NPC to review at least eight applicants for college president

By Diana Hutchison

During the Nov. 21 meeting of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board, Northland Pioneer College Chief Operations Officer Jason Foutz provided an update on the search for a college president. At the time of the meeting, they have received eight complete applications and 11 partial applications. The board approved a recommended salary range of $155,000 to $185,000 for the incoming president position. The application period for the position closed on Nov. 22.

Chief Business Officer Maderia Ellison reported that October revenues were down. The year to date revenues are down approximately $1 million compared to the previous year due to a delay in the mailing of the property tax bills by Navajo County. Expenditures came in at 20 percent of the budget but that was under the projected twenty five percent. This was partially due to the staff vacancies that remain.

Director Betsyann Wilson reported that this month 24 scholarships were awarded to students. They had an unprecedented number of applicants.

Vice President of Student Services Mark Vest provided the enrollment report. Overall enrollment is up two percent for the Fall 2016 through Fall 2017 period. The headcount is down slightly in part due to the Department of Corrections’ decision to close the business program at the Winslow unit. The loss of a significant number of dual enrollment instructors at area high schools is also impacting the headcount numbers.

The board reviewed the preliminary budget assumptions and guidelines for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Revenues are expected to decrease compared to the current fiscal year. The additional increase in tuition is expected to generate $30,000 in additional revenue. State funding is expected to remain flat in comparison to the current fiscal year. Primary property tax is expected to decrease but will be levied at the maximum rate. This will require a truth-in-taxation hearing. Expenditures are assumed to remain flat or decrease compared to the current period.

The board presented the Arizona Community Colleges 2017 Annual Report to the Governor, as required by state statute. The annual report is disseminated to the Governor and to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The report summarizes all of the accomplishments and upcoming challenges of the college.

Some of the accomplishments include the development of a rural health care consortium with Cochise College, the laying of groundwork for partnerships with Navajo County for cost savings and revenue improvements for both entities, and the adoption of the Starfish student contact system.

One of the major upcoming issues that were outlined in the report addressed the possible decrease in revenues from property taxes as the Cholla Power Plant moves towards closure.

The board voted to approve the academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The calendar is a mirror of the current academic calendar.

The board’s next tentatively scheduled meeting is at 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in the boardroom of the Tiponi Center at the Holbrook Campus.