JWCC will eliminate full and part-time positions

John Wood Community College will eliminate three part-time and four full-time positions.

Administration plans to present a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees on June 20th that will include the seven job cuts, $700,000 in cuts from operational costs, and closing three current position openings.

Cuts in operating costs will include reducing expenses such as travel, removing the possibility for staff raises, and the removal of the Horticulture and Turf Management program. Students currently enrolled in the program will be able to finish.

Until the Board of Trustees acts on the proposed budget, administration will not announce their exact recommendations for which positions will be cut.

President John Letts described working on the budget saying, "That was probably the hardest thing I've ever had to do and the staff that worked on it, I know it was very difficult for them because all these people haven't done anything wrong. They're good people. They've worked for us and supported us."

The recommendation for which positions to eliminate came from studying what functions could be performed by other staff members and which of those positions do not greatly influence enrollment or increasing revenue.

"We looked at the various options to balance the budget without impacting some of the mainstream things we have to do and at the same time grow our enrollment," Letts said.

Due to recent decreases in enrollment, JWCC has reduced their projections for enrolled credit hours from 55,500 to 48,000. That has been their biggest financial loss, although they will see a 6% loss in state funding as well.

For the last financial year JWCC anticipated delays and cuts in state funding so they only budgeted for 75% of what the State of Illinois said the college would receive. Currently the state is about $1 million behind on payments to the school.

"This is tough times but we're not at the point where we're having to close our doors. We want to guard against that. This action was taken to maintain the viability of the college and our main focus. So we can put our resources where we need to which is serving our students," Letts said.