CRYSTAL LAKE – McHenry County College administrators failed to receive a raise Thursday after the board of trustees could not agree on a number.
The board attempted to approve a raise for 38 administrators in an effort to bring the average salary for high-ranking officials closer to surrounding community colleges. MCC President Vicky Smith was not included in the list of administrators receiving raises.
Trustees split 3-3 on a proposed raise of 2.8 percent, which fell in between the various suggestions between 2 and 3 percent raises that were proposed throughout the meeting. Trustee Linda Liddell was not present, but the issue will likely be voted on again when she is in attendance.
Smith has pushed for higher salaries for her administrators after losing people in recent years because of competition from surrounding schools.
Smith said of the six comparable area institutions, such as Rock Valley Community College and College of Lake County, McHenry County College faculty make an average of $3,400 more than their peers while administrators make an average of $19,000 less than their counterparts at those schools.
“We get really good people in here, sometimes they don’t stay more than six months,” Smith said. “They are quickly stolen away.”
Trustee Tom Wilbeck argued for a lower raise, saying this was an opportunity to show the college is serious about controlling costs and improving public perception.
Trustee Chris Jenner and Chairman Ron Parrish agreed with lower raises, saying they would eventually like to see the college move away from across the board raises.
“The public out there wants to see restraint,” Wilbeck said. “We can show the people that we’re hearing them.”
Trustees Mary Miller and Cynthia Kisser argued for raises at 3 percent, which would have cost the college $134,000, saying it was fair considering staff had been receiving roughly 5 percent raises while administrators were held below 3 percent.
“They have been lagging consistently behind the other employees here at the college,” Miller said of administrative raises. “I really think we need to improve their pay scales.”
Trustee Molly Walsh fell in line with Miller and Kisser.
At one point, six different numbers were proposed before Parrish encouraged the board to settle on a number, which proved unsuccessful.