College Board to meet in Verde Valley in March

Yavapai College District Governing Board Chair Dr. Patricia McCarver and Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills share a lighter moment at the last board meeting in Clarkdale. During their Sept. 1 visit to the Verde Valley Campus, 27 members of the public voiced their concerns. (VVN/Tom Tracey)

Yavapai College District Governing Board Chair Dr. Patricia McCarver and Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills share a lighter moment at the last board meeting in Clarkdale. During their Sept. 1 visit to the Verde Valley Campus, 27 members of the public voiced their concerns. (VVN/Tom Tracey)

CLARKDALE - March 1, Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills heads west to the Verde Valley Campus for its monthly District Governing Board meeting. The question remains, "Will it be a repeat of Sept. 1?"

When Dr. Wills visited the Clarkdale campus five months ago, 27 local leaders spoke-out during the open call to the public.

The majority advocated for continuation of the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee (VVBAC). The VVBAC represents communities on the west side of the county and report their findings to the governing board.

Board chair Dr. Patricia McCarver countered by saying, "It was really hard for me to sit through the open call and not being able to respond. The board did unanimously vote to continue the Verde Valley Advisory Committee."

Residents living outside the service area of the main Prescott campus also appealed for a greater presence on the east side of the county.

The entire council of the Yavapai-Apache Nation attended, with Councilmember Lorna Hazelwood stating "We believe in the power of education to change people's lives for the better."

"Not everything has to pencil. It's the responsibility of the government to educate," said Marlyn Summers on behalf of Yavapai County District 2 Supervisor Thomas Thurman.

Since the Sept. 1 Verde Valley visit, the college hired a dean for the Sedona Center and also developed a Strategic Plan incorporating some of the VVBAC suggestions, among other changes.

Residents of Yavapai County wishing to attend this public meeting and provide feedback to the governing board and president may do so during open call. The meeting is scheduled 1 p.m., March 1 at the Verde Valley Campus, Building M, Room 137, 601 Black Hills Dr., Clarkdale.

PRESCOTT -- The board responsible for guiding Yavapai College has its work cut out for it during two back-to-back sessions scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9.

First, the District Governing Board gathers at 9:30 a.m. to conduct a budget workshop. Later that same day at 1 p.m., the board re-convenes to consider issues at its regular monthly meeting.

Board members face the reality of declining enrollments and decreased state funding while still meeting increased demands for online and vocational education.

The board serves as the voice of the community by developing policies, delegating responsibilities and directing management of college administration. According to the college's publication, "District Governing Board: How it Works for You," the board's duty is to "make decisions in the best interest of the taxpayers as a whole."

The five board members are elected by county voters to six-year terms. Dr. Patricia McCarver, Steve Irwin, Al Filardo, Deb McCasland and Ray Sigafoos currently serve on the board.

Both sessions take place at the Prescott Campus Rock House, located at 1100 E. Sheldon Street, Prescott.

-- Tom Tracey

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