Below you will find direct quotes  from the Evaluation report on Santa Monica Community College (SMC).  This is the college where privatizing public employees in sheep’s clothing attempted to pass “Achieve the Dream”,another Orwellian named scam conjured up by the undemocratic coordinating class that runs the college.

They are cluelsss, as the report shows, and their design is  to correct the problems indicated in the report by more autocracy, more attempts at financialization and privatization and more attempts at closed door decision making locking out students and community.

This is also the college that is supposed to be investigating the April 4th pepper spraying incident where a four year old girl was hit in the face with pepper spray by uniformed police and students locked out of democratic deicison making and public forums in violation of the California Brown Act.  the ‘investigation’ is an inside job headed by the college’ attorney so you can expect it to be heavily weighted on the side of administration and police.  It will inspier and give no confidence to any stakeholders at the college.  It’s another sham.

Many of SMC administrators, some sporting six figure salaries, work day and night to undermine students by setting up acess toll booths meaning that those who can pay more get more.  this, in an effort to staunce the privatized landscape and financial ruin the public administrators failed and fail to fight.  they’d rather ‘make deals’ behind closed doors which is what they tried to do on April 4th, much to their chagrin.

The good news is students are working to form a State Wide Union that will allow the administration of SMC and other community colleges,were education is bought and sold like Pearson texts in the bookstore, to continue their struggles in mutual solidarity.

This will of course take more organizing and more invovlement from students.  The good news is that this is where the real education is: struggling collaboratively with others for valid social change and social justice.

Direct Quotes from the Evaluation Report of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Western Association for Schools and Colleges (WASC)

 Despite the reductions that have already been made, the college faces a lingering financial crisis that must be addressed in the 2004-2005 fiscal year.  With such a significant loss of full-time equivalent students in 2003-2004, the college must recover these enrollments or face catastrophic revenue reductions next year.  (p.4)

However, the college’s dialogue has not yet reached the stage of defining, explicitly stating, and asserting student learning outcomes at the course, program, and degree/certificate levels. (p.4)

However, the team also found a college with deep-seated problems related to governance, communication, and trust.  While there are many excellent governance and planning processes in place at Santa Monica College, there are problems with poor communication between campus constituent groups, inadequate funding and a lack of adequate reserves, inaccurate and conflicting financial data, linking and evaluating planning processes and outcomes, and a lack of focus on student learning outcomes. (p.8)

Campus interviews and documents reviewed confirmed the college does not have a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the on-going planning and resource allocation processes. (p.14)

There was a noticeable lack of documents to consult for the purpose of validating the use of research to guide mid- to long-range planning as opposed to operational planning and decision making where research data is routinely used. (p.15)

The self study states, “Measuring student learning outcomes in an integral part of the educational process and something the college will need to address in the foreseeable future.”  The self study discussion and the college’s planning activities are more focused on student achievement factors than on student learning.  (p.15)

The college planning process provides opportunities for constituent input to annual objectives but it is often not articulating those in measurable terms.  (p.15)

The self study concludes and the team agrees that the Master Plan for Education is not really a long-range master plan, but instead is more of an annual set of activities and objectives. (p.15)

The institution needs to expand its conceptualization of institutional effectiveness to include organizational performance, student achievement, and student learning outcomes. (p.16)

In addition the college is not meeting the standard with respect to evaluating the efficacy of the planning processes.  The institution needs to create and implement a routine process to evaluate its planning, resource allocation, and research models. (p.16)

A rise in the number of discipline cases has been noted and the college has stated its plan to conduct a study to determine the cause(s) for this rise and to develop strategies to address this concern. (p.22)

Further, the college has a high-capacity MIS system that allows for the production of a great deal of student achievement data.  As yet, the data has not focused on student learning outcomes nor is the data directly linked to the planning process in any significant and systematic way. (p.23)

The college is currently unable to reliably track student utilization of services.  The manner in which the college evaluates student support services to assure their adequacy in meeting the unique student needs at the satellite campuses is unclear.  There is little evidence to indicate that the evaluation of student support services is conducted in a manner that provides evidence that they contribute to the achievement of student learning outcomes. (p. 26)

Understaffing, particularly classified support staff, is a serious concern since it has affected the hours the library is open and accessible. (p.29)

Computer lab hours have been reduced as a consequence of budget constraints (p.29)

The availability of cross discipline tutorial services is not widely known among students.  With the recent reductions in state funding, some centers have seen staffing decreases.  There is no formal tracking of student usage of the centers and policies on student use of these resources vary from one center to the next.  (p.30)

While the library has developed a technology plan, it does not have a strategic plan.  The Learning Resource Centers have conducted informal evaluations and surveys.  Academic Computing conducts student surveys periodically.  There is no evidence to suggest that the library and learning support services systematically evaluate their services toward the goal of contributing to the achievement of student learning outcomes (p.30)

The library collection needs attention.  A collection development policy needs to be formulated.  This policy should guide efforts at building the collection with special attention to targeting deficient areas.  The library lost its book budget this year.  (p.31)

Classified managers are evaluated on an inconsistent basis. (p.33)

Academic administrator evaluations follow a process established by the superintendent/president. (p.33)

With the exception of full-time faculty hires, there was limited evidence to conclude that human resource planning is formally integrated with institutional planning and resource allocation.  Further, it was not apparent that the college has in place a process for systematically assessing human resources and using this assessment as part of the foundation for institutional improvement. (p.34)

No evidence was found to indicate that dialog has begun as to how the evaluation processes can be revised to assess the manner in which faculty and others directly responsible for student learning contribute to the students’ achievement of learning outcomes. (p.35)

