Amy Taylor, Patricia Zokal ( front left) and Luisa Lauf pose for a portrait at the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The four full-time members of McHenry County College’s counseling department were unexpectedly laid off on Tuesday and escorted out by police.
“In 30 years I’ve never been told I’ve had five minutes to get out. Never seen anything like this and was totally shocked when it happened,” said Ellen Zimmerman, who worked as a mental health counselor at McHenry Community College.
“We have a relationship with these students,” said bilingual counselor Luisa Lauf. “And we’re supposed to notify them when we’re leaving but were unable to do that.”
“There was no transition period for someone to pick those up immediately,” full-time counselor Patricial Zokal said. “The resources we picked up are basically just gone now.”
Zokal has been with the college for 14 years.
“I believe they got rid of the one department that is solely there for student success,” said Amy Taylor, former department chairwoman and full-time counselor for MCC.
The layoffs were the result of Governor Rauner’s budget impasse, although McHenry Community College has one of the highest administrative payrolls in the area according to the Illinois Community College Board.
The McHenry County College Board of Trustees will consider cutting faculty, support staff and administrators at a special board meeting Thursday.