NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - One year to the day that a financial crisis went public at the College of New Rochelle, more than a dozen former staff members who were laid off have made good on threats to sue the school for wrongful termination.
The College was sued on Wednesday by the Senate, Council of Faculty and 14 former staff members who were laid off in June amid the financial probe at the school in a cost-cutting move.
The defendants listed in the suit include the college itself, CNR’s Board of Trustees and the school’s interim President Dorothy Escribano.
In a statement, the trustees said that “the Board has stated clearly and consistently that it regrets the need to lay off even one person, but we did what was necessary for the viability of the college and the continued quality of education for our students. We are disappointed about the lawsuit and the resources that will be required to defend it, but we are not discouraged.”
Last year, the school’s Board of Trustees launched an extensive investigation into financial misappropriations that revealed approximately $20 million in payroll taxes that were not paid for eight quarters dating back to 2014 under the watch of former CNR President Judith Huntington, who resigned amid the probe.
That discovery led to a crisis for CNR officials, who had to scramble to raise millions of dollars through their #WeAreCNR campaign. The school sold off assets and made agreements to help pay down millions of dollars in debt. In total, approximately 70 people lost their jobs at the college since last year, including 10 tenured faculty members.
According to the Board, layoffs were based on "the continued effectiveness of each area to serve our students was at the foundation of each reduction decision. Schedules and student enrollment in each school, student academic, wellness, extracurricular and financial support services, facilities needs, employee needs were all considered."
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