MCC students, faculty react to president's upcoming contract extension vote

With one day before McHenry County College trustees are expected to vote on President Vicky Smith's contract extension, some students and faculty are supporting the three-year president.

Citing the growth of the college and her positive energy, Earth Science Professor Paul Hamill said he hopes Smith's contract will be renewed at Thursday's board meeting and she has done “nothing in my opinion to warrant otherwise,” he said.

“She has done a wonderful job. She brings a lot of positive energy. It's refreshing.”

Hamill added that his colleagues in the science department generally feel the same about Smith.

"She has done a fabulous job. It would be very shortsighted of the board not to give her a contract extension," biology instructor Dr. Bev Dow said.

Dow said she is pleased with Smith's educational master plan and her development of the strategic plan. Dow was on the hiring committee and challenged Smith to create a plan for the campus, which Smith has done, Dow said.

"She has energized the campus and put the college in a positive light," she said.

Students pointed to recent campus improvements in their support for Smith.

“I hope she stays on,” said MCC student Ryan Altman. “The cafeteria is much better.”

“The parking lot is terrible,” said fellow student Tyler Tennant. “But they are repaving it and redoing it. And it's going to be a new design. I like that.”

Students contacted Wednesday said they haven't had many personal interactions with Smith, but they characterized her demeanor as positive.

“Whenever I see her she's seems to be in a good mood,” said MCC student Joe Ross. “I haven't heard of any [students] not liking her.”

Thursday's MCC board vote comes after trustees removed a contract extension vote April 16 amid criticism that trustees were trying to push through an extension with a lame duck board.

The board is considering extending Smith's contract to June 2015.

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