McHenry County College approves one-year contract extension, $25,000 incentive for president

  • McHenry County College President Clint Gabbard speaks Aug. 17, 2018, during a ceremony and open house for the new Liebman Science Center at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake.

    McHenry County College President Clint Gabbard speaks Aug. 17, 2018, during a ceremony and open house for the new Liebman Science Center at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake. Matthew Apgar file photo/Shaw Media

 
 
Updated 12/1/2020 8:56 AM

McHenry County College will pay its president a lump sum of $25,000 in addition to his regular salary next year as an incentive agreed to in a contract extension last month, college records show.

The payment is designed to encourage college President Clint Gabbard to finish out his contract -- which was extended an extra year through December 2024 -- instead of retiring, according to a copy of the contract amendment.

 

Gabbard took over as the Crystal Lake-based community college's chief executive on Jan. 11, 2016. He agreed to a three-year contract in 2019, which was extended in November 2019 for an additional year.

The college's board of trustees had a "genuine interest" in extending Gabbard's contract again, board Chairman Mike Smith said in a news release.

"He has continued to exceed the high expectations we, as a Board, had for him upon his arrival in early 2016, and we are confident that his leadership will remain vital to McHenry County College's extraordinary success moving forward," Smith said.

The college's news release pointed to Gabbard's role in student enrollment growth, expansion of the college's apprenticeship and internship programs with area employers, extensive renovations across campus, the launch of a new Center for Agrarian Learning, the college's COVID-19 response, and an institutionwide initiative on diversity and inclusion.

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The contract extension approved in November does not change any other terms of Gabbard's 2019 amended contract.

Under that amended contract, Gabbard's salary was set at just shy of $261,000, up from the $249,000 approved earlier in the year. Annual raises were tied to the rate of inflation plus 3% starting January 2021, up from a set rate of 3%.

Under the contract, the college also covers the full cost of health insurance for Gabbard, his spouse and any eligible dependents, provides a $500 monthly vehicle allowance and pays for his home internet costs. The college also agreed to match any contributions Gabbard chooses to make to a retirement annuity subject to maximums set by the IRS.

Before joining MCC in 2016, Gabbard served in administration and leadership roles at Lake Michigan College, Walla Walla Community College, Purdue University and University of Notre Dame, according to the release. Gabbard earned his bachelor's degree from Evangel College and both his master's and doctorate degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Ronda, live in Bull Valley.

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