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EGCC Trustees Extend Dissolution Date to October

Last week, the Eastern Gateway Community College Board of Trustees announced that it would extend its dissolution plan to October 31, 2024. Ostensibly, the extension would give students “more time” to finish their degrees at EGCC. It would also give EGCC a chance to grab a little more cash from the State of Ohio.

On the surface, it’s hard to see how such a plan would work, given that EGCC has already terminated the faculty and told the students to go elsewhere. “Finishing” a degree is not a neat process. For those students who are within a semester of completing a degree, they’re going to need specific courses – which may or may not be available – since the school has let all the teachers go.

Students who are close enough to graduation need a wide range of courses, which EGCC isn’t likely to be able to offer. Is EGCC going to limit the students who can finish their degrees to certain programs? Are they going to offer course substitutions when the required courses are not available? Course substitutions may not be possible for certain programs, like those that are accredited by a professional organization.

And the faculty – they’ve already been told that their contracts will not be renewed. The faculty contract terminates July 31, a full three months before the college closes. Will all faculty be extended? Only some faculty? Only part -time faculty? Are the faculty for this “last hurrah” now independent contractors?

And how is the semester going to work? A semester that starts in June and ends after Labor Day means that students who don’t finish their degrees by that time can’t start classes elsewhere during the Fall semester. They’ll need to wait until January to start elsewhere.

How is this going to work?

EGCC: Money for Nothing?

More realistically, the EGCC Trustees have determined that continued operation beyond the start of the State’s fiscal year means a little more money from Columbus. (Are they sure about that?) Will that funding relieve some of the apparent liability to Jefferson County? Do the cash advances on the SSI money that EGCC has already received change the amount of funds available to it at the beginning of the 2025 fiscal year?

Is the college still on a fiscal watch status by the Auditor of State? If so, what does that status mean for the distribution of additional State funds to EGCC? And who gets the bill if the $20M+ Student Resource Center lawsuit doesn’t go well for EGCC?

At the end of the day, the EGCC Trustees have given up on the school’s accreditation. Without it, the school will cease to exist on November 1, 2024. So, what is the point of delaying the dissolution process for a few more months? To get more money?

What exactly is this money for? Clearly it isn’t for the students, or the faculty or staff. If the additional cash isn’t strictly intended to relieve Jefferson County of at least some of the apparent liability for EGCC’s bond debts, then there is little point in dragging this out.

Photo Credit: zeevveez, via Flickr