Troubled City College of San Francisco to name new leader

An educator who held posts at community colleges in Sacramento and Los Angeles has been named to lead City College of San Francisco, the troubled institution fighting to remain open after being sanctioned for financial and administrative problems.

Arthur Q. Tyler will take over the San Francisco campus on Nov. 1, confirmed a source with knowledge of the appointment who did not want to be quoted for attribution. The San Francisco Chronicle had earlier reported Tyler as the choice.

Systemwide community colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris and Robert Agrella, a special trustee appointed in July to oversee City College, are scheduled to make an official announcement Wednesday.

The 80,000-student college has been under threat since July, when the Accrediting Commission for  Community and Junior Colleges moved to end City College's official recognition next year after finding that the school had failed to improve its fiscal planning, administration and student support services, among other programs.

Since then, the accrediting agency itself has come under fire by faculty, the city attorney and the U.S. Department of Education for its handling of the review process.

In a statement Tuesday, Harris said Agrella and interim City College Chancellor Thelma Scott-Skillman had made progress in righting many financial deficiencies, including appointing a new chief financial officer, filling key payroll and auditing positions, and suspending plans to build a new performing arts center.

“City College must come into compliance with the same operational, governance and educational standards that all 112 California community colleges are expected to meet,” Harris said.

"That is what accreditation is all about," he added. "These other distractions won't do a thing to help City College become a stronger institution. Fortunately college and community leadership have remained focused on keeping City College on task and continuing to serve the students who need access to higher education in San Francisco."

Tyler, 63, was one of three finalists for the post, which for the time being will be subordinate to Agrella, who has authority to make all decisions.

It is a role Tyler once filled as state-appointed special trustee for Compton Community College, which in 2006 became the only two-year school in the state to lose accreditation.

Tyler stepped down as deputy vice chancellor and chief operating officer of the Houston Community College system in August. He served as president of Sacramento City College from 2005 to 2007 and was previously vice president for administration and finance at Los Angeles City College.

He holds a doctorate in management and organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix and a master's in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Before his academic career, Tyler served for more than 20 years in the U.S Air Force, where he did anti-terrorism work.



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