COVID-19 conference meeting at the Great Hall

COVID-19 conference meeting at the Great Hall

Pierce College President Alexis Montivergen held a meeting Monday to address Pierce’s plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, including creating four response teams, delaying registration, and moving classes online.

Montevirgen addressed the staff in attendance to go over updates and a plan to help faculty, staff and students transition to online learning.

“Let me underscore that our primary concern is the wellbeing of our campus community,” Montevirgen said. “If you are coming across any faculty, staff or any student that has expressed concern over their health, the recommendation will be for them to stay home.”

Montevirgen said he has been in constant communication with the other presidents, district administration and the chancellor in regards to the COVID-19 response teams. He said that communication will be key.

There are four response teams: health and safety, continuity of business or staff operations, academic and student and general communications.

Montevirgen said that these teams are not final and there could be some moving around or additions.

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher said administration wants the transition to be as smooth as possible.

“A lot of people are uncomfortable being here and not that they don’t want to serve our students, they are scared to death they may catch it,” Schleicher said. “Our goal is to make sure that we contain as best we can and get everybody in line and kind of vacate the college.”

Schleicher said they were used to dealing with unusual circumstances because of the fires. He said, however, COVID-19 is completely different.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger said registration is being delayed for the Summer and Fall.

She said that when a class is offered online, it has to be approved by the academic senate and the instructor must have gone through certification for training.

“Those two requirements have been lifted and under this emergency order and we have received guidance from the state chancellor’s office and also from the accrediting commission,” Berger said. “The U.S. Department of Education has lifted requirements that we normally operate under to do distance education which is why we can put all of these classes in an online remote learning situation. The course has not been improved necessarily and the faculty haven’t been fully trained which is why we are doing the training to help them transition.”

Berger said that the start and end dates for the fall semester and summer session will not change. The only change is the production timeline.

She gave an example of how the schedules should be up by a certain date and the registration will be on another.

They will be pushed so that they can be prepared to make changes to the schedules.

During the meeting, Vice President of Student Services Earic Dixon-Peters said that Pierce made an assessment on what services it can offer. He said Pierce can provide 95% of its services online.

Ryan Cornner, Vice Chancellor of Educational Programs and Institutional Effectiveness said that 900 laptops have been ordered for faculty, and 200 will go to staff.

“It will go through the district, and they don’t know how it will be allocated,” Berger said. “They haven’t received the information yet.”

Deputy presence will also be enforced when the school is closed so there are no thefts on campus.

Montevirgen said that the vice presidents have done an overall assessment of staff who can teach online and who still need to meet in person.

“The example I gave is that you can’t feed the farm animals remotely,” Montevirgen said. “If and when we close the campus, we will need to know who will still need to come to perform those duties, but we are trying to assess that, and it’s one of the questions I addressed to the VP’s to get a count of how many can go remotely and whether they will need the tools to be able to do