Umpqua Community College President Debra Thatcher.

Umpqua Community College’s board of directors unanimously approved the COVID-19 Health and Safety Operational Plan during a special meeting Thursday.

“(The Oregon Health Authority) collaborated to give us the guidelines and our plan is almost word for word the guidelines with just a little finesse to make it suitable to us,” UCC President Debra Thatcher said, adding that these are the same protocols the college has followed since April.

The plan showed most classes will be online during fall term, with labs and some career technical education courses happening in person.

The school board also approved a nearly $860,000 contract with Vitus Construction, Inc. for seismic upgrades to the Whipple Fine & Performing Arts Building, which is part of a grant awarded to the college in April 2019.

A memorandum of understanding that would increase the pay of nursing instructors was also approved by the board.

During the April 2019 review of the UCC Nursing Program, the recommendation was made to look into the amount those instructors were paid to recruit and retain faculty.

“As we are expanding our nursing program and wanting to make sure that we not only keep the good nursing faculty we can, but also attract new ones,” Thatcher said. “So, our pay equity is based upon your education and your years of experience.”

The board is taking part in the annual summer retreat, which was held on campus Thursday afternoon. Finding a new president for the college was the main topic of the summer retreat, but no action will be taken during the retreat.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

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