- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 30, 2020

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - Local officials in northeastern Wyoming are looking at how to give a community college more autonomy amid a move to all but eliminate its athletics programs.

The Northern Wyoming Community College District based in Sheridan includes Sheridan College and Gillette College. College district officials recently proposed eliminating most athletics at the two schools as part of a roughly $4 million budget cut. Only the rodeo programs would remain.

College district trustees plan to vote on the budget Wednesday.

The Campbell County Commission decided Monday to begin investigating what would be involved in withdrawing Gillette College from the district, the Gillette News Record reported.

Options before commissioners include incorporating into the district or establishing an independent college district.



Such changes would require Campbell County residents to vote to tax themselves to support Gillette College, Commission Chairman D.G. Reardon said.

The commission in the meantime has sent college district leaders a letter saying the decision to cut sports is “devastating” for Campbell County. The commissioners also express concern the district didn’t consult Campbell County.

College district officials say the cuts are necessary due to the coronavirus pandemic and an expected decline in state funding. Wyoming faces a sharp drop in revenue from its coal, oil and natural gas extraction industries over the next couple years.

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