The incoming chancellor of City College of San Francisco vowed Wednesday to help the embattled institution find a way to overcome severe financial and governance problems and retain accreditation.
Arthur Q. Tyler was introduced as the college’s new executive at a news conference Wednesday attended by city officials and other civic leaders.
He said his experience with financial administration and accrediting issues were a “great fit” to help steer the campus, one of the largest two-year colleges in the nation, serving nearly 85,000 students.
“Yes, we will get the accreditation done, yes, we will find a way to remain the best economic engine for the city and the region,” Tyler said.
In July, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges announced that it would revoke City College’s accreditation effective July 31, 2014, for not complying with recommendations to improve its governance and finances.
The same month, the community colleges systemwide Board of Governors and Chancellor Brice W. Harris appointed Robert Agrella as a special trustee to handle most decisions for the campus.
Tyler said that he would assume daily administrative duties and would gather input from faculty and staff to make recommendations to Agrella.
“It is imperative that we build on the last 100 days of activity ... to heal and fix this institution,” he said.
Harris described Tyler as a “phenomonal leader.” The two worked together in Sacramento during Harris’ tenure as chancellor of Los Rios Community College District.
“He cares passionately about the success of students and has a level of integrity that all of us should aspire to,” Harris said.
Tyler, 63, most recently served as deputy chancellor of the Houston Community College system, and previously as president of Sacramento City College from 2005 to 2007 and vice president of administration and finance for Los Angeles City College from 1997 to 2004.
From 2004 to 2005, he was a state-appointed special trustee for the Compton Community College District, which was sanctioned by the accrediting commission for financial instability, inadequate student support services and other issues. The college lost its accreditation in 2005. It ultimately partnered with the El Camino Community College District, which provides accredited instruction.
Tyler suggested that the problems at the Compton district were more deeply set than those in San Francisco.
“In Compton, that institution had failed on a different level and had real challenges with integrity,” he said. “I learned from that experience, learned to work with the community, faculty and staff and to move an institution to a different place.”
Tyler will assume his post on Nov. 1, with a two-year contract and an annual salary of $285,000. His progress will be reviewed regularly, with the first performance evaluation before June 30, 2014, according to the chancellor's office.