Town Hall 081020

Town Hall Annotations 08-10-20

Present: David DeCenzo (President), Travis Overton (Vice President for Executive Initiatives/Chief of Staff), Carlos Johnson (VP of Legal Services/University Council), Dan Ennis (VP of Academic Affairs/Provost), David Frost (Chief Financial Officer), Carissa Madeiros (Director of Emergency Management)


Disclaimer: The below annotations and timestamps are for reference only, compiled by volunteer staff. The below are for reference only.


Opening Remarks (0:21 – 4:35)

  • 0:56 | Student Housing Foundation has purchased CCU-branded masks. Available for purchase for general public in POD and Bookstore.
  • 1:50 | Upcoming Meetings
    • Academic Townhall will be Wednesday, August 12 at 1 p.m.
    • General Faculty Meeting: August 18, 9 a.m.
    • General Staff Meeting: August 18, 10:30 a.m.
  • 2:30 | Telecommuting policy will be approved today by Executive Council
  • 3:01 | Coastal Comeback Plan:
    • August 16 is the employee re-entry to work/workplace


Carissa Medeiros on Coastal Comeback Plan (4:50 – 16:00)

  • 5:00 | Practices that we’ve placed in our plan have been adopted by our larger community.
  • 6:50 | New trainings are provided on campus
  • 7:24 | Please self-identify if you are feeling unwell, and please visit your healthcare provider. Student Health services will allow faculty/staff testing as well.
  • 9:31 | Please wear your face coverings on campus unless you are in an office by yourself.
  • 9:43 | Can you wear a bandana as a face covering? No, as it doesn’t prevent droplets from entering the air. You can wear gaiters (neck coverings that cover your mouth) instead. Face shields are not a replacement for a face covering.
  • 12:09 | It is your responsibility to keep 6’ away from others. All instructional spaces have 6’ of physical distancing
  • 13:13 | Sanitization stations are wonderful; it gives us the ability to reach out for the resource. We are now responsible for our personal spaces. I will take care of my desk and things I touch in my office.
  • 14:00 | Personal hygiene is important.
  • 14:24 | Student Health Services provides tesing for faculty and staff.
  • 14:55 | If you have a question, please consult the Coastal Comeback Plan.
  • 15:49 (DeCenzo): We will continue to discuss this Executive Council. We moved in a number of students this past weekend. Several hundred will wait until Labor Day weekend to move in.

Questions (16:40 – 45:42)

  • 16:40 | Bigger Question on Budget Cuts: Board approved budget with revised budget. We have met our goal. Included in that was a reduction in force plan, which was also approved by the board.
  • 19:13 | Ennis: We did present an analysis of student enrollment, which we presented to the board. Three scenarios: 18% (worst case), 13% (most likely), 10-11% (best case). The challenge we face is that prior models is not applicable. The range is so large because of that uncertainty.
  • 21:49 | Frost: We budgeted with a target of 15%, and that that number will be pretty accurate.
  • 22:19 | How is student poor internet being addressed?
    • Ennis: I have a 3-pronged approach to the internet question. We are giving hot spots to South Carolina students from the Commission of Higher Education, based on the poverty rate. The second step is to accommodate out-of-state students. We have purchased 250 hot spots for out-of-state students. Between CHE and CCU, we have about 500 hot spots. Third approach is that Coastal will join the Eduroam Network, which allows a network of universities to share their wi-fi access. Every one of South Carolina’s schools is part of this network.
  • 27:28 | Will there be more budget cuts?
    • At 15% enrollment drop, we will operate on the budget just approved. If we have 25%, then we will need further cuts.
  • 28:58 | Are our budget shortfalls a part of our Division I aspirations rather than the pandemic?
    • DeCenzo: 90% of our revenue is from student enrollment, so it’s a consequence of that.
  • 29:28 | How does the university plan to absorb the cost of the off-campus housing lease that was approved by the board for quarantining purposes?
    • Frost: We have identified 100 beds that we can be used, and those costs can be submitted to FEMA to be reimbursed through the CARES act from the SC governor.
  • 30:31 | The Board approved the mission statement and reaffirmed, why is that?
    • DeCenzo: Each year, we are required to.
  • 31:14 | Do we know what we have to do if we experience a hurricane? How many days are built in before additional reductions are needed?
    • If we are out for a few days, we are in a position to absorb those costs.
  • 32:26 | Why do public safety officers not have furlough?
    • DeCenzo: Safety. We had a fairly significant retirement in our public safety, so the staffing needs cannot be cut to accommodate the number of officers we need for students to return.
  • 33:38 | What is the plan for announcing COVID-19 infection numbers?
    • Medieros: We’re still working on what the university response will be on a weekly basis.
  • 34:35 | Why have we not canceled football?
    • The Big 10 announced they would be canceling football (yesterday), and the Pac 12 annoucned they would be canceling football (an hour ago). It’s a conference decision, not an individual school decision. Tomorrow, the athletic directors of the Sun Belt are having a meeting. There will be some formal decision made after that.
    • The athletes really drove the conference to some of those decisions because they were saying, in mass, they were not willing to play this fall.
  • 37:14 | With all of the changes to staffing, how do we know who to contact?
    • Overton: We are going to handle the notification to the campus during the president’s executive council.
  • 38:14 | What phase are we in?
    • Overton: We are currently in Phase I of the Comeback Plan. We are in Phase III of employees returning to campus.
  • 39:32 | Can gators/gaiters be used as facial coverings?
    • Overton: Yes.
  • 42:42 | What is the status of the Presidential Search?
    • Overton: We anticipate being able to move forward in a couple of weeks to bring the individuals to campus. The Board anticipates being able to name a new president this semester.