Today: Jul 07 , 2020

Yavapai College Holds Retreat

15 September 2016   Jennifer McCormack

District Governing Board Retreat and Regular Meeting Report

The Yavapai College District Governing Board (DGB) held its annual retreat on Monday, Sept. 12, on the Prescott Campus and followed it with its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Verde Valley Campus. Board members Al Filardo, Steve Irwin, Board Chair Dr. Patricia McCarver, Deb McCasland, and Ray Sigafoos were present at both the retreat and the meeting.

Retreat Report

Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research, Tom Hughes, presented an environmental scan of trends and challenges in higher education. Hughes also reported on findings from three separate community information gathering projects supported by the Board to elicit community input on the college’s current and future direction.

Vice President of Instruction and Student Development, Dr. Ron Liss, gave a progress report of the Student Pathways project. Dr. Liss outlined the structure of pathways and its alignment with successful student outcomes in terms of degree and certificate completion.

Richard Stringham, senior associate governance coach, led the Board in a review of the Board Ends Statements and their Ownership Linkage Plan.

In an effort to broaden Ownership Linkage, the Board identified a need to solicit feedback from underserved populations in rural areas throughout the county. The Board plans to work with Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills to implement town halls and chat sessions in communities that receive less representation. In addition, the Board plans to conduct a district-wide survey to determine any gaps in service to district residents.

Citing the valuable feedback provided by the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee (VVBAC) over the past two years, the Board voted to suspend the committee as part of the Ownership Linkage Plan, effective September 30, 2016. The Board plans to review alternative forms of obtaining stakeholder feedback in their 2016-17 Ownership Linkage Plan. Formal recognition of the VVBAC’s work will take place at the November meeting.

Regular Meeting Report

A report from Board Chair Dr. Patricia McCarver summarized the DGB retreat, highlighting the Board’s wish to focus on learning about and addressing the needs of residents in outlying areas and populations near or in poverty.

Paul Chevalier and Bill Regner, chair and vice chair of the VVBAC respectively, presented the following: a review of the collected Verde Valley responses to the DGB questionnaire; a request for the heads of the college’s marketing and recruitment departments to meet with the VVBAC; and advised the Board that the college, when hiring for administrative positions in the Verde Valley, should give preference to candidates who domicile in the Verde Valley.

The Board approved three different intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) between Yavapai College and: the Arizona Board of Regents and the University of Arizona, for the use of DK Ranch property in Cornville for educational programming; the Mountain Institute Joint Technical Education District (MIJTED), for the purpose of amending an existing IGA with current course tuition costs; and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and the Yavapai County Recorder, for the upcoming election.

Yavapai College President, Dr. Penny Wills, reported on the college’s fall semester Convocation and associated activities. She also provided an overview of the President’s Leadership Team retreat, where the group was charged with four areas to address Pathways, program mix and delivery, student support services through completion, and diversification of college revenues.

Dr. Wills also noted that several representatives from the college attended the Verde Valley Forum for Public Affairs (VVFPA) to discuss the role of post-secondary education in the Verde Valley on September 9-10. Dick Dahl, president of VVFPA, will present a summary report to the Board at its regular November meeting.

Vice President for Instruction and Student Development, Dr. Liss, also introduced Director of Recruitment and Early College Programs Heather Mulcaire, who provided a summary of the extensive recruitment efforts made by the college in 2015-16, with a preview of future activity, such as hosting a Native American Day, an open house event, and 24 Early College Days events. It was noted that the college is enrolling 28% of all high school graduates in Yavapai County.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Dr. Clint Ewell updated the Board on the Capital Improvement Plan, which included an addition on the Prescott Valley Center property and a renovation of the Sedona Center.

The Prescott Valley Center improvement project will accommodate many allied health programs and provide dedicated classrooms and labs. Dr. Ewell explained that the construction management firm has recommended building a second floor shell and to defer additional improvements until educational programming is finalized. Dr. Ewell added that the addition would add $1.8 million to the $4 million budget, but result in future savings of about $250,000.

Dr. Ewell also presented an overview of the Sedona Center renovation project that includes two American Culinary Federation-approved teaching kitchens for future culinary and hospitality programs, and improvements to the rest of the center. His recommendation to the Board is to enclose the center courtyard in an effort to make it a more usable space. The addition would add $1.7 million to the $4 million budget.

The Board unanimously approved the increase to both budgets.

The Board will hold their next regular meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. in the Rock House on the Prescott campus, 1100 East Sheldon Drive, Prescott.

The full agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at Yavapai Broadcasting records all regular board meetings for subsequent broadcast. The broadcast schedule is available on the Access 13 website at

Yavapai College, which opened in 1969, provides quality higher learning, cultural resources and economic development support for the diverse populations of Yavapai County. The College offers a wide range of academic programs to students at the College’s facilities in Prescott, Verde Valley, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Sedona and the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) near the Prescott Airport.