McHenry County College extends Smith’s contract

CRYSTAL LAKE – Vicky Smith has an additional year as president of McHenry County College.

In a 6-2 vote, the outgoing set of trustees voted to extend Smith’s contract one year. Her deal with the college will now expire June 30, 2015.

Smith’s compensation will be determined by the new board of trustees.

Trustee Ron Parrish wanted to delay a vote on Smith’s contract until June to allow incoming board members to have input on the extension. However, that motion failed.

Parrish and Trustee Dennis Adams voted against the contract extension.

“I don’t think any harm would come if we waited until June,” Adams said. “The appearance of impropriety will have long-lasting effects.”

Parrish said his no vote had nothing to do with Smith’s performance.

Trustee Linda Liddell said new board members would have a difficult time evaluating Smith in a short amount of time.

“I believe the new board members will see the value we all see,” Liddell said.

Board Chairwoman Mary Miller has said the vote to extend Smith’s contract is in the purview of the outgoing members because they were the ones who evaluated the president’s job performance.

Chris Jenner, Tom Wilbeck and Molly Walsh were elected April 9 and took their seats as board members Thursday after the final actions of the outgoing board.

The terms of Adams, Carol Larson and Barbara Walters ended on Thursday.

At the beginning of the meeting, there was more than an hour’s worth of public comment.

There was a large crowd at the meeting. Many people had to watch via closed-circuit television in an overflow area. A handful of people even asked why the meeting was not moved to the college’s auditorium. Some people even criticized the full-page advertisement taken out Wednesday by MCC in the Northwest Herald.

Kate Kramer, an instructor at the college, spoke in favor of extending the contract.

“Everything she has done focuses on learning and student success,” Kramer said. “Dr. Smith has served MCC very well. I feel it would not be fair to not renew her contract for all the good work she has done.”

Jenner and Walsh asked the board to hold off on the vote.

Jenner said there would be enough time to explain the evaluation to the new board members and convince them on the recommendations and conclusions.

“I again urge the outgoing board to table discussion of the president’s contract extension tonight and allow the incoming board to become informed and take the vote on what we will have to live with,” Jenner said.

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