Eastern Gateway Community College faculty and staff still waiting for answers

STEUBENVILLE — As the clock ticks down for Eastern Gateway Community College, employees complain they still have not been told what the board of trustees is planning to offer in terms of summer classes — or why “vice presidents and high-ranking administrators” aren’t feeling the layoff pain faculty and staff have experienced.

At its May meeting, EGCC’s board of trustees extended the school’s dissolution date to Oct. 31. During the summer, the school will offer a limited number of classes to assist students completing work on their degrees.

“We were saddened for our dedicated faculty and staff to learn that Eastern Gateway would be closing after Oct. 31,” Interim President John Crooks said Tuesday.

“We have always put our students first and we are working right now to identify potential classes to offer during the summer for any of our students who may be a few credit hours short of graduating,” Crooks added. “We will have more details as those students and coursework become clearer.”

But frustrated faculty still on the job say they’ve been kept in the dark for too long. Not being kept in the loop, they said, “is an indicator of how much they respect or care about the employees.”

“We don’t know how many classes are running this summer,” EGCC Education Association President Jim Corrin said, adding that the administration “has not given us the respect or courtesy to inform us as to what the intentions are for the summer classes.”

“We have no idea who has been let go,” Corrin added. “I do know that all the vice presidents are still padding their salaries, none of them have been laid off … That is the sentiment among union members, (that) not one VP or high-level administrator has been laid off. The employees that have boots on the ground helping our students have been the ones that have paid the price.”

Faculty members had been notified late in March that their contracts would not be renewed. The unsigned letter from the human resources department blamed the decision on the “financial constraints of the college” — the same reason members of the board of trustees had cited a week earlier when they announced that, without a significant influx of cash by May 31, they’d have to dissolve the school.

An EGCC spokesman could not be reached Tuesday evening for comment.


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