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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 6:22 am | Fair 48º


SBCC Receives But Won’t Release Draft of Findings from State Oversight Commission

The college has 30 days to respond, after which the ACCJC is expected to issue a public decision

SBCC officials are keeping mum about a draft report received from a state oversight board earlier this week. 

The college received the draft Monday with findings and conclusions reached by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The commission conducted a two-day visit to the campus last fall, interviewing trustees, staff, students and some residents. The commission’s own policies state that details of the investigation are to be kept confidential until a decision is issued.

The visit came after a complaint was sent to the commission last summer alleging the SBCC Board of Trustees was out of compliance, particularly with its role as a governing board.

“If Commission investigation yields credible evidence that indicates a systemic problem that calls into question the institution’s ability to meet Commission standards and policies, the Commission may invoke the sanctions provided for in policy,” ACCJC President Barbara Beno wrote in a letter to then-SBCC President Andreea Serban.

The Board of Trustees has been dogged by controversy since its decision last summer to place Serban on paid administrative leave after marathon meetings to discuss her evaluation. The reason for her dismissal was never revealed because the talks occurred in closed session, college officials said.

Serban has since been hired for an interim position with the Coast Community College District in Orange County. Dr. Jack Friedlander, formerly SBCC’s executive vice president, was named acting president of the college while the board looks for a permanent candidate.

A statement issued by SBCC on Tuesday said it would not release the commission’s findings to the public just yet.

“The college has 30 days in which to make a confidential response to the draft,” the statement said. “The commission will not render any decision until it has received and considered the college’s response.”

Once the ACCJC renders a decision, the statement said, its report and findings will be made public — “however, consistent with Commission policy on interim communications that precede any decision-making, the draft is confidential,” it said.

The SBCC Board of Trustees will hold a study session Thursday, and the search for a new superintendent as well as a discussion of the ACCJC findings are listed on the document. However, how much will actually be discussed is uncertain.

The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in Room A211 in the MacDougall Administration Center, 721 Cliff Drive.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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