CCCC board suspends soccer program
By a vote of 5-1, the Cloud County Community College board of trustees voted to suspend the men's and women's soccer program indefinitely, effective immediately.
Trustees Ellen Anderson, Jesse Pounds, Richard Hubert, Greg Askren and Jim Koch voted in favor of suspending the programs. Patricia Owensby Macfarlane voted against it.
The vote came following a 40-minute executive session the trustees had with college president Dr. Adrian Douglas, college attorney Justin Ferrell, director of human resources Chris Wilson, vice president for academic affairs and student services Pedro Leite and vice president for administrative services Amber Knoettgen.
College administration released a statement on the campus-wide T-Bird update earlier this month that suspending the soccer program would be recommended so ongoing institutional issues can be addressed:
“Our decision to recommend to temporarily suspend our soccer program may come as a surprise to many but the reality is that we have been dealing with various issues for some time now. We've made some changes as an institution, but they are not getting us where we need to be as issues continue to arise.”
Douglas stated that the issues involving the soccer program have been ongoing for years and affect the entire institution.
The decision to suspend the program impacts about 70 current team members.
Those students who decide to transfer will be granted a full release from their letters of intent. Students who decide to stay at Cloud County will have their letter of intent for the 2020-21 academic year honored.
The college board met via zoom video conferencing because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Cloud County students were on spring break when the decision was made to extend spring break.
“Coming out of spring break we started to look at what we could do to really flatten the curve. The safety of our students, the staff and community was of utmost importance,” Douglas said.
The decision was then made to close the campus to the students and community and transition to all online courses.
“We implemented a flexible schedule and moved staff to working remotely unless they absolutely needed to be on campus. And we are prepared to completely close the campus should we need to if we are ordered to shelter in place,” Douglas said.
Douglas said the executive team is constantly monitoring information while working with the county health and emergency officials.
“I cannot express enough how proud I am of the folks who work here. We have made decisions to try to adapt to the crisis. We have asked employees to step out of their boxes to serve our students and they have done just that,” Douglas said.
Cloud County students are to be checked out permanently from campus by March 29.
Douglas said that there are 13 students currently living in on-campus housing. She said they had no place else to go and will remain in housing until the end of the semester.
The college food service is providing meals for those students still on campus.
The college Children's Learning Center is currently closed because of the social distancing guidelines established of not more than 10 people.
“We are re-evaluating that midweek each week to look at the following week and how we are going to proceed. We have been keeping the communication lines open with those families and letting them know it may not reopen this semester, and that if it does, it may be only to those who serve critical or essential jobs in the community,” Knoettgen said.
Leite said that adjustments have been made when it comes to student recruitment because college staff cannot make visits to high schools and on-campus visits are not allowed.
“We are increasing the use of social media for recruiting,” Leite said.
A video that simulates a visit to campus is being developed to send out to students. It will also be posted on the college's website.
A process for remote enrollment and remote advising has been developed.
In other action taken during the meeting, the board approved renewing the contracts of head men's basketball coach Jordan Altman, assistant men's basketball coach Taylor Jones and assistant women's basketball coach Josiah White.
The board approved revised nondiscrimination, records retention and tobacco usage and nicotine delivery devices policies.
The board had a 10-minute executive session for negotiations. No action was taken.