Archive for Faculty


Perey explains staffing situation to Sedona City Council during his November report

In the fiscal year 2016-17 Yavapai Community College allotted $17 million for construction and renovation.  Almost all the construction/renovation revenue came from primary taxes paid by Yavapai County residents.  This revenue could have been used to increase faculty salaries.  Rather, it was directed toward construction/renovation rather than faculty salaries.

The need to address the faculty salary issue was highlighted by Dr. Perey when speaking to the Sedona City Council November 28.  He said that the cost of living in Yavapai County was higher than that found in the state of Arizona and the United States.  He cited an “environmental scan” as proof.  The page in the “environmental scan” referred to by Dr. Perey follows:

The entire environmental scan referred to by Dean Perey can be found by clicking here.

If the Administration and District Governing Board were so fired up about spending $17 million for construction and renovation, they should have gone to the citizens of Yavapai County and persuaded them to approve a General Obligation Bond supported by a secondary tax rather than grab the funds from the primary taxpayer fund. The Blog suspects they felt their arguments for spending the millions on construction/renovation were so weak they concluded they could not have obtained voter approval.  Therefore, they went around the voters and took the money from the primary tax fund.

Verde Campus Executive Dean James Perey outlined the issues to the Sedona City County during his report to them on November 28.  A video clip of Dr. Perey addressing these issues follows. 

You may view the entire video report made by Dean Perey at the November 28 Sedona City Council meeting by clicking here.


Review of structure of faculty committees, faculty workload, faculty handbook also on Senate agenda for coming academic year

Dr. Matt Pearcy, Yavapai Community College Faculty Senate President, reported to the Governing Board at its August 8, 2017 meeting that the faculty has given an examination of  the “shared governance process” at the College its highest priority for 2017-18.  A survey is being developed and will be distributed to the faculty in the not too distant future.

He also said the faculty committee structure is the second priority for the faculty.  In addition, the faculty will review the faculty workload and the faculty handbook. 

Dr. Pearcy’s report to the faculty on the Faculty Senate priorities can be viewed below.

National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Recognizes Three Faculty

NISOD recognizes Associate Dean of Student Development Diana Dowling; Math Professor David Gorman and English and Humanities Professor Jason Whitesitt

The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) recognized Yavapai Community College Associate Dean of Student Development Diana Dowling; Math Professor David Gorman and English and Humanities Professor Jason Whitesitt. The recognition came in May at NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence in Austin, Texas. The three were nominated by Yavapai College for their their “commitment to high performance and extraordinary service to their students, their college and their communities,” said Dr. Ron Liss,  Vice President of Instruction and Student Development.

For additional information, please click here.




Dr. Joan Fisher obtains doctorate; Sheri Kinney Outstanding Staff Award; Henry Flurry premiers three new compositions; Cara Bryant awarded certificate; Jeri Hamilton serving on State DOE Committee; Dr. Amy Stein, Professor of History and Humanities, appointed to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Institutional Actions Council

The Blog salutes the following faculty for their outstanding recent achievements. The Blog selected these faculty for particular recognition out of the many faculty who are contributing in various outstanding ways to programs and community projects.

English professor Dr. Joan Fisher, has earned her doctorate degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Autograders and the Effect on Writing Anxiety in Community College Freshman Composition Students.”

Sheri Kinney, Library Manager for the Verde Valley Campus, won the Outstanding Staff Award at the Verde Valley campus.

Adjunct Music Instructor Henry Flurry, premiered three new compositions this year. Ragtime Dances for Marimba and Orchestra, a marimba concert inspired by ragtime influenced ballroom dances of the 1910’s, was commissioned by the Prescott Chamber Orchestra and premiered in April 2017. Hark! What Celestial Notes, a Christmas work for choir and vibraphone commissioned by Camerata Singers premiered December 2016. The Stray Tom, a duet for marimba and trombone, premiered in April 2017. Henry Flurry received a $5,000 grant by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to fund an orchestral concert of his music.

Dr. Amy Stein, Professor of History and Humanities, was appointed to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Institutional Actions Council (IAC). This council is the “second” stage of the accreditation process.

Cara Bryant, Adjunct Business Faculty, received a certificate of participation for her work with the Arizona Department of Education, Adult Education Division and GED Testing Alternative Pathways to High School Equivalency (HSE) taskforce.

Jeri Hamilton, Professor of Mathematics, is serving on an Arizona Department of Education committee of math educators around the state. The committee is comprised of high school math teachers, curriculum directors as well as community college and university professors. The purpose of the committee is to draft mathematics standards for the fourth year of mathematics courses required for graduation from high schools in Arizona.


Dr. Bliss lists several faculty projects for the coming year with emphasis on shared governance

Faculty representative Dr. Selina Bliss reported on a number of concerns/projects that faculty will focus on over the next year. She made  her report at the District Governing Board meeting May 9.  They included:

  • In-depth examination of meaning of faculty governance.
  • Faculty workload analysis.
  • Focusing on quality of on-line courses.
  • Faculty professional development.
  • Changes in faculty governance organizational system.
  • Adjusting time-line in peer review process.

