 Standards to consider other options - and is continuing to do so in compliance with other resolutions.