College provides little information about Cornville facility; claim is University asking now how it should be used
When the Steele Foundation announced in July two years ago that the University of Arizona would be the recipient of the 45.7-acre DK Ranch in the Verde Valley for a veterinary medical and surgical school, it was described as a win-win for the University and Yavapai Community College. President Penelope Willes was quoted in an interview in the Verde Independent that she was “confident that many of the programs that we had included in our proposal will be part of the plan going forward.” (Click here to read her statement to the Verde independent.)
However, so far there has been no indication that the Community College has introduced new programs at the Ranch. In an April 13, 2017 commentary in the Verde Independent, Camp Verde town Council member Buck Buchanan wrote that he had toured the Ranch “with other elected and appointed policy makers.” He went on to state that “The announcement of the gift in 2015 created expectation for more educational opportunities in the Verde Valley. What has happened since? Not much. The ranch is well-kept, but not well-used.” (You may read his commentary by clicking here.)
Mr. Buchanan also wrote that “Predictions of affiliation with the Veterinarian School have not materialized. Now the University is asking for input as to how the ranch should be used.”
President Penelope Wills has remained silent on the project. Although one would expect regular detailed reports on the Ranch project to the District Governing Board, no such reports have been forthcoming. So what is the status? Nobody knows. Mr. Buchanan suggests the project is back to the drawing board.