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Apr 17, 2013 1:33 PM by Faye DeHoff

PCC put on probation after charges of misconduct

TUCSON - Pima Community College has been placed on probation, effective April 6, 2013.

The announcement comes from the Higher Learning Commission, which last month issued a scathing report about the college. The report included claims about sexual misconduct and a culture of fear among employees.

The probation means that conditions exist at the school that make it no longer in compliance with one or more of the Commission's Criteria for Accreditation.
The period of probation is not more than two years, commencing with the date that the Board placed the institution on probation. During the probation period, the university's accreditation status continues and it has the opportunity to remedy the concerns that led to the probation.

The Commission's Board of Trustees took this action because of concerns related to integrity, financial management, personnel policies and procedures, shared governance, Board oversight of the institution and systemic and integrated planning. The Board
based its action on the findings of an evaluation conducted as a result of complaints received by the Commission about the College.

The Criteria for Accreditation (effective January 1, 2013) identified in the Board's action as not being met are: Criterion Two, Core Component 2.A, "the institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff"; Criterion Five, Core Component 5.B, "the institution's governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission," and Core Component 5.C, "the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning."

The College is required to file a monitoring report no later than August 1, 2013, outlining a plan by which it will establish conformity with the Commission's Assumed Practices related to complaints and grievance procedures (Assumed Practice A.4) and to faculty oversight of the curriculum (Assumed Practice B.2.c) by July 2014. The College is also required to file a comprehensive self-study no later than July 2014 or eight weeks prior to the comprehensive evaluation. The self-study must provide evidence that the College has resolved the concerns of the Board identified in the Probation action and evidence that the College meets the Criteria for Accreditation.

The College will host a comprehensive evaluation visit in Fall 2014. At its meeting in February 2015, the Board will review the Probation Report and the report of the evaluation visiting team to determine whether the College can be removed from Probation. If the College has not resolved the Board's concerns that led to the imposition of Probation and demonstrated that it is in compliance with all the Criteria for Accreditation, other action may be appropriate.

The Higher Learning Commission accredits more than 1,000 colleges and universities that have a home bases in one of 19 states that stretch from West Virginia to Arizona. The Commission is a private, nonprofit regional accrediting agency. The Commission's mission is to assure and advance the quality of higher learning. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The institutions the Commission accredits include public, private not-for-profit, and proprietary institutions at degree levels from the associate's through the doctoral degree level and from small, specialized institutions through large research universities.

Students, parents, and others from the general public with questions regarding the Commission's work should contact John Hausaman at the Higher Learning Commission by email at: info@hlcommission.org or by phone at 312-263-0456.

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