To anyone who has spent even a few moments at a board meeting of the City College of San Francisco, the news of its possible shutdown comes as no surprise. The dysfunction is painfully apparent. If CCSF were a play, it would feel as though all the players, from faculty to college president to board members, were elbowing each other like a bunch of third-rate drama queens on a stage, each one striving to play Camille in her famously wordy death scene.
It is perhaps in disgust with this spectacle that last week the college's accreditor gave the motley troupe of CCSF a year to shut down its 11 campuses or somehow come together to file a cogent appeal. The letter cited the college's failure to address 11 out of 14 accreditation requirements. These include relatively mundane bureaucratic requests, such running a healthy budget and showing how well students are learning. Reading between the lines, one can almost hear the accreditor saying: "Enough Camille! More Baron de Varville!" (The baron was the social climber's dull, cuckholded husband who underwrote her colorful Parisian lifestyle.)
For models of what could be done, we turn from the theater to sports, which is one institution that actually works in San Francisco. Perhaps the CCSF group should borrow some tips from the head coach of the 49ers or the talented manager of the currently slumping, but ever classy and team-focused, Giants. Instead, reports indicate that the CCSF troupe plans another--get ready of it-- "mass campus protest." They cannot get enough drama, apparently. As Camille said: "I always look well when I'm near death."