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Employee pay uncertain; updates on student refunds, grades

Chancellor Joe May sent an email to employees today stating that all employees will be paid through April, but it was not certain what will happen after that. Photo by Baylie Tucker/The Et Cetera

Update: This story was updated on April 6 at 8:00 p.m. to include an email from Chief Human Resources Officer Sherri Enright regarding the pay of employees.
New developments have been announced in the Dallas County Comunity College District today: The pay of some employees is not certain after April, students can receive full refunds if they drop a class and the district will not be moving to a pass/fail system.
An email from Chancellor Joe May to employees this morning said that all employees will be paid through April, but that a final decision to extend past that has not been made.
“While I would prefer to commit to a longer timeframe, right now, it is just too difficult to predict how long our district will continue to be impacted by this crisis, and more specifically, how it will impact students and the taxpayers who fund us,” the email said. “Of course, we remain optimistic that we will persevere without any impacts to our employees, however, I also want to be as transparent as possible.”
[READ MORE: Campus coronavirus updates: Student services]
Chief Human Resources Officer Sherri Enright followed up with another email to employees this evening addressing part-time employees who have voiced concerns that their positions cannot be done remotely. The email said that even if they aren’t working, they will continue to be paid for the month of April, but that it will be evaluated on a month-to-month basis after that.
“We still need employees to work their regular work schedule where at all possible and if not, please contact your supervisor to potentially be reassigned to other projects for which you may be suitable,” Enright’s email said. “We know this is a challenging time for everyone and we want to maintain our current employment levels for the foreseeable future.”
Enright added that the district is finishing up plans to help employees without access to technology and that more information will be available at the end of the week.
May’s email also stated that students will receive a full refund if they elect to drop a class and not re-enroll in other classes. It will not count against students in the six-drop rule.
The deadline to withdraw was extended to May 13 and students who wish to receive an incomplete for a course this semester will have until Dec. 10 to complete the class.
DCCCD will not be moving to a pass/fail system as other colleges across the nation have, according to an email to faculty from Interim Vice Provost Linda Braddy. The email stated the decision was made because certain programs, such as dual credit, veterans and other industry-based certificate courses, require letter grades for financial aid, job placement and other “academic requirements.”
The email said this decision was made between May, Braddy, college presidents, vice presidents and the student academic success task force, which includes Eastfield Faculty Association President Liz Nichols.
“There’s too many moving parts that would negatively impact veterans and financial aid pieces,” Nichols said. “Students who are trying to transfer to four-year institutions need a grade, so at this time we’re not going to be going to pass/fail.”

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