POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 10:57pm
UPDATED: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 8:10pm
JACKSONVILLE — "Us as a staff, I don't think we thought it would get to this point. But it did, so we just gotta keep moving from here," said Eric Morris.
Morris is the defensive line coach for the Lon Morris football team.
He's one of the many Lon Morris employees that received an e-mail Wednesday morning -- plainly stating all employees except a core group were being quote 'terminated' -- all employees must return any credit cards, laptops, keys, vehicles by the end of the week -- and employees like Morris that have housing on campus have 10 days to move out.
"Yeah I gotta be outta here, but I have somewhere I can go...so it's...it's fine," Morris said.
The campus is a little bit of a ghost town today...the college has experienced some pretty bad financial problems over the last couple of years like employees not getting paid for the work they do here. Today, KETK spoke with David Hubbard. One of the 11 employees left here at Lon Morris College. He says it's been an emotional day.
"It's no secret that...no one's been paid. But anxious to continue on. And finally being told this morning 'go home.' It's been a very emotional day," Hubbard day.
Hubbard says the decision was made after the board of trustees voted to have an outside consulting group come in to sort out the financial situation...sources say President McCall is resigning -- and the consulting group is now in charge.
Even though the e-mail sent out to all faculty and staff uses the word 'terminated' -- Hubbard says that's not the case.
"It's simply a furlough. And I asked them that before I met with you all. It's simply a furlough. No one has been terminated," Hubbard said.
Needless to say, summer courses on campus have been cancelled.
Elizabeth Osborne was signed up for 3 summer classes...she says on Tuesday, she went to Lon Morris to get some things set up.
"Even yesterday, people were pretty upbeat about you know, things were going to get better. They had taken steps towards that," Osborne said.
But Wednesday -- a different story.
She found out her classes were cancelled through a text from a friend.
"It's sad and I'm a little angry. Cause I feel like...they just kinda...snuck up on us," Osborne said.
Mr. Hubbard tells KETK they are actively working on enrollment for the fall semester and hope to bring all the employees back for a fall semester.
He says the consulting firm is hoping to have an assesment of the situation ready by June 15th.
Of course KETK will keep you updated on the Lon Morris situation -- as we always have.