What?! City College can’t be closing?!

You probably aren’t the only one that thought it was a joke when SFGate reported that City College of San Francisco is in danger of being closed.

Because — seriously — how can the state’s largest college be threatened with closure?

The idea of the school’s nine campuses, 39 administrators, 2,700 employees, and over 90,000 students vanishing into the ether seems improbable, albeit an overly-extreme measure even when considering the lack of funds that goes into public education nowadays.

But that didn’t stop president Barbara Beno and the rest of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges from handing down a staggering verdict on Tuesday: City College has eight months to prove that it deserves to stay accredited and receive funding.

And even while trying to prove it should stay afloat, the sinking college still has to prepare a “Closure Report” in the event that it indeed goes under.

Sounds pretty harsh, right?

Here are the reasons for the mighty hand-slap.

In the report to City College’s interim chancellor Pamela Fisher, the commission cites serious “leadership lacking on all levels,” as well as on-going fiscal issues that have yet to be fixed. SFGate reports that the school was first warned of the threat of closure back in 2006 when eight “major” problems were pointed out that could jeopardize the school’s accreditation.

Now, the college has 14 problems on its plate.

College trustee Steve Ngo has taken a proactive approach, telling SFGate:

“City College must survive. … We will work our way out of this.”

Fisher, while acknowledging that  “clear, difficult choices must be made, immediately, and at a number of levels,” did not issue any statement of positivity or promise about keeping the school open.

City College has until October 15 to put together a plan of action for the commission, followed by a visit from the commission to monitor progress.

The full report to City College of San Francisco is available on their website.