McHenry County College extends president's contract through 2026

McHenry County College's board of trustees have approved a contract extension with college President Clinton Gabbard, adding a year that will carry the agreement through Dec. 31, 2026.

Gabbard, who became the Crystal Lake-based college's eighth president in January 2016, is paid just over $288,000, according to Illinois Community College Board salary data.

He earns a 3% raise each year under his current contract, the terms of which were not changed under the amendment approved earlier this month. He also receives a $500 monthly vehicle allowance, a dollar-for-dollar match on an annuity, and home internet reimbursement.

Last year, the board approved Gabbard's fifth contract extension, which included a $10,000 retention incentive aimed at encouraging him not to retire and to remain at the college through the end of his contract, college records show. The year before that, he received a $25,000 incentive.

He received no such incentive this year.

Gabbard "continues to exceed the board's expectations by leading the college with a collaborative spirit, innovative ideas and, above all, compassion for our students," board Chair Tom Allen said in a news release. "We have complete confidence in his ability to continue moving McHenry County College forward and maintain this great institution of learning for our community."

In a news release, the college pointed to Gabbard's work leading to increased student enrollment; extensive renovations across campus; an institutionwide initiative on diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion; expansion of student support resources to address food insecurity, transportation challenges, technology barriers and mental health; and the coming Foglia Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation.

Before joining McHenry County College, Gabbard served in administration and leadership roles at Lake Michigan College, Walla Walla Community College, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.

He 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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