Perey Advisory Committee held first secret meeting October 6
The first meeting of Dean James Perey’s Advisory Committee consisting of hand-picked members (by him) from the Verde Valley along with College staff met secretly on October 6. The secret meeting date was revealed in a story written by reporter Yvonne Gonzalez of the Verde Independent in the October 29 issue of that paper.
Gonzalez reported that Perey said that one of the duties of the Committee was to conduct a “SWAT” analysis of the Verde Valley, which is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats.
Perey’s secrecy policy is in keeping with the Wills’ administration view of how the public should be provided information. Perey controls the secret agenda. He alone provides the Committee with information, thus dampening serious discussion during a meeting as both sides of an issue will not be presented. It also allows Perey to release only information he deems favorable to the College to the public. Furthermore, secrecy means there is no formal written or media record of the proceedings that can be used to later challenge what was discussed and what, if anything, was decided.
Overall, the process is clearly an effort to control the Committee and the flow of information to the public. It reflects a weak administration afraid of the “truth” and exemplifies the College’s deep-seated disdain for Jeffersonian openness. As Thomas Jefferson once remarked:
If [a] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God’s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose. – Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814.