Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT)

Updated August 17, 2021.

The primary purpose of the Portland Community College (PCC) COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) is to present and recommend to the PCC President institution-wide COVID-19 Health & Safety Operational and Reopening plans, and to be the definitive resource for published COVID-19 policy, procedures, standards and guidelines related to the reopening of the college. The conditions for re-opening are dynamic and therefore the COLT will continue to review and revise the plans to meet current governmental agencies’ guidance and directives.

The term re-opening refers to but is not limited to, the return of in-person instruction and “critical function” support services delivered through the most appropriate methodology (face-to-face, or a hybrid of face-to-face and on-line). PCC is committed to providing an environment that is safe for students, faculty, staff, administration, and community while maintaining PCC’s commitment to our mission of equitable opportunity through education.

Components of the re-opening plan and COLT functionality include:

  • Recommendation of institution-wide COVID-19-related health and safety administrative procedures and protocols.
  • Coordination of re-opening strategies of various PCC COVID-19-related groups.
  • Recommendation to the President of appropriate board policies, as needed, to address COVID-19-related health and safety policy-level issues.
  • Recommendation for the allocation of PCC resources to address COVID-19-related re-opening issues.
  • Communication of approved and adopted administrative procedures to inform, educate, and operationalize the reopening plans, PCC COVID-19-related groups, and the greater college community.
  • Curation and posting of the processes, decisions, and actions of the COLT.

Guiding principles

Portland Community College developed a set of Guiding Principles for Reopening Planning to support the complex transition that we will face in 2021-22.

Reopening Governance FAQ

Who is making decisions about reopening? What is COLT?

The COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team (COLT) was established in May 2020 to create, present, and recommend institution-wide COVID-19 Health & Safety Operational and Reopening plans, and to be the definitive resource for published COVID-19 policy, procedures, standards, and guidelines related to the reopening of the college. Read more about COLT membership and guiding principles.

COLT formed the Office of COVID-19 reopening, COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT), and special task forces for Communications, Compliance Training, Offsite/Clinicals, and COVID-19 Enforcement, and appointed a COVID-19 Compliance Officer to support decision making and operational planning.

View the COLT Team Panel, recorded on Monday, September 14. This is a facilitated discussion regarding our collective work related to COVID-19 and its impact on all aspects of college operations – from the institutional values and guiding principles that drive decision-making to regulatory, equity and community care, and curricular programmatic considerations.

What is the Office of COVID-19 reopening?

The Office of COVID-19 Reopening was established in June 2020 to support the resumption of in-person courses and activities, facilitate the development of college-wide opening plans, processes, and technologies, and serve as the institutional source for reopening information and decision making data. This team also monitors the health of the COVID-19 reopening project portfolio and the external environment. This office reports to Sylvia Kelly.

Who works in the Office of COVID-19 reopening?
  • Angela McMahon – Director
  • Vance Taylor – Technical Writer
  • Corrinna Griffis – Project Coordinator
What is the role of the Director of the Office of COVID-19?

Angela’s principal responsibilities are to prioritize initiatives and propose actions to COLT. This includes recommending action plans, providing support and data for decision making, leading the response to regulatory changes, and oversight of committees and task forces related to COVID-19 response. Angela’s team will be responsible to develop a college-wide reopening plan and manage the portfolio of related projects.

What is the COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT)

The COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT) was formed in July 2020 to assess and manage operational decision making for the resumption of in-person instruction, student services, and other college operations. CCOT collaborates with the Office of COVID-19 reopening and COVID-19 Compliance Officer to design-related procedures and reports to and escalates to COLT as needed.

