MCC President Walt Packard Steps Down, Brian Sager Named Acting President

The following press release has been issued by McHenry County College’s Board of Trustees:


[Friday, February 27, 2009]

The Board of Trustees of McHenry County College and Dr. Walt Packard wish to mutually announce that Dr. Packard will be stepping down as the College’s President and assuming the position of President Emeritus effective February 26,2009.

The Board greatly appreciates Dr. Packard’s service, and acknowledges his contributions, to the College and the College community as President.

The College will continue to move forward on initiatives begun under Dr. Packard including the Academic Quality Improvement Program, implementation of the new ERP system, and the McHenry County College Promise.

The College will immediately begin the process of searching for a permanent replacement for Dr. Packard. The College is currently reviewing options on the appointment of an Interim President. In the meantime, Dr. Brian Sager will serve as the Acting President. (Sager previously announced his retirement at the end of June.)

A statement from Dr. Packard follows:

“I wish to thank the Board of Trustees, administration, staff and faculty for having the opportunity to lead McHenry County College for nearly six marvelous years, one of the finest community colleges in Illinois and the nation.

“Over the last several months, the stress of coping with my wife’s ongoing illness led me to work with the Board of Trustees to seek a reassignment in my duties.

“The College is well-positioned to continue its outstanding service to our community as it moves forward with its implementation of a new ERP system, its community engagement project, and of course its continued integration of the principles of the Academic Quality Improvement Program into the fabric of the institution.

“And, without a doubt, the MCC Promise will continue to create excitement for the College and our community— what a time to be part of the College family.

“I look forward to serving in my new role as President Emeritus.”

While Packard will undoubtedly be remembered for the McHenry County Promise free tuition program, he will also be remembered as the leader of one of the most secretive government operations in McHenry County history.

The minor league baseball stadium fiasco comes immediately to mind. Months went by before the public was informed of the college’s plans. And months more before more or less meaningful details were released to the public.

And the almost 12-month process of considering selling a 400 foot by 400 foot corner of MCC to BMB Communications Management on which to build the largest free standing radio-TV broadcast tower in the country is certainly one I’ll remember.

Still no meaningful details about the college’s consideration of the project have been released. Just the proposed contract and information that the prospective buyer wishes the public to see.

The first night BMB came to a board meeting, I and others were illegally threatened with arrest while standing outside the college’s secret meeting.

That was after a college security guard got a cell phone call from within the board meeting room.

Before that, Packard’s moving the American flag to block my view of the meeting ranks as one of the most bizarre events in my 42 years of interaction with McHenry County officials.

If the tower is built, the public will remember Packard as the man who led the way to the landmark that will identify the college’s location from 30 miles out. The bright white and red strobe lights will be impossible to miss.

I am sure that everyone wishes him Godspeed in his personal life.

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The man on top is outgoing MCC President Walt Packard. Below is Acting President Brian Sager. The antennae shown are representations of the 1,500 foot tower provided by BMB Communications Management. The one on the left shows its flexibility in a strong wind. The melting minor league baseball stadium was created by Heck of a Guy Crystal Lake blogger Alan Showalter. The head behind the American Flag being moved to block a view of the first secret meeting about the broadcast tower is Dr. Packard’s.

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