Accrediting team notes positive changes at college
That hasn’t always been the case at LCC, and the lack of civility landed the college on probation.
Following up on a July 2006 report, ACCJC placed LCC on probation on Jan. 31, 2007 after the commission’s evaluation team visited the campus to review the college’s accreditation warning status it imposed in June 2006.
During the July visit, the evaluation team noted a “pathological college culture,” “unprofessional and insubordinate behavior on the part of mid-management” and expressed its grave concern over “a readily apparent power struggle” that has “crippled the college governance structures.”
In fact, the evaluation team reported until LCC’s profound governance issues were resolved; the college probably would be unable to address the other issues facing the institution.
According to Houston, the college still faces some challenges, but the college’s governance issues and others already have been addressed.
“As I’ve said before, I’m very impressed with the governance system that was put together before I got here,” said Houston, who succeeded Dr. Homer Cissell as president on Aug. 20. “One of my purposes is to implement that system. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but we’re making solid progress. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Houston said he recently took a survey on campus and 90 percent of the respondents said they felt they had a voice in college governance. In a similar poll taken a year ago, only 20 percent of the respondents thought they had a voice.
Houston said the both of the ACCJC representatives on campus Monday participated in the ACCJC visit last July that led to the college’s probation status.
“Dr. Sherrill Amador and Dr. John Dixon had both been on the team that conducted a special visit in 2006,” Houston wrote in a memo to college employees. “Both left happily surprised at the difference on campus and the work accomplished since their last visit. In fact, during the exit interview, Dr. Amador told me that they were not only impressed with the different campus climate and the clear improvement in morale and mutual respect, they were also impressed we had implemented our governance structure to the point that we had even evaluated it and made changes based on lessons learned.”
Still, Houston said the accrediting team said the college “had more work to do, including completing many back-logged program reviews and then using the results to inform planning and budgeting; addressing critical needs for institutional research; fully integrating planning and budgeting; clarifying and educating campus constituents on governance; and ensuring administrative stability. Nevertheless, her (Almanor) overall report to ACCJC will reflect that we have made great progress.”
Houston expects a report from the accreditation team sometime during the next two weeks.
In his memo, Houston thanked the college community for its efforts.
“In the meantime, my thanks to all of you who have worked so hard this past year, in planning and implementing, in committee and governance work, in responding with our recently-submitted accreditation progress report and/or the draft self-study or simply in continuing to serve students through all of this,” Houston wrote.
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