City College of San Francisco
Although the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) has had a fiscally tumultuous past several years, two City College administrators were found to have spent exorbitant amounts on travel and dining. The San Francisco Chronicle obtained records detailing the expenditures of erstwhile Chancellor Art Tyler and former President Virginia Parras.
In 2012, City College nearly lost its accreditation. The college’s accrediting agency, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), cited issues such as poor fiscal controls, outdated technology, and a lack of student services at several campuses around the city in its complaints against the college. Since the accreditation troubles began, student enrollments dropped precipitously, from 90,000 in 2012 to less than 70,000 currently.
City College won an important victory in November when the California community college board of governors voted to oust ACCJC. However, the college is not yet in the clear. It has only one year to show that it is in compliance with all accrediting standards.
The Chronicle’s findings show that despite the college’s fiscal difficulties, Tyler and Parras were able to spend liberally on travel and other expenses, while providing vague or incomplete explanations for why such expenditures were necessary. City College reimbursed Parras for thousands of dollars worth of meals out in San Francisco and travel to China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, but college records do not show what value the trips and meals brought to the beleaguered institution.
Both Parras and Tyler joined the college after 2013, when the college moved from a model of shared governance to one where power resides with administrators selected by state officials. Tyler was hired in 2013 to help manage the accreditation crisis, but stepped down in July. He will serve out the rest of his term running the school facilities department. Parras was let go in July and her position has been eliminated.