SWIC dismisses 47 staff members

More staff members at Southwestern Illinois College have been dismissed.

SWIC’s board of trustees unanimously approved a reduction in force of 47 full- and part-time positions at a special meeting Wednesday night. The dismissals are effective at the beginning of next fiscal year, July 1.

“The additional reduction (in) force is not based on people or performance, but on the state budget crisis that is directly impacting institutions of higher education statewide,” SWIC President Georgia Costello said in a news release. “The impact on state colleges and universities has been devastating, requiring some to start forced reductions much earlier.”

The following statement was released by SWICEE Local 6600 executive committee, which represents support staff members at SWIC:

“We are disappointed by the board of trustee’s decision to implement drastic cuts to our employee group despite being offered cost saving measures by our membership in contractual concession. In spite of appeals to implement these cost saving measures, and save as many vital positions as possible, these pleas went unanswered. These employees are hardworking individuals, many of which have dedicated their entire careers to the service of students and the education of our youth.

“We were hopeful that the board would consider these or other measures that would save funds and maintain vital, knowledgeable employees in such areas as veterans services, financial aid, PSOP, marketing, and others. These are staff that consistently provide excellent service to students and community members.”

SWIC cited three reasons for the layoffs, in a news release, — “continuing steep losses in state funding, corresponding enrollment declines, and the continuing state budget impasse.”

The news release details the loss of state funding SWIC has endured the last several years. In fiscal 2015, the college received $13.5 million in funding. In fiscal 2016, the funding dropped by 87 percent to $1.6 million. During the current fiscal year, SWIC has received $6.7 million, which is 50 percent, of credit-hour reimbursements and tax-levy equalization funds, according to the news release.

SWIC has experienced a decline in enrollment over the last three fiscal years as well. According to figures provided by the college, 18,706 students attended the college during fiscal 2016, which was a decline from 19,845 students in fiscal 2015 and 20,743 students in fiscal 2014.

The additional reduction (in) force is not based on people or performance, but on the state budget crisis that is directly impacting institutions of higher education statewide.

SWIC President Georgia Costello

The reductions affect 8 full-time and 39 part-time employees, according to the news release, resulting in a salary savings of $1.2 million.

The part-time employees worked in a variety of departments at SWIC including veterans services, financial aid, library services and marketing. It’s unclear how the reduction in library staff will impact the operations of libraries on the three SWIC campuses — Belleville, Red Bud and Granite City.

SWIC spokesman Jim Haverstick said the college is still determining the summer library schedules.

The part-time employees dismissed made an hourly rate of between $9.72 and $26.52.

The eight full-time staff members dismissed included two veterans educational benefits specialists. The salaries for the full-time staff members ranged from $32,431 to $45,792.

One of the individuals dismissed was Susan Pflug, an administrative assistant for Programs and Services for Older Persons.

PSOP volunteer Don Lehman, who lives near Belleville, was sad to hear the news about Pflug.

“She’s always the go-to person as far as PSOP goes,” Lehman said.

The staff reductions Wednesday follow a reduction in force of 19 administrative positions in March, which also will save $1.2 million, according to college officials. The administrative cuts are also effective July 1.

In the fall, the board approved the voluntary retirement of 12 individuals. The voluntary retirement program was offered to employees as a way “to reduce the size and cost of SWIC’s work force,” according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The program cost SWIC $461,971 in payments to those individuals who took advantage of it.

The board of trustees also approved a tuition increase this spring. Starting this summer, tuition will increase from $109 per credit hour to $113 per credit hour.

Jamie Forsythe: 618-239-2562, @BND_JForsythe

Part-time staff members dismissed by SWIC Board of Trustees



Hourly rate

Sabrina Adams

Financial Aid/Registration Specialist GC


Kiel Ainsworth



Glenn Binkley

Veterans Services Clerk


Shannon Blair

Library Services Assistant GCC


Susan Bovinette

Extension Center Evening Supervisor


Thomas Browne

Graphic Artist


Kira Buckingham

Web Developer


Carol Byers

Computing Services Technician


Brandon Carel

Help Desk Technician


Rashaun Farmer

Financial Aid/Registration Specialist GC


Mildred Hand

Administrative Assistant and Lead Switchboard Operator SWGGC


De’Ona Hardy

Mailroom Clerk


Lisa Heiken

Executive Office Assistant RB


LeKim Hicks

Switchboard Operator


Logan Holland

Media Services Technician


Joyce Hopkins

Switchboard Operator GC


Kassaundra Hund

NTC and Non-Traditional Programming Specialist


Charlotte Hurst

Receptionist/Print Services


Sarah Jackson

Print Technician


Philip Janklow

Print Operator


Anita King

Accounting Clerk


Kimberly King

Business Office Representative GC


James Klenn

Copywriter/Design Team


Brooke Lewis

Academic Advising/Counseling Services Assistant


William Lion

Data Specialist/Counseling Center


Jessica Mannisi

Curatorial Assistant


Curtis Matthews Jr

Help Desk Technician


Garrett May



Ruth Mueller

Success Center Coordinator/Specialist Red Bud


Kirsten Pastoriza

Financial Aid/Registration Specialist GC


Tracie Renschen

Exercise and Wellness Activities Coordinator


Samantha Rhoades

Library Services Assistant RB


Pamela Scruggs

Community Education Assistant


Sona Shrestha

Print Technician


Charmel Smith

Access Testing Specialist and Student Accommodator


Andrew Spiroff

Media Services Technician


Jean Tindall

Lead Print Technician GCC


Deborah Vinyard

Digital Print Technician


Kayla Vratney

Secretary Liberal Arts


Full-time staff members dismissed by SWIC Board of Trustees




Hazel Allen

Veterans Educational Benefits Specialist


Debbie Darling

Administrative Assistant for Vice President for Student Development


Sandra Donjon

Executive Assistant RBC


Andrea Fohne

Executive Assistant-IT


Geralyn Hobbs

Veterans Educational Benefits Specialist


Susan Pflug

Administrative Assistant - PSOP


Marilyn Quitmeyer

Secretary Dual Credit


Jana Ross

Biology Laboratory Technician