/ Modified mar 10, 2015 3:12 p.m.

Pima Community College Removed From Probation

College will be accredited, but continue to be watched by Higher Learning Commission

PCCcampus3 Pima Community College Downtown Campus.
Fernanda Echavarri, AZPM

Updated March 10, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Pima Community College is no longer on probation. The Higher Learning Commission is the college’s accrediting agency, and it announced Monday that PCC has been removed from nearly two years of probation.

Lee Lambert 071213 portrait PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert. (PHOTO: AZPM)

The action began after reports of financial mismanagement, administrative conflicts of interest and sexual harassment.

The Higher Learning Commission outlined positive changes at the college in a letter to the Chancellor dated March 9, 2015.

These include: - new policies on sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation - establishing committees on finance and human resources and other areas. - improvements to human resources

The community college has now been placed on notice, which is a lesser sanction.The announcement means the college meets all criteria for accreditation, but is still subject to further reporting of its activities for at least the next year and a half.

"Many changes, including the adoption of new policies and processes, have been developed and implemented only recently so that there has not yet been sufficient time to test and assess the effect of these changes," Higher Learning Commission President Barbara Gellman-Danley wrote in the letter.

The college needs to submit detailing their improvements, such as effectiveness of new policies, curriculum changes and filling of administrative positions, by July 2016.

This is the full statement Chancellor Lambert sent to staff Monday, March 9:

"Colleagues,

"I am pleased to inform you that Pima Community College has been removed from Probation and placed on the lesser sanction of Notice. The Higher Learning Commission defines Notice as a sanction in which an institution meets all of the Criteria for Accreditation, but is still at risk.

"Like everyone, I am thankful for the hard work and dedication of the more than 300 employees, community members and students who worked tirelessly to conduct the Institutional Self Study, an important step in creating a culture of continuous improvement.

"What’s next: PCC will submit a Notice Report to the HLC by July 1, 2016. The HLC will conduct a Focused Evaluation Visit no later than September 2016. We will have more information for you very shortly.

"I am proud of the phenomenal progress that PCC has made. At this new level, we still have significant work to do, but I am confident that this means a new day at PCC. Great job, and keep up the good work!

Lee D. Lambert, Chancellor"

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