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Special Trustee Gets New Power in College’s Fight to Retain Accreditation

The California Community Colleges system announced on Tuesday that Robert Agrella would immediately step into a new role as a special trustee with “extraordinary powers” to oversee the City College of San Francisco as it fights to remain open and retain its accreditation. Mr. Agrella has been serving as a special trustee since last October but has had limited powers, able only to veto decisions by college’s local Board of Trustees. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, he will now be able to act unilaterally.

Mr. Agrella was appointed last fall, several months after the college was placed on warning status by its accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The commission announced last week that the college was still failing to meet most of its concerns and that it would terminate the college’s accreditation next summer.

Giving Mr. Agrella more power to act independently will allow him to quickly make changes needed to save the college from losing its accreditation, the system’s chancellor, Brice W. Harris, said. Decisions under the college’s current governance structure “have been very, very slow,” the San Francisco newspaper quoted Mr. Harris as saying. “There are broken systems that need to be corrected, and there’s a need to bring different people in.”

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