Dr. Bliss’s three-minute presentation can be viewed below.

Susie Check wins 2017 Outstanding Alumna award

CTEC’s No. 1 Fan

Susie Check has been selected to receive the 2017 Yavapai Community College President’s Outstanding Alumna award. The award recognizes her advocacy on behalf of CTEC and its result – student scholarships and student success. Check is an instructional support specialist and a graduate of Yavapai Community College. She has worked at the Community College technical training center since it opened in 2007.

Paul Kirchgraber, Executive  Director of the Community College Foundation, said that Check “has helped the Career and Technical Education division gain prominence as the state’s premier tech education and training program and she has worked tirelessly with the Yavapai College Foundation to secure scholarship support for our students.”

For more information about the award, please click here.  

Susie Check with daughter Nikki Bagley. (YC Press release photo.)

Associate Dean Candidate Dr. Barbara Waak recognizes importance of advocating for the Verde Campus

Waak vies for appointment as Associate Dean for the Verde Valley Campus with Professor Peggy Liggit

Sometime this week, it is anticipated that a new associate Dean for the Verde Campus will be announced. The two candidates being considered for the position are Dr. Barbara Waak and Professor Peggy Leggit. Professor Leggit is a professor of biology and science education and serves as the director of the Faculty Development Center at Eastern Michigan University in the Ypsilant, Michigan.  She has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Her parents have lived in the Verde Valley for decades.

Dr. Waak was a finalist in the College’s national search in 2015 for this position behind Dr. Kelly Trainer. She was appointed interim Verde Valley Campus Dean in August, 2016 after Dr. Trainor tendered his resignation. She has served in that capacity since her appointment.

Dr. Waak is entering her 23rd academic year on the Verde Valley Campus. She has served in many capacities over her tenure at the College, including Faculty Senate President and Dual Enrollment Liaison for the English Department. She is also an alumni of Yavapai College, attaining an A.A. in education with honors. Dr. Waak earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and English/Linguistics from Northern Arizona University. She went on to receive a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2005.

When interviewed by Zachary Jernigan for the May 3, 2017 edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra, Dr. Waak said that she was “very dedicated to this (Verde) campus.” Waak told the reporter that many in the Verde Valley feel that they have been forgotten by the College’s administration in Prescott and need a local advocate. Ms. Ligge indicated she was not aware of the tension between Prescott and the Verde Valley.

While both candidates are well qualified, because of her experience, residence, and thorough understanding of the Verde Campus and the Verde Valley, the Blog is cheering for Dr. Waak.

Part 3: Dr. Bliss report on 16 week semester; The Administration response is to move ahead without in-depth studies of its impact

Administration says it will proceed because the added weeks provide “flexibility”

In part 3 of the three-part series on the Blog about Yavapai Faculty concerns with adding two new weeks to the academic calendar, the Administration said it was moving ahead with the concept.  Although the Administration failed to produce any concrete studies showing that adding two weeks would improve academic performance, it was justified on the basis it gave the administration flexibility. The report was made to the Governing Board at its April 18 meeting.

During the discussion, it became clear that the survey revealed underlying problems that exist between the faculty and the Administration. The Administration indicated it would address these concerns in the future. 

A question about how adding the additional two weeks would impact part-time students who are employed outside the College went unanswered.

It may have surprised some that the College had not addressed the issue of whether faculty would receive additional compensation because of the change in the academic year.  That will be addressed, according to the Administration, sometime in the future.

There is no indication that the faculty suggestion that students be consulted about the impact of  the academic calendar was considered.

The video tape below omits comments from two Governing Board members that appeared of little relevance to the discussion.  The video provides the Administration officials complete response to the survey.


Part 2: Dr. Bliss Report to Board on Faculty Survey

Dr. Bliss says survey can help “improve” Yavapai College; suggests much to be done if there is to be “shared governance”

In part 2 of this three-part series, Dr. Selena Bliss explains how the faculty survey on extending the academic year by two weeks can benefit the College. 

The videotape below (part 2 of 3) is about two minutes in length and follows her detailed explanation of the survey results that is found in part 1.  Part 3 of the series contains the Administration’s response to the Faculty survey.


Part 1: Dr. Bliss reports on adding two weeks to academic year

Analyzes faculty response to survey

At its April 17 meeting, Dr. Selona Bliss reported to the District Governing Board on the results of a faculty survey that focused on the Administration’s decision to add an additional week to each semester.  There were 101 total responses: 65 from full-time faculty and 36 from part-time faculty.

Part 1 of her report, which runs about five minutes, appears below.

Among the findings: (1) 62 of 102 support the proposed change. (2) 46 faculty felt there should be research on student impact of the change before moving forward and an additional 16 wanted to see research on the impact to retention. (3) 54 faculty said they were upset by the way in which the administration initially announced its plan. 30 faculty did not know about the initial decision.

There are several other findings discussed contained in the video tape below.