The Northern Wyoming Community College District in an effort to absorb a budget decrease of nearly $4 million took dramatic steps including slashing all athletics at Sheridan and Gillette colleges. Thursday's announced cuts come on the heels of a financial emergency that the college district's trustees declared last week as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roughly $2.8 million of those cuts will come from discontinuing all athletics programs.

The college district consists of Sheridan and Gillette College.

Calling the decision "far from easy," Northern Wyoming Community College District President Walter Tribley said the ultimate goal is to bring back athletic programs. Rodeo at both schools with continue, albeit with substantial budget cuts.

The district is cutting administration by $500,000 and completely eliminating the hospitality and culinary programs.

Additionally, the campus police department's budget will be cut by $260,000. The department had already seen reductions of $130,000.

Student travel will be supported by student fees.

Other cost-saving measures include reducing utility consumption, trimming operational budgets and other actions.

The district says it will make "special arrangement" where budget cuts impact students. Additionally, all scholarships will be honored and students enrolled in discontinued academic programs will have the opportunity to complete degree requirements.

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