Weatherford College board of trustees met Tuesday for an update on the COVID-19 outbreak.
The board ratified the previous actions of WC President Tod Allen Farmer to close WC campuses and move classes online with faculty teaching remotely for the remainder of the semester. Farmer said students are voluntarily moving out of Coyote Village, WC’s student dormitory. Most international students have returned home, except for one who is not able to travel because of restrictions in place.
“We currently have three students residing in the dorms,” Farmer said. “We’ve vacated all but three. However, there are 24 other students who have requested to continue residing in Coyote Village. At this point, the move-out is voluntary, and we are contacting those 24 and asking them to reconsider for their own public safety concerns.”
Isolation measures are in place at the dorms by establishing rooms for those who show signs of illness, Farmer said. Though the cafeteria has been closed, box lunches are being delivered to Coyote Village.
The board also approved distributing prorated out-of-pocket refunds to students who have moved out of campus housing, which is contrary to WC’s policy that only refunds for meals. Their approval also allowed Farmer to take further actions as necessary to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff.
“When I say prorated out-of-pocket, what I mean by that is the prorated funds would be only the days remaining in the semester, and the term out-of-pocket meaning that those who paid out of their own pocket or had parents or family members pay, they would be refunded a prorated amount,” Farmer said.
Unused scholarship funds that were to pay for housing are expected to be retained by the WC Foundation, the college or whichever organization issued the funds for future scholarships, Farmer said.
“It would be a case-by-case consideration based upon method of payment,” Farmer said.
Students checking out of dorms between March 23-26 will receive a refund for meals and housing of $1,200, according to the guidelines read by Board Chairman Mac Smith. Students have until April 7 to move out and receive a prorated refund.
The board also approved moving the process to evaluate the college president online. WC General Counsel Dan Curlee said information would be exchanged between board members and himself for the evaluation. Criteria will also be addressed in those exchanges.
“I would anticipate in the near future that these face-to-face meetings with the board is probably not going to be advisable, and we need to improvise,” Curlee said. “We probably, in our closed session, need to discuss the frequency of which we have board meetings for the foreseeable future.”