Published on 3/16/2020.
The Board of Trustees me in emergency session today to approve a resolution that provides me with additional authority to help CR continue to provide educational services to students during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Board took this action because it is committed to safeguarding the health and welfare of all students, faculty, staff, and community members by proactively planning responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are no known incidents of COVID-19 affecting College of the Redwoods at this time, we are taking action to prevent exposure on our campuses and throughout our local communities. As a preventative measure, the CR is implementing procedures for emergency operations. The first step in proactively managing the COVID-19 pandemic is a Declaration of Campus Emergency. This allows the District to take immediate steps to ensure the majority of its educational programs, courses, and services for students will continue during the spring semester.
- The Declaration of a Campus Emergency by the Superintendent/President, as authorized by the Board of Trustees today, does the following:
- The District may access additional resources and assistance from local, state, and federal agencies in the event of declaration of local emergency and/or State of Emergency
- Allows District employees to perform activities outside their regular scope of duties and helps ensure appropriate payment of workers’ compensation, reimbursement for extraordinary expenses, and federal disaster relief, as applicable
- Allows the District to limit public access to its facilities in order to take all appropriate precautions and update emergency response plans and resources accordingly.
President of the Board Dr. Mullery read a statement at the beginning of the meeting. I am including her statement (below) in its entirety.
I want to share with all who may be listening in that the Board has made some schedule changes as a result of the current public health crisis.
Our April 7 meeting will not be at the Del Norte campus as originally scheduled; rather, it will be convened at the Eureka campus at its normally scheduled time of 1:00. Further, the April 7 meeting will be convened via teleconference using Zoom technology. Therefore, it will not be accessible on YouTube. However, the Zoom number will be available on the published agenda for anyone who would like to listen in to the meeting.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Newsom recently released an Executive Order (EO) that suspends meeting safeguards stipulated in the Brown Act specifically as such safeguards relate to teleconferencing and public access. These waivers permit all Trustees to teleconference from any location with no requirement to either post the agenda or permit public access to the Trustee’s teleconference location. There will be one teleconference location that will be accessible to the public, and it will be the Eureka campus’ Board room. If any member of the public chooses to be present in the Board Room during the April 7 meeting, we will be following strict social distancing rules. Our agenda for this Board meeting will be limited to essential action items. All oral reports that are normally presented at the Board meeting will be submitted in writing so that the report presenter will not need to be present in the Board room.
I expect that our May Board meeting will also be conducted via Zoom technology; however, given the rapidly changing circumstances I can not predict with certainty how Board meetings will be convened after April 7.
The Board also had a workshop/retreat scheduled on Saturday, April 11, which we have cancelled.
I want to take this opportunity to thank President Flamer for his leadership during this difficult and challenging period. The Board appreciates his constant attention to ever-changing conditions, advice, guidance, and directives that he is receiving from a multitude of sources. I also thank his leadership team, his executive assistant Cynthia Petrusha, and the Emergency Preparedness group for their diligent work as they strive to make hard decisions that will safeguard the health and well-being of our students and all employees while doing all that is possible to minimize disruption to the academic mission. The Board also appreciates the collaboration that is ongoing between President Flamer, HSU President Jackson, and Humboldt County of Education Superintendent Chris Hartley so that our efforts can be coordinated throughout the community-at-large.
Finally I want to thank my Trustee Colleagues for their flexibility as we work together to support the mission of our district during these challenging and uncertain times.
The link to the Governor’s Executive Order: