Archived Story

Lake Michigan College trims personnel

Published 2:19pm Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lake Michigan College is expected to save about $500,000 by letting go of five employees and cutting back the hours for six more all at the college’s Napier Campus in Benton Harbor.

Bob Harrison, Lake Michigan College president, said several factors went into the decision, including a reduction in personal property tax revenue and a small decrease in enrollment.

“We were up just under 5,000 at our peak two years ago. We dropped down a little last year and again this year,” he said. “We are around 4,600 and we expect it to go down again next year.”

Harrison attributes the decrease in enrollment to the drying up of federal funding for training typically targeted toward adults wanting to upgrade their skills or train for another job.

“Virtually all community colleges in Michigan saw a peak a year or two ago and now it’s started back down primarily due to the adults 25 to 55 years old going down,” he said. “At the same time, we’ve had positive increases in students graduating from high school coming to community college … but it is not offsetting the drop in the adult age band.”

Rising health care and retirement costs also factored into the decision, Harrison said.

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