Tuesday, 13 April 2021

California Community Colleges Board approves emergency authority for chancellor in the response to COVID-19 outbreak

SACRAMENTO – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors on Monday unanimously approved an emergency measure that provides the state chancellor with additional authority to help colleges continue to provide educational services to students, especially through online delivery, during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The measure, approved during a meeting of the state board conducted by video conference, provides the state chancellor with direction to take all appropriate actions, including by executive order, to allow the continued education of community college students during the period of emergency proclaimed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month.

These actions may include the temporary suspension of regulations adopted by the Board of Governors and the suspension of local rules and regulations that are a barrier to the continuity of educational services.

“The state chancellor needs clear authority to remove regulatory barriers that may impede the ability of colleges to fulfill their educational mission while keeping students and staff safe,” said Board President Tom Epstein.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office is working closely with the governor’s office, the California Department of Public Health and local colleges to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak and is providing the ability for all colleges to convert in-person classes to online.

Most California community colleges are preparing to shift to expanded delivery of online instruction in the coming days and weeks following periods of closure or class suspensions to transition to this approach.

“The California Community Colleges has long been a leader in online education, and I am urging colleges to increase their ability to use this option during this emergency and in future emergencies and to limit in-person contacts,” Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said. “Our colleges are no strangers to disasters, unfortunately, and they are working diligently to help communities get through this crisis and they will play critical roles during recovery.”

Since early February, the Chancellor’s Office has provided all community colleges guidance from the state Department of Public Health on steps to mitigate the spread of the virus.

While the Chancellor’s Office does not have the legal authority to close colleges, it continues to support colleges as they work to protect students and staff.

For more information, please visit the Chancellors’ Office COVID-19 web resource page.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year.

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