Dec. 22, 2021
By JOSH FRIEDMAN
The Santa Barbara County Grand Jury recently released a report denying allegations of widespread mismanagement at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
Earlier this year, the grand jury received a detailed complaint about the management of Hancock College. The complaint contained allegations of financial mismanagement, grade manipulation and a difficult work environment involving inappropriate hiring, promotion and staff evaluation skills, according to the grand jury report.
Among other accusations, the plaintiffs allege financial mismanagement pertaining to a college program of providing emergency loans to poor students, as well as manipulation of grades awarded. to high school students taking classes at Hancock College. Upon investigation, the grand jury found misunderstandings about the programs, but not mismanagement and manipulation.
Also, grand jury members noted that aspects of the allegedly difficult work environment, such as budgeting and staffing disagreements, do not appear to be unique in an institution with 500 to 1,000 employees.
The grand jury found no systemic support for the allegations in the complaint. However, it recommends new review and reporting measures to improve overall transparency in Hancock College’s management.