Campus climate is of concern to the team.  The degradation of collegiality and the lack of trust and respect are evident across the employee groups. (p.35)

There is limited evidence to indicate the college’s facilities planning process stems from an institution-wide, integrated, and comprehensive approach to strategic and master planning.  It is unclear as to the connection between the Master Plan for Education and the college’s long-term efforts revolving around facilities acquisition and development, capital construction projects, and resource allocation.  Further there is little evidence to indicate the institution engages in broad and systematic dialogue about student learning as its primary mission as it relates to physical resources. (p.37)

There is evidence the planning of specific facilities projects involves academic planning and largely follows academic planning, but there is not a documented process or procedure for meaningful and effective constituent involvement.  In addition, there is not evidence that long-range capital planning includes assessing and developing strategies to address the total cost of ownership of new facilities and equipment.  (p.37)

While the planning process for technology is well established and institutionalized, there does not appear to be a clearly defined link between this annual process and college-wide planning efforts.  The college recognizes the need to address this planning gap as evidenced by the following statement in the self study: “Ideally, the next phase of its [Master Plan for Technology] evolution will involve more direct linkage of technology objectives to institutional objectives and the inclusion of standards that can be used to measure the success of each objective.” (p.40)

Internally, however, the fiscal management system does not produce timely or even accurate information for sound decision making. (p.42)

Appropriate and timely financial information is not provided throughout the institution.  There appear to be both process- and technical-related issues concerning financial information.  It appears as if there is not an acceptably adequate and understood feedback and tracking process for recommendations that flow through the constituency participation process. (p.42)

There is not agreement that the institution has sufficient cash flow and reserves to maintain stability, strategies for appropriate risk management, and realistic plans to meet financial emergencies and unforeseen occurrences. (p.42)

It does not appear that the institution regularly evaluates its financial management processes toward the goal of improving its financial management systems.  It does appear as if the implementation of the new financial accounting software at the county office and related procedures have caused a serious deterioration of the financial processing systems since the previous accreditation report. (p.43)

There is limited evidence that the college has an effective process that links budget development to institution-wide strategic planning (particularly long-range academic planning).  While the Master Plan for Education appears to be used as a short-range guide for fiscal planning, the document lacks a long-range planning, and annual and long-term fiscal planning.  As such, it is not clear that the institution has in place the organizational structures and fiscal processes to produce and support institutional effectiveness. (p.43)

There is not a documented process for budget development that defines constituent roles and responsibilities, nor is there a documented link between formalized academic planning and budget development.  The team recommends the college clarify and document the fiscal planning process and roles of individuals and constituent groups in that process. (p.44)

The college has depleted its unrestricted balances in order to fund multiple years of operating deficits, and the fiscal solvency of the district is dependent upon an enrollment recovery strategy in 2004-2005. (p.44)

The team encourages the college in the strongest terms possible to pursue strategies that will result in a financial system that will produce clear, reliable, timely, and transparent reports in which all constituents can have full faith and confidence. (p.44)

The team observed that in reaction to a number of historical College events a substantial interpersonal dissension threatens to distract the College from a critical focus on its recently developed Master Planning agenda and other significant issues. (p.45)

Relationships on campus have deteriorated to the point that among many of the constituent group leaders there is little trust in the administration.  The past informality of the participatory governance systems on campus does not provide the assurances of two-way communication, clear understanding of issues and proposed solutions, trust, and mutual respect. (p.45)

The team found that Santa Monica College does not have a cohesive decision-making process and in times of economic instability and cutbacks the current informal structure did not work as intended. (p.47)

We found in addition that there is currently no formal process in place to evaluate the integrity and effectiveness of the college’s governance and decision-making structures and processes. (p.47)

Constituency groups expressed concern that there is neither written authority for the College-wide Coordinating Council or a clear charge of which issues are within its purview and which are not. As reported in the self study, until recently meetings did not have agendas; minutes were not regularly kept; and aside from its process for ranking new fill-time faculty hires and updating the Master Plan for Education, the operation of the council was surprisingly informal.  The team found there is no established way to define and assign tasks with timelines, weigh and evaluate outcomes, nor mechanisms in place to handle situations in which a majority of the members favors a particular course of action when consensus is not reached. (p.47)

There is currently no formal process in place to evaluate the integrity and effectiveness of the college’s overall governance and decision-making processes and structures. (p.48)

The team strongly feels that the college needs to reevaluate its decision-making processes to ensure a process that defines the various committees; the roles, responsibilities, and membership; methods for getting and disseminating consistent, timely, and credible information; processes for agendas, minutes, and chronicling past actions; and develop strategies for following through on concerns and methods to provide feedback and input to the college community. (p.49)

The team concludes that one of the college’s greatest challenges, for the foreseeable future, will be to deal with the issues of organizational decision-making and trust especially in these very difficult times. (p.49)

In the current environment on this campus, the team does not feel the various constituent groups have enough trust in one another nor the systems in place that would help reestablish this level of trust and mutual respect to meet this portion of the standard. (p.49)

While it is clear that the planning structure the college has adopted is intended to link educational planning with resource planning and distribution, the self study indicates and interviews with campus participants in these processes confirm that it is not always clear how the vision, mission and goals statements and the Master Plan for Education are applied in the decision to allocate resources. (p.51)

Faculty, staff, and administration leaders do not feel secure that the information they are receiving is accurate and this is contributing to the lack of trust on campus. (p.51)

The college is in general compliance with Standard IV; however, there is a critical need for the college to review its established governance structures, decision-making processes, and practices to ensure the governing board, administrators, faculty, staff, and students work together for the good of the institution. (p.52)