East Texas college employees terminated by email

POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 3:34pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - 4:24pm

Almost all employment at Lon Morris College has been terminated.

The employees were notified by email Wednesday morning. According to a faculty member, all but 11 'core members' have been temporarily furloughed to keep the school afloat.

Lon Morris has experienced financial problems and has missed its last three payrolls.

In the email obtained by KWKT, Dawn Ragan, the school's restructuring officer, tells employees, due to insufficient cash flow, the college cannot continue to employ personnel.

You can read the email by opening the attachment below.

KWKT's calls and emails to Lon Morris College have not yet been returned.

You can click here for previous stories on Lon Morris' cash flow problems.

Here is the complete email obtained by KWKT:

To Lon Morris College Faculty, Staff, and Employees:

As you know, the College has experienced significant financial and liquidity difficulties and has missed its last 3 payrolls. The Board and a special Restructuring Committee of the Board has retained Bridgepoint Consulting as a restructuring advisor and appointed Dawn Ragan as Chief restructuring Officer ("CRO"). The CRO is responsible for the day to day operation of the college and for making decisions relative to continued operations and exporing various potential restructuring alternatives. Given insufficient cash flow, the college cannot continue to empoy personnel and further cannot allow employees to continue to work even on a "volunteer" or unpaid basis. Your loyalty to the College, and especially to the Mission, is very much appreciated, but unfortunately due to the current circumstances all employment by the College is hereby terminated on the earlier to occur of either immediately as of 5.22.12 or the last day worked prior to 5.22.12, subject to confirmation where appropriate, excluding a minimal core group. Vacation accruals, pursuant to company policy, are extinguished upon termination of employment.

In any case where an employee or other representative may have been extended campus housing or other room/board type benefits, those benefits are also hereby terminated, and the employee/tenant will be provided 10 (ten) days to vacate.

With respect to health care benefits, we have been unable to pay the premiums, and while we have not been notified to the contrary yet, it is our expectation health care benefits for all employees will be canceled in the near term due to non-payment of premiums. Accordingly, you may want to seek alternative coverage options immediately.

All property of the College including laptops, keys, credit cards, vehicles, etc. should be returned prior to end of the week to Carolyn Nanni in Human Resources. Please contact Carolyn to schedule an exit interview, return property, and/or address any questions or get further information.

Moving forward, the College and the restructuring professionals are working together with lenders and various stakeholders to facilitate short term aid which would provide extremely limited funding for a period of approximately 30 days. During that time frame the professionals are exploring and investigating multiple options that could permit the College to continue to operate on a go forward basis in some form. At the present time, in the absence of information to the contrary, 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. Accordingly, it is anticipated in the third week of June we will be able to provide an update relative to the future of the College and the Fall semester.

We regret the financial situation we find ourselves in, but are hopeful with the support of our Board and stakeholders we will find a viable and sustainable solution to our difficulties. We are very appreciative and respectful of the contributions and loyalty of each of you on behalf of the College and our mission, and respectfully ask that you continue to work with us for the next few weeks while we try to develop alternatives to maximize the value of the College and seek to get employees, and creditors paid. Thank you, and please let Carolyn know if you have questions, and we will try to address all of them quickly.

On behalf of Lon Morris College,

Dawn Ragan
Chief Restructuring Officer


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