Layoffs Finalized at LCC

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Despite the protest outside, and the harsh words inside:

"This budget is making LCC bleed when it doesn't have to be," one opponent said Monday at the LCC board meeting.

"I don't think everything possible was done," another said.

The Lansing Community College Board of Trustees adopted a $124 million balanced budget for the next fiscal year -- one that includes about 19 staff layoffs and three counselors.

What the new budget does not include is a tuition increase, something President Brent Knight pushed for.

"I want to do everything I can to continue to have this university continue to offer low cost, excellent education," Knight said.

In fact everyone agrees, now was not the time to raise tuition at LCC but those who opposed Knight's plan say they had other ideas to bridge the budget deficit gap and keep people on staff.

"We think we have some really good ideas and they're not listening to them," MEA representative Cheryll Conklin said. "In the meantime, they're hiring outside consultants to give them cost-saving tips and not listening to the people at the college."

This group of teachers and supporters says the college could use some of their rainy-day fund to save these jobs and continue to provide service to students.

"We have a relatively large rainy day fund, that's what it's there for," Conklin said.

But Knight said that's only a quick band aid fix for a much bigger problem.

"If you think the economy will rebound quickly, that would be acceptable thing to do," Knight said. "But no one is saying that."

Some say the college didn't use its money wisely, and now some LCC employees are the ones paying the price.

"Refurbishing buildings that are only three years old? We think it's totally inappropriate and they should cut those kinds of things and not people," Conklin said.

Conklin said the college did not follow the guidelines of the contract and did not give sufficient notice. They will have discussions with the school about that.

In the meantime, three counselors already received notices, 19 other LCC employees should get word Tuesday morning.


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