No property tax hike in Yavapai College draft budget

The Yavapai College District Governing Board received an overview Tuesday, April 19, of the school’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year that includes no tax increase and a potential raise for faculty and staff.

Highlights of the budget presentation included:

• The preliminary budget does not include a property tax levy increase;

• The proposed budget reflects a decrease of 3.5 percent compared with the previous fiscal year;

• Yavapai College consistently performs above average in growth, productivity, quality, and financial measures;

• A 2.6 percent compensation increase is proposed for faculty and staff; and

• The budget includes a capital improvement plan for design and construction projects at the Sedona Center, Prescott Valley Center, and open space and improvements at the Verde Valley campus.

The board will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 10, at 1 p.m. on the Prescott campus, 1100 E. Sheldon St. The board’s next regular meeting will take place at 1:45 p.m. that day.

The full agenda will be posted prior to the meeting at http://www.yc.edu/v5content/district-governing-board/minutes.htm.    

In other business:

• Bobby Wood provided a touching tribute to his friend, Yavapai College founder and former District Governing Board President Duane David Miller, who passed away on February 7, 2016. 

• Yavapai College President Dr. Penny Wills formally announced the appointment of Vice President for Instruction and Student Development, Dr. Ron Liss. Wills highlighted Liss’ experience working within a multi-campus system, adding that he will lead college completion and student success efforts. Liss will assume his position on June 1.

• Wills also presented information on mandatory new student orientation for all students seeking degrees and certificates. The initiative, said Wills, is supported by College data that shows a correlation between orientation participation and higher success rates. In addition, Wills informed the Board that YC was recently honored with three Phi Theta Kappa awards and five-star chapter status, the highest designation in the organization. 

• Dean of Lifelong Learning Dennis Garvey presented an enrollment comparison covering the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), College for Kids, Community Education, and EdVentures programs.  Garvey reports that the programs have experienced 10 percent growth for the past five years. Combined, all programs currently show a year-over-year increase of 3 percent. Garvey indicated he was especially pleased with the 8 percent growth of the Camp Verde OLLI program.

• Yavapai College Foundation Director of Development Paul Kirchgraber reported recent scholarship donations, including: $40,000 for Viticulture and Enology; $25,000 for military veterans; and more than $110,000 for Education Now!, an effort that targets local high school seniors who demonstrate financial need and an interest in attending Yavapai College.  Kirchgraber also announced the securing of a five-year, $350,000 pledge involving five community partners including the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, Harold James Family Trust, Margaret T. Morris Foundation, Yavapai Regional Medical Center and the Yavapai College Foundation. The donation will fund 50 nursing scholarships through 2020.