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Policy changes for CFCC’s marine technology program leaves students in rough waters after two key employees resign

Wilmington, N.C. (WECT) – Following the recent changes to the compensatory leave policy of the CFCC’s Marine Technology Division, two employees who were involved in the program have resigned. One of them is the captain of the research ship Cape Hatteras.

About a week after the policy change, the policy was withdrawn, but the employee had already left. Students say they still feel adrift.

“Why do we as students have to go through this? So why did we have to do this when we can have it back in a week? , Maggie Oxendine said: “Mr. Rogers came out and he was the chairman of the department and told us that some of the crew had resigned due to changes in contracts and compensatory hours. It seems like we all got together to look up the policy, read what was going on, educate ourselves as much as we could, and urge us to come together and overturn the policy. I don’t have the answer yet.

Ray Funderburk of the Management Board took up the topic at Thursday’s meeting.

“Because I was asked, I wanted to clarify exactly what happened.”

Morton replied that Funderburke could always call him if he needed clarification.

“I think it was about complying with the law. We were talking at a committee meeting and they were trying to move us away from using the term comp time. It has legal tentacles on it. But , we need to ensure more legal compliance with this program,” Morton said.

“I understand that, but I wish there was a really clear explanation of what happened,” Funderburke said.

Funderburk wasn’t available for an interview after the conference, but he says he still feels left in the dark.

Meanwhile, students say they continue to seek answers as to why the program is in trouble.

“[I’m] Still confused and the fact that there is no answer is [is] Very upset. I can’t speak for all the students who attended the conference today, but I know they were very confused as to why we didn’t have them. That’s all we asked for from day one. We don’t feel like we’re asking for too much and I think we’re doing it with respect,” Oxendine said.

The loss of two key program employees is significant, as without the captain, students cannot safely reach the waters around Cape Hatteras, the program’s research vessel. Without Cape Hatteras, Oxendine said she couldn’t really get the experience she needed and expected from her program.

“We’re going on a day trip in a small boat, so we’ll probably leave at 9 in the morning and come back at 3 or 4. We don’t have a captain right now. I have,” said Oxendine. “I love this program. , these day trips are helpful, but they’re not the equivalent of going offshore and spending about 10 days on that ship, which we don’t have right now. So it was at Cape Hatteras that I joined the program, and that’s when I do the practical training.”

President Morton declined to be interviewed on camera, leaving many still skeptical about the details of the policy change.

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