Archive for Salaries


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.


Top 10 Yavapai College employees annual average salary at $141,865

An article in the Verde Independent newspaper,  written by Dan Engler and published July 18, 2017, contain a wage study conducted by the Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc. The highest-paid County official was found to be Yavapai College President Penelope Wills. Her annual salary was reported at $277,811. According to the study, this salary exceeds the “second highest paying government job in the region,” which is held by the Yavapai County Medical Examiner, by $63,611.

The Yavapai College Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services receives $173,877. The College Vice President of Instruction and Student Development receives $164,800. The top 10 salaries at Yavapai College average $141,865 a year.

The report notes that the median household income in Cottonwood is $43,323 while the median income in the Verde Village is $42,987.

You may read the entire article in the Verde Independent by clicking here.


Board out-of-step with most College’s and Universities

The District Governing Board extended Community College president Penelope Wills contract by one-year at the May 9, 2017 Board meeting and gave her a $5,000 wage increase.  However, the Board set no goals for her to achieve during the coming year.

This is in sharp contrast to contracts given to most college and university presidents.  For example, at Northern Arizona University the Arizona Board of Regents set out eight multi-year performance incentives (goals) for President Rita Cheng  to accomplish by 2017  in her 2014 contract. They included retaining at least 75 percent of NAU’s freshmen class in 2016-17, spending at least $39.2 million on research, awarding at least 4,625 bachelor’s degrees and having at least 3,200 community college transfer students enroll at NAU. Dr. Chenge was eligible for a  $10,000 bonus  if more than 43.2 percent of graduating seniors rate their entire educational experience at NAU as “excellent” on their senior surveys.  The statewide ABOR and university audit structure will measure Cheng’s progress on all those goals on June 30, 2017.

Penelope Wills is pretty much free to do as she pleases.  The absence of goal setting is the result of the archaic use of what is called the Carver Governance process promoted by the majority West County voting bloc.  Because it sets no specific goals for the College president, it easily makes that person minimally accountable to the citizens who pay the estimated $278,000 annual salary.


SALARY NOW ESTIMATED AT $278,811—Highest paid bureaucrat in Yavapai County

Yavapai Community College President Penelope Wills received a $5,000 increase on her salary at the May 9, 2017 Governing Board meeting.  The Board voted 4-1 to extend her contract for one year and raised her existing salary by $5,000. Board Representative Deb McCasland voted against the extension and the $5,000 raise.

If press reports regarding her salary are correct, her annual salary is now almost $278,000. She is believed to be the highest paid bureaucrat in Yavapai County. The increase came despite her less than stellar record. That record includes the following:

(1) Lost over $1 million in tuition revenue in the last two years because of the continuing slide in student enrollment.

(2) Allowed the aviation program to essentially collapse.  

(3) Presided over an estimated 4% drop in overall student credit enrollment in each of the last two years.

(4) Failed to settle multi-million-dollar lawsuit with whistle blower who headed the aviation program before he was fired and now alleges the College failed to comply with VA regulations.

(5) Opposed giving the Verde Valley a semblance of independence via an Administrative College at the March, 2016 Board meeting.  

(6) Apparently took a three-week vacation during the school year in March-April to New Zealand (staff refuse to disclose where she went but sources now say this is where she disappeared to).

(7)  Imposed a fee on dual enrollment classes taught in high schools by high school teachers despite opposition from all superintendents in the Verde Valley, the Valley representatives in office at that time, and the Verde Valley Board Advisory Committee.  They argued it would adversely impact the poor in the Valley—their plea fell on deaf ears.

(8) Failed to properly involve the faculty or students at the outset of consideration of extending the semester by a week.

The following is a video of the Board report on the salary increase.


President Penelope Wills’ Contract Extended One Year

Was Salary Increase used as PR Stