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McHenry County College Board Approves Reductions in Force in Wake of Ongoing State Funding Challenges

[Thursday, March 23, 2017]

At a special Board Meeting on Thursday, March 9, the MCC Board of Trustees approved three resolutions for a reduction in personnel. The Board’s vote of 7-0 to reduce staff positions, 6-1 to reduce faculty positions, and 7-0 to reduce administrative positions is part of a broader plan to shrink overall College spending and create a balanced budget. This current reduction in force follows a year of multiple measures to reduce College spending, in light of a projected loss of $1.7 million in operating funds for FY 2017, including reductions in travel and other general expenses, and a freeze on rehiring non-essential positions. Now, into the second year of a state budget impasse, MCC is owed nearly $1.5 million base operating state funding for the current fiscal year.

A total of 25 positions were affected, including administration, professional/classified, and faculty positions. Six positions currently open due to retirement or vacancy will not be refilled. Five positions are being reduced from full-time to part-time status, while 14 full and part-time positions are being eliminated.

“Really good people, through no fault of their own, are losing their jobs. This is a painful truth,” stated MCC President, Dr. Clint Gabbard. “At the same time, we will continue to be innovative and creative in serving this great community. We will do more with less, because our students deserve our best efforts. Students are not responsible for this financial crisis, and we will do everything possible to protect the integrity of the education that they receive.”

Employees in the affected positions were informed that their positions would be eliminated and/or reduced, effective immediately. Individuals were offered options to either apply for other internal positions or accept a comprehensive severance package that includes health benefits, outplacement services and support, and unemployment options.

"This has been an extraordinarily challenging process for all, and we are empathetic to all who have been adversely affected, "said MCC Chairman, Mike Smith." We have been diligent in our recognition of the diverse stakeholder needs throughout the community. In spite of the difficult, perhaps unprecedented times we face due to the budget stalemate in Springfield, we as a Board have the responsibility to govern the institution with the imperative being student success. We feel strongly that the senior administration has developed a very prudent process to support the institution and its financial condition, ensuring that we will continue to meet the needs of, and the critical success factors for, our students."

With the Board-approved reduction in force, a total of 34 positions will have been reduced in this fiscal year (July 2016—June 2017) coming from a combination of position vacancies/retirements not being refilled, reductions from full-time to part-time, and eliminations.

Prior reductions in FY 2017 from restructuring or not refilling open positions resulted in saving the College approximately $580,000. The reductions approved at Thursday’s meeting are expected to save the College $1.5 million in FY 2018 for long-term financial stability, while allowing MCC to still effectively serve students and meet its mission of student success.


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