College of the Redwoods receives the all-clear: Accrediting commission removes probation status

It's over.

After two years in limbo, College of the Redwoods has been removed from probation status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

CR Board of Trustees President Colleen Mullery said the news of having probation and all sanctions lifted was "joyful."

"Everyone came together to make this happen, and took cuts when needed," Mullery said.

Keith Snow-Flamer, CR vice president of instruction and student development, said he felt both relieved and thankful to hear the news.

"Part of that relief came from knowing that we have put things in place to ensure that this will never happen again," Snow-Flamer said.

The commission placed the college on show cause, its most serious sanction, in February 2012. One year later, CR's status was upgraded to probation.

"During that time, we had to write a very lengthy report detailing how we were going to address the nine concerns on which we provided data to to the commission," CR spokesman Paul DeMark said.

Mullery said while CR went through the sanctions and probation, the commission never questioned the quality of instruction.

"We had some financial difficulties, but that is being experienced throughout the state," she said.

During the probation period, the college retained full accreditation status. All credits and degree and certificate programs were fully valid, DeMark said.

The next step for CR is to submit a financial report on April 15 detailing long-term budget and cash flow plans.

"The commission wants to know what we are planning for the next three years to make sure that everything we want to do is set in place and is a reality," Snow-Flamer said. "I think the key piece to this is that the commission sees how we link the budget to our programs and our students' learning."

Snow-Flamer added that CR has to make sure there is continual improvement in everyday standards, and that there is long-term fiscal planning every year --not every three or four years.

"I have been here seven years, and this is the most deliberate the college has been," he said. "I think the sanctions made the college better because the people and the commission identified processes that weren't working, and by seeing what was wrong, we were able to fix it and make it better."

Melissa Simon can be reached at 441-0508 or