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No faculty layoffs in MCC Board of Trustees’ plan for next school year

MCC CFO and Vice President Greg Hinton speaks at Monday's Board of Trustees meeting.
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MCC CFO and Vice President Greg Hinton speaks at Monday's Board of Trustees meeting.

Leadership at Monroe Community College approved an alternative to faculty layoffs on Monday.

The Board of Trustees voted in favor of a plan to move forward with voluntary retirement incentives for eligible full-time educators. The plan also includes voluntary separation incentives.

Greg Hinton, chief financial officer and vice president at MCC, said in a board meeting Monday that the decision to go forward with a proposal for the incentives came after meetings with administrators and faculty union representatives.

“I think it gives us a much longer runway and coordination, both between the administration and the faculty to be able to plan for students having the least amount of impact for student success,” Hinton said, adding that the incentives also allow for a smoother transition for affected programs. “This allows for more planning in terms of both in terms of adjusting schedules, hiring adjuncts, those type things and so forth.”

Hinton said there would be an upfront cost to the plan, but that long-term stability is the goal.

“We would actually be paying out bonuses,” he said. “We would initially incur short term expenses to pay the bonuses out before we'd actually would be able to capitalize the savings.”

After the board approved the measure, faculty union members wearing red shirts erupted into applause. For weeks, the union advocated against proposed layoffs which had been looming this spring.

In late May, Faculty Association president Bethany Gizzi told WXXI that the group was urging MCC’s leadership to consider incentive packages like the ones the board has just approved.

“We are grateful that the Board and the President elected to approve retirement incentives rather than layoffs,” Bethany Gizzi said in a statement on Monday. “We will continue to consult with management and maintain our focus on student success and representing our employees.”

Noelle E. C. Evans is WXXI's Murrow Award-winning Education reporter/producer.