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Drummond, Moore Answer Questions Regarding CCC Compton Bulletin
By Gary Walker
Compton Bulletin Staff Writer - February 1, 2006

Chancellor Marshall "Mark" Drummond, in a rare public appearance, joined Compton residents and other interested parties in the council chambers last week at the weekly City Council meeting.

Jamillah Moore, the interim president of Compton Community College joined Drummond, the chancellor of all community colleges in California, as the two participated in an impromptu Q & A regarding the state of the college, which is facing one of its most critical moments in its 80-plus year history. Special Trustee Charles Ratliff did not attend the session.

The long-time academic institution is appealing a ruling by an accreditation committee to take away its certification. Drummond sent a state team to oversee the operations at the college when it was discovered in 2004 that the board of trustees at the college would not be able to make payroll for the coming fiscal year. That triggered an investigation that uncovered widespread financial and administrative irregularities by past boards, which lead to Drummond sending a team of educators to CCC to attempt to rescue the college from further damage. A ruling by the accreditation board last summer recommended taking away the school's certification, and the same commission, despite acknowledging improvements by the state team on campus, ruled the same way on Nov. 21. The college remains accredited during the appeal process.

The council quizzed Drummond on the state of the college, its financial status and the accreditation situation. In a statement to the Bulletin, the chancellor said that he believed that the informal question and answer session had gone well. "The councilmembers asked good questions, and they seemed engaged and informed," Drummond stated. He reiterated that he would exhaust all possible legal remedies to ensure that CCC maintain its accredited status. "I'm hopeful that the outcome will be favorable," he said.

Moore, who presented the school's case before the accreditation committee last November, told the Bulletin that she and her colleagues on the state team- Ratliff, Cheryl Fong and Drs. Sally Chou, Mickey Mathews and Hal Bateman -are continuing to work on not only fighting for the college's certification but on assuring the constituents in the areas that the district serves that the college is still a viable academic institution. "The thing that everyone should remember is that at the end of the day, it's all about the students," Moore said.

With regard to the pending accreditation hearing, she believes that the college has presented a good case and will do so again. "I think that we've done everything that we can do," the interim president candidly stated.

She admitted to having a certain degree of frustration with the previous accreditation board that recognized the strides that the state team has made since they replaced the board of trustees as the authoritative body of CCC but gave Moore and her colleagues no indication of what might be needed to assure that the college does not lose its certification. "It can be frustrating," she acknowledged. "We feel that all of the accomplishments that we have made are noteworthy, and perhaps were not taken fully into account (by the accreditation board)." "We've never been in denial about our deficiencies," Moore continued. "All we are asking for is more time to correct them. And that's the critical question; will they give us more time to correct our deficiencies?" the college president pondered.

Lorraine Cervantes, one of two Compton College trustees, was not pleased by Drummond and Moore's answers at the council meeting. "I thought that they were very vague and evasive," Cervantes, who attended the meeting, said. She accused Drummond of issuing different messages in other forums. "Depending on who he talks to, he seems to always give different answers," she charged.

CCC is currently appealing last November's ruling. Ratliff and Moore will have the opportunity to present their case again for the college maintaining its accreditation in March before the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges, the body that governs all high schools and community colleges in the state.

 

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