Judge Blocks Revocation of City College of San Francisco’s Accreditation

A California judge ruled on Thursday that City College of San Francisco’s accreditation cannot be revoked until a trial is held to determine whether its accreditor acted lawfully in finding that the college was so poorly run that it should be shut down, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The ruling, by Judge Curtis Karnow of San Francisco Superior Court, came in response to a request by San Francisco’s city attorney for an injunction that would preserve the college’s accreditation while litigation proceeded against the accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

The California Federation of Teachers, which represents faculty members at City College, had filed a similar but broader motion in a separate lawsuit, but Judge Karnow denied the union’s motion. He also rejected motions by the commission to dismiss both lawsuits.

The commission, which is part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, put City College on “show cause” status in July 2012, giving the institution less than a year to prove that it was meeting the commission’s standards or lose its accreditation entirely. This past July, the commission announced that it would withdraw City College’s accreditation in July 2014.

In his 53-page ruling, Judge Karnow wrote that there was “no question” of the harm the college would suffer if the commission followed through on that decision. The consequences “would be catastrophic,” he wrote.

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