Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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May 23, 2012

LMC employees receive furlough notice

JACKSONVILLE — All but a core minimum group of Lon Morris employees received furlough notices Wednesday morning, and college President Miles McCall handed in his letter of resignation Tuesday, officials said Wednesday.

While the furlough notice said the employees were "terminated," it was unclear whether they were formally discharged or furloughed.

“Furlough and terminated are two different things,” board member Tim McRae said. “Although I have not received the letter, I'm pretty sure it is furlough.”

The decision was made by Bridge Point Consulting Company, an advising firm brought in on May 5 by the board of trustees to help restructure the school's finances, with intentions of reopening in the fall.

“We are assuming there will indeed be a fall semester which we will gear up for once the 30-day assessment has been completed and alternatives have been analyzed,” the letter stated.

Dawn Ragan, the chief restructuring officer, sent an email on behalf of the college stating the last three payrolls have been missed and the school was unable to continue the employment of personnel.

“Your loyalty to the college, and especially to the mission, is very much appreciated, but unfortunately due to the current circumstance, all employment by the college is hereby terminated,” the notice stated.

Dr. Jack Nelson, board vice president, said the decision was not made by the board, but by the consulting group.

Multiple phone calls and messages were left for Ragan, but none were returned by press time.

Also stated in the notice, campus housing or room and board benefits have also been terminated. The employees and tenants have been given 10 days to vacate.

Employees have been asked to return all college property including laptops, keys, credit cars and vehicles by the end of the week.

McRae said McCall's resignation goes into effect today. McCall served as president for the past seven years.

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