Higher Education
9:03 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Mid-Continent Chairman Confirms Layoffs, School Will Operate Through June 30

Credit midcontinent.edu

The chair of Mid-Continent University's Board of Trustees says the entire staff of the 2,500-student Christian school has been laid off.  The Mayfield-based MCU has been battling financial and accreditation issues for more than a year.

Chairman Tom Butler said all employees were let go Wednesday, but classes will continue until June 30.

According to Butler, the board is hopeful they'll find a solution for the school's funding problems.

"We are in a serious financial situation," Butler said. "The efforts continue to raise some money that will help us to continue operation.”

Butler added that some individuals are helping feed and house the students on campus and that graduation will be held May 17.  Butler said that most courses will be transferable to other institutions, but could't elaborate on any details about discussions with other colleges. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former Mid-Continent University staff member who was laid off with 49 others April 1 confirmed the mass lay-off and said no pay or insurance would be made available.  The individual also said a high-ranking staff member attended classes Tuesday evening and told those in attendance the school would close.

The source said official notice did not come until 3 p.m. Wednesday, even though rumors to that effect had circulated around campus that morning.  The source also alleges that corruption was rampant at MCU, including inflated salaries, university money spent on personal items and nepotism.

Former president Dr. Robert Imhoff stepped down in February, but the source said he continued being paid until the Department of Education found wrongdoing.  The department's determination gave the Board of Trustees the right to terminate his contract.  MCU appointed a new president Saturday.

The anonymous source said former colleagues shared Butler's hope that the university would not be closing.

“They were hoping everything would be okay until it wasn't and that was today," she said.

She also says some professors will complete their classes, which will take anywhere from 1-5 weeks, but no new classes will begin.

See all of our coverage related to MCU here.