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Responding to state budget impasse, CLC eliminates 20 positions

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Mar 31, 2016

With the financial uncertainly around state funding, the College of Lake County is eliminating 20 full time positions.

Like all Illinois public colleges and universities, the college is struggling to maintain programs and services without state funding. In fact, all of Illinois higher education has not received state funding since July 1, 2015.

Dr. William M. Griffin, chair of the CLC Board of Trustees, called for state leaders to find a solution. “The legislators and governor must find a solution to the current budget crisis and must begin negotiating next year’s budget,” he said.

During the current academic year, CLC has used reserve funds to cover $8 million not been received from the state, plus $800,000 to cover the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for 818 students.

“Even if we had received our usual state funding, we would still face challenges in building the budget because of the lack of growth in our major revenue sources,” CLC President Jerry Weber wrote in a recent email to faculty and staff.

“After looking at a variety of ways to reduce expenses, the college reached the difficult decision to restructure specific departments and positions,” Dr. Weber said. “This has resulted in the elimination of 15 vacant positions that span across the college and employee groups. Unfortunately, this restructuring has also resulted in the elimination of five positions with incumbents. With the funds saved from these 20 positions and other non-personnel reductions, we intend to bring a balanced budget to the board for approval in late spring,” according to Dr. Weber.

However, Dr. Weber noted, “if this budget impasse continues and no state funding is forthcoming, we may need to look at laying off a large number of employees, maybe 40 or more, and halting some programs and services.”

In related fiscal news, Moody’s Investor’s Service included CLC in a list of 19 Illinois community colleges on review for possible downgrade. Since 2012, CLC has earned Moody’s Aaa  rating for its general obligation bonds that are being used to help fund current construction projects.

According to a March 17, 2016 news release from Moody’s, the review was prompted by the State of Illinois’ continued budget stalemate and its effect on community college districts’ revenues. The state continues to operate without an adopted fiscal 2016 budget. Moody’s expects to make a decision within 60 days.