Chancellor rings the warning bell for LCC trustees
The chancellor told the trustees and a standing room only crowd, the college’s “two governing pillars” — accreditation and minimum qualifications — were “in jeopardy.”
LCC is on probation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
The chancellor said he had little influence with the commission, but he was concerned because LCC is the only public institution in the United States on probation.
Drummund’s office is responsible for seeing the college meets minimum qualifications to “see to it the college district and the college conduct themselves with accountability within the framework established by law.”
Drummund said he had “called off the dogs” in an attempt to work with the college to resolve the minimum qualifications issues. He said the college still was out of compliance, but he believed the college was moving in the right direction.
“I think 2007 is a very critical year for this college,” Drummund said, “the year you’re going to see things moving in the right direction in regards to accreditation or you’re going to see things moving in the wrong direction, and you’ll know that by this summer. You need to put every bit of energy you can on this and be extremely focused on it because there’s no coming back. It’s very, very serious business.”
He encouraged the board to continue supporting Larry Perryman, LCC’s dean of administrative services, and Dr. Homer Cissell, LCC’s president, and to “stay on course.”
While Drummund was willing to work with the college, he said the accreditation commission would not be so easy to please.
“The accreditation commission expects progress,” Drummund said. “They don’t expect promises. They expect on-the-table, visible progress.”
The future looks grim if the college loses its accreditation.
“I’m very concerned because I believe the jury is still out,” Drummund said. “If you lose accreditation, apportionment stops on day one, and that means there’s no money except for local property taxes. That means nobody has jobs.”
Drummund said if the college lost its accreditation it probably would have to sign a memorandum of understanding with another college to provide classes and services at LCC.
“I implore you to stay on course,” Drummund said. “The time is now to finish this thing and not let it get away from you because there is not going to be a second chance. The second chance is going to be something else, and you don’t want it whatever it is. This is the time to get this corrected.”
The chancellor offered to appoint a “special monitor” who could be “a kind of third voice at your table” to help the college resolve its problems.
“This place is important enough to me,” Drummund said, “and I know it’s important enough to you that we should do whatever we have to do to straighten this out.”
Trustee Doc Blevins suggested the monitor should really be a referee “to make the calls.”
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