Whereas, The goal of accreditation, according to the United States Department of Education, "is to ensure that the education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality,” and faculty in the community colleges are responsible for the provision of quality education;
Whereas, On September 5, 2013, Beth Smith, President of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, wrote to Kay W. Gilcher, Director of the Accreditation Division in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, noting that the Accreditation Group in the Office of Postsecondary Education found the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in violation of a number of requirements to be re-accredited and particularly Criteria for Recognition §602.15(a)(3), which requires a significant number of faculty on evaluation, policy, and decision-making bodies;
Whereas, The U.S. Department of Education found that one faculty member on a college External Evaluation team did not satisfy Criteria for Recognition §602.15(a)(3) but did not spell out what represented a significant proportion of faculty on such teams; and
Whereas, According to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Fall 2013 Report on Staffing, faculty represent 67% of staffing in California’s community colleges while administrators only represent 5.6%;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recommend that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges appoint college external evaluation teams with at least 40% faculty representation; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges report out at the Spring 2015 Plenary Session on the proportion and number of faculty on each of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges visiting teams for Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015.
The resolution was included to the Report of the California Community College’s Task Force Report on Accreditation that was submitted to ACCJC. A Rostrum article, There and Back Again: Serving on an ACCJC Accreditation Evaluation Team that summarized how faculty can get appointed to serve and what is involved. The numbers were shared at the accreditation breakout at the Spring 2015 Plenary Session.