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Bladen Community College Board of Trustees Pass New Policy in Historic Meeting

By Charlotte Smith

The Bladen Community College Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting Monday at 1 p.m. to discuss policy implementation necessary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bladen Community Dr. Amanda Lee welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Board members present during the telephonic meeting were Chairman, Dennis Troy, Dr. Frank Gemma, Mary Andrews, Pam Benton, Ray Britt, Lillian Bryant, Brian Campbell, Bruce Dickerson, Ricky Leinwand, and Attorney Gary Grady.

“Thank you all for joining us on this telephone. What to do when you don’t know what to do and it looks like the whole world is shut down,” Board Chairman Dennis Troy said.

He continued, “This is just another historical move going on in the country today.

“College leadership has put into place contingency plans and is preparing to sustain critical college functions, including instruction, information technology, essential business office activities, safety, security, and maintenance during this time of response to COVID-19,” Troy added.

Dr. Lee explained the reason for the emergency meeting was to inform the board of two policy items on the agenda.

“We want to assure the public that Bladen Community College is being proactive in efforts to help prevent the spread of illness among our students, faculty, staff and community. We urge you to stay connected to the college through email and by visiting our webpage, “ said Dr. Amanda Lee, President.

The first was an update on a policy for communicable diseases. The update to the policy was for procedural changes since the outbreak of COVID-19. No vote would be needed for the policy changes, according to Dr. Lee.

The next item was for a new policy, Policy 7.15, Employee State Leave Policy, which allows for administrative leave, and employees to work from home, according to Dr. Lee.

Dr. Amanda Lee, Bladen Community College President

“Making these changes will allow me to move forward quickly and efficiently,” Dr. Lee said after presenting the new policy.

Board member Ray Britt made a motion to accept the new Employee leave policy and to make the policy retroactive to March 16, 2020, as suggested by Dr. Lee. The motion carried with a unanimous vote by all board members on the telephone meeting.

After the business was carried out the meeting was adjourned. Chairman Troy thanked everyone for taking the time to attend the historic meeting.

A dedicated webpage  has been developed to keep the community informed and should be visited often for the latest developments related to the operations of the College during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To limit the number of people on Bladen Community College’s campus and lessen the potential spread of COVID-19, college officials are asking the public to limit their visits to the campus and encouraging students to contact their instructor or the college through email.  Students who may need access to WiFi and/or use of a computer may contact the Student Resource Center to make an appointment to come on campus for assistance.

Last week, many community colleges across North Carolina extended their Spring Break, and began to transition their instruction to an online format.  Bladen Community College is among those and began its online classes for all classes on Monday, March 23.

Peter Hans, President, NC Community College System, has held and continues to hold conference calls daily with college presidents and formed a COVID-29 Response Advisory Committee of six presidents who represent their respective regions.  Dr. Amanda Lee, President of Bladen Community College, is one of those six presidents and represents the southeastern region of the state.

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