What is the CCOT charter?
  1. CCOT will assume institutional responsibility for new work related to reopening after COVID-19 closure; work that is not already covered institutionally by existing functional areas.
  2. This includes developing processes:
    • Informed by engagement with stakeholders (CASA);
    • Informed by department or functional process owners (such as HR, IT, FMS);
    • Driven by Resumption Stages and other strategic decisions from COLT; and
    • In alignment with college-wide opening plans and processes defined by the Office of COVID-19 reopening.
  3. This includes reviewing and approving requests for “exceptions” to remote operations.
  4. CCOT will delegate work to departments or functional areas.
  5. CCOT will collaborate with the Office of COVID-19 Reopening to develop and propose to the COLT reopening plans, including reopening criteria, timelines, and priorities.
  6. CCOT is not responsible for structuring, mandating, communicating, or evaluating compliance with health and safety protocols.
  7. CCOT is not responsible to monitor or interpret external changes such as Executive Orders released by the Governor, HECC/OHA guidelines.
  8. COLT and Office of Reopening are responsible to inform CCOT of changes to Resumption Stages and other strategic decisions that impact CCOT work.
Who serves on CCOT?
  • Co-chairs:
    • Kurt Simonds
    • Heidi VanBrocklin
  • Members:
    • Angela McMahon
    • Brooke Lloyd
    • Cheryl Arpan
    • Karen Sanders
    • Mike Mathews
    • Ryan Clark
    • Terry Jolley
    • Loraine Schmitt
    • Jeri Reed
    • Donna Bezio
    • Sarah Tillery
    • Michelle Bagley
    • Corrinna Griffis
How does the COVID-19 Compliance Officer serve the institution?

PCC’s designate to implement and enforce the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) requirements and the written COVID-19 Health & Safety Operational Plan is Cheryl Arpan, Environmental, Health, and Occupational Safety (EH&OS) Manager. Cheryl and her team will be responsible to lead the development of administrative health and safety procedures and training, compliance.

COLT Membership

Membership represents a subset of the President’s Cabinet, with additional members included based on the need for expertise and institutional roles.

Members of the COVID-19 Opening Leadership Team
Member Name
College President Mark Mitsui
Executive VP (Chair) Sylvia Kelley
VP of Academic Affairs Katy Ho
Interim VP of Student Affairs Heather Lang
VP of Finance and Administration Eric Blumenthal
Associate VP of Finance Dina Farrell
Associate VP of HR Lisa Bledsoe
Chief Diversity Officer Tricia Brand
CIO Michael Northover
Program Administrator, Office of the President Traci Fordham
Risk Manager Rob Gabris
COVID-19 Compliance Officer (non-voting) Cheryl Arpan
Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement Kate Chester
Director, Office of COVID-19 Reopening (non-voting) Angela McMahon
Executive Assistant (non-voting) Jennifer Hamlin
Facilities Management Services, Communications Manager Heidi Van Brocklin
Dean of Academic and Student Affairs, Operations Kurt Simonds
Faculty Eriks Puris

COLT-related updates will be issued to faculty, staff, and students at regular intervals to explain any update to COVID-19-related policies, administrative procedures, and protocols, where to find additional information, and how to ask questions or submit complaints.

How does COLT operate?

COLT meets twice weekly. The agenda is prepared and topics prioritized by the Office of COVID-19 Reopening. Agendas include updates from task forces and teams that support COVID-19 response across the institution, update on regulatory changes from the Governor, HECC, OHA, and OSHA, reports on virus exposures on PCC sites (if any), coordination of communication, and approval of administrative procedures, operational plans, and requests for exceptions escalated from COVID-19 Coordinating Operations Committee (CCOT).

Significant COVID-19 response accomplishments to date

  • Oversight of March 2020 pivot to Remote Operations in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Distribution of $1.3 million in CARES Act Emergency Relief Funds to 4733 students for the summer term.
  • Administrative Procedures for onsite Health & Safety:
  • Formation of Office of COVID-19 Reopening, CCOT, and special task forces for Communications, Compliance Training, Offsite/Clinicals, and COVID-19 Enforcement.

If you suspect you may have COVID-19

If you have been to a PCC campus or center and believe you may have COVID-19, please notify the COVID-19 Reporting Team at 971-722-1919 or covidreporting@pcc.edu.

Have a question?

If you have any questions about the topics listed above or on any topic relating to COVID-19, please email covidquestions@pcc.edu.