Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
SANTA FE – Santa Fe Community College, and all its adjoining facilities, will be closed for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, College President Becky Rowley announced in a written statement Friday.
The decision was made in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has forced the closure of many colleges and universities, including the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State.
SFCC was originally scheduled to reopen April 6, but Rowley said the current spread of the virus has made that impossible.
“It wouldn’t make any sense to come back to school when things are getting worse instead of better,” she said in a phone interview Friday.
Many classes at the college had already transitioned into an online format. Those that cannot go online will be extended into the summer semester.
The college also announced that spring commencement will be postponed, and that a date for a new ceremony has not been announced.
Rowley had previously said the college was considering a virtual commencement, in which students’ names, degrees and pictures would be displayed on a slideshow livestreamed over the internet.
“We do want to do that, but it’ll probably not be until summer,” she said.
While the campus remains closed, student workers will still receive paychecks.
The college has, however, placed a “soft freeze” on hiring, meaning that each position will be evaluated for need before a replacement is hired.
Rowley said they are expecting a sizable cut to their budget when the state Legislature meets for a special session, which has yet to be scheduled.
SFCC’s Governing Board’s next meeting is set for 2 p.m. March 30 and can be viewed by the public on the college’s YouTube page.
Rowley said the budget will be a topic of discussion, but no official action will be taken.
She also said she is impressed with how the SFCC community has responded to the crisis so far.
“The faculty have come up with really impressive ways to teach classes that I would’ve never thought of,” she said.