Archive for CARVER MODEL


Sigafoos says name change made 40 years ago for marketing, branding purposes; issue of rebranding the College wasn’t raised by McCasland

Yavapai Community College Board Chair Ray Sigafoos was clearly irritated at  the mere suggestion that “Yavapai Community College” be used anywhere when referring to the College, even in the  obscure Governing Process ends statement 3.0 of the Carver process used by the Board. The broad name-change issue of changing “College” to “Community College” was brought up by   Sigafoos’ at the August 8, 2017 Board meeting.

Representative Deb McCasland’s explanation that she felt the ends statement should merely identify the owners more accurately in the Governing Process statement didn’t seem to satisfy Mr. Sigafoos. He went on at length suggesting at one point that it would cost a lot of money to change the current name from “College,” to “Community College”  and further suggesting the College undertake a “survey” to determine the cost of the change to “Community College.”

McCasland had not remotely suggested a major name change.  The exchange between Mr. Sigafoos and Ms. McCasland can be viewed in its entirety below.


Yavapai College alone among colleges at program dominated by credit unions, hospitals, and nonprofits; Blog argues attending was a waste of taxpayer money

Community College president Penelope Wills and Governing Board members Pat McCarver, Ray Sigafoos, and Steve Irwin are avid supporters of the Carver™ model of operating the District  Governing Board under what is called “policy governance.”  It is a process that both former members of the Governing Board from Yavapai County’s Third District considered a process that stifled open communication and shielded the administration from total accountability to Yavapai taxpayers.  Despite their protests, Wills’ and the West County representatives have shipped in Carver™ consultants to address the model at a number of Board retreats.

This year all five Governing Board members plus Wills and Karen Jones were sent to the June 22-24 policy governance convention in San Diego.  The Blog has learned there were 160 attendees at the Conference but only one college—that was Yavapai.  There were an additional 12 persons from six K-12 and private schools.  The attendance was dominated by credit unions, nonprofits, city and state governments and hospitals.

One of the attendees at the Conference told the Blog that some meetings were “cult like.”

It is not clear how much it cost taxpayers to send the seven to the Conference. The individual fees alone as announced by the Conference ranged from $600 to over $700. It was reported to the Blog that Dr. Wills stayed around about 24 hours.  It was also reported that Representative Irwin appeared sometimes missing as a participant at some Conference sessions.  Hopefully, a detailed report from the President and each Board member regarding their attendance at the Conference will be made at the August Governing Board meeting.

All in all, from the Blog’s perspective, if the information it received is correct, sending the College seven-person delegation to a conference where some meetings were described as “cult-like” and no other colleges were in attendance was a waste of taxpayer money.


Editorial attacks effort by President Wills to quash free speech by Board representatives

Christoper Fox Graham

The Sedona Red Rock newspaper contained a blistering editorial on March 17, 2017 about president Penelope Wills’ efforts to suppress Governing Board members from exercising their right to freely speak about important issues. If Will’s had her way, a representative could never speak to his or her constituents following a vote in which they dissented from the majority. From her perspective, only the leader of the West County voting bloc, Ray Sigafoos could ever brief the media. The elected representatives are to be seen but not heard.

The Sedona Red Rock newspaper Managing editor Christopher Fox Graham made the following analogy as he opened the editorial:

“Imagine the only voice from Congress that Americans heard from was the Speaker of the House. Members of the House of Representatives would not speak to their constituents and every question proffered to them, whether in their local offices, at public events, or before or after major votes was answered with, “I am unable to speak on the matter. Please direct your question to the Speaker of the House, the only person who can speak on behalf of Congress.”

“Insanity, right? Undemocratic? Illogical for an elected body?

“Unfortunately, that is how the Yavapai College Governing Board wants to run itself and is indirectly reprimanding Governing Board members who speak to the public and the press.”

Mr. Graham pointed out that information from the college via Penny Wills has been “nearly impossible to get.” He urged Governing Board members to fight for the First Amendment right to speak your mind and to defy the undemocratic and illogical effort to suppress free speech.

Mr. Graham’s entire editorial can be viewed by clicking here

Note. You may view the comment at the March 7, 2017 Board meeting on video that has caused the free speech concern by scrolling down this page (or possible clicking to go to next page.)



Carver™ use of word “hindrance” evades reasonable understanding

Many believe that the Carver™ model of policy governance is a poor one when applied to the Yavapai College District Governing Board. One of the reasons is the use of unusual undefined language found in the Carver™ model.

This was clearly the case at the Governing Board January 10, 2016 meeting. The board members struggled to define and discover the meaning of the word “hindrance,” which is a part of the language found in policy statement 3.1.6 of the Carver™ model.

The policy declares that: A board “shall not allow an officer, individual, or committee of the board to hinder the fulfillment of his or her commitments.”

You can chuckle as you listen and view the videotape that follows below as Board members conclude they don’t know the meaning of the Carver™ policy provision and its use of “hindrance.”