City College of San Francisco leaders must shape up quickly or face closure of the state's largest college, accreditors told the school this week.
The community college has mostly ignored persistent warnings about its financial and leadership problems, wrote Barbara Beno, president of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, in a letter to the college Monday. The commission is the region's primary licensing agency.
The college enrolls about 90,000 students at dozens of sites around San Francisco.
City College leaders must explain by March how they plan to fix serious problems, Beno wrote, and also need to prepare for the school's closure by then. The school's finances are particularly troublesome, she said.
The college's funding "appears to be inadequate to support the mission of the college as it is currently conceived," Beno wrote.
CCSF leaders will need to make "dramatic systemic changes," wrote the college's interim president, Pamila Fisher, in a response on the school's website. A team of state experts is helping the college get back on track, she said.
"The report shows that clear, difficult choices must be made, immediately, and at a number of levels," Fisher wrote, alluding to significant cuts in coming months. Accreditors noted the college spends far too much of its budget -- 92 percent -- on personnel costs, including salaries and retirement benefits.
Matt Krupnick covers