Wed, Feb. 19

College advisory chair makes his case on administrative district
Paul Chevalier says 'Outcome would be two colleges, each with their own head'

Paul Chevalier, chairman of the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee

Paul Chevalier, chairman of the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee

CLARKDALE - The chairman of the advisory committee proposing that Yavapai College split into two administrative districts spoke further about his plans during a post-meeting interview.

"The outcome would be two colleges, each with their own head," said Paul Chevalier, chairman of the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee.

"The funding district would be one, with administrative districts split in two; one for the Verde Valley, one for Prescott," Chevalier said.

"Both would report to a chancellor or board or directly to the district governing board. We are just exploring this," said Chevalier.

Chevalier envisions gaining a college administrator "totally focused on this side of the mountain," possibly with some shared centralized departments such as finance.

"Bob Oliphant has really thought this out and is providing us some good information," Chevalier said.

Bob Oliphant is a former member of Yavapai College's District Governing Board. He now serves with the Verde Valley Community College Citizen Advocates, which has been critical of the college's services on the north and east side of the county.

Chevalier's motion to explore hiring a consultant and move ahead with plans to request a separate administrative college district nearly passed at the Feb. 3 meeting, but was halted when member Carolyn Fisher stated "this a major recommendation and should not be taken lightly."

Chevalier then tabled the recommendation until March 2 after it had been moved forward by member Janet Aniol of Beaver Creek and seconded by member Bill Regner of Clarkdale.

"It's going to have to be unanimous. If we can't be unanimous, we are missing something," Chevalier said after the meeting.

What remains to be seen is whether Yavapai College's elected district governing board will be unanimous in granting funding for an outside consultant, as well as splitting leadership at the college.

"Steve Irwin (Yavapai College District Governing Board Secretary) was at our meeting and I was touched that he was there. We had a nice conversation in the hallway. The President was even there and she didn't have to be," said Chevalier.

The Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee reports to the college's district governing board, not the college president.

"It may be a tough 2-to-3 split on the governing board, but there is a growing movement that we are not getting our money's worth on the east side," Chevalier said.

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