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Sun, Nov. 17

YC board plans to look into former member's concerns

PRESCOTT – Members of the Yavapai College Governing Board agreed Friday to take steps to assess and resolve possible issues behind former board member Jim Holt's concern that several members of the executive leadership team had resigned and his fear of more resignations.

The board members voted to have Doreen Dailey, the college's president, report back to the board at its October meeting about her findings regarding Holt's concerns, and for her to enter into negotiations to get help for the board from the American Community College Trustees in assessing the situation.

"Our goal is to work rapidly towards identifying how we can best assess and react appropriately – not off the cuff – to the issues which have been raised," the board's chairman, Ed Harris, said in a statement at the beginning of Friday's meeting.

Board member Donna Michaels explained that Yavapai College has an ongoing relationship with the American Community College Trustees, which provides community colleges with a variety of services and will help Yavapai College evaluate any issues that relate to Holt's concern.

All four board members, which include Harris, Michaels, secretary Herald Harrington and Paul Madden, agreed that they shared the concern Holt (who resigned from the board on Aug. 20) raised.

"Anytime we look at the effect on our mission to the college," said Michaels, who attended the meeting by teleconference, "it's a shared concern."

She suggested that the board ask Dailey to gather internal information and that the board gather its own information as a process for assessing the concern.

"I only suggest that we do this in a timely manner," she added.

Board member Paul Madden said it's the board's "duty to proceed very carefully," and to keep in mind that "a lot of rumors float around and a lot of people can be hurt."

"We have to be diligent and careful," he said, adding that the board must strive to keep the focus on the mission of the college and any effect that issues may have on that mission.

"The last thing we want to do," Harris said in reference to leadership team resignations, "is have an impact on the college's mission."

Harrington, who made the final motion on that agenda item, said the combination of Dailey looking into issues at the college and the board working with the Trustees "gives us an internal and an external perspective."

At this past Friday's meeting, the board formally accepted Holt's resignation and Harrington made a motion that Harris write Holt a letter to that effect. Harris announced that he appointed Michaels spokesperson for the board.

And while Harris recognized community members' concerns about what's going on within the college's leadership team, he urged people to focus on "the most important business" – students who started school this week and who "will get the attention and high quality of education which they expect from Yavapai College."

Contact the reporter at heller@prescottaz.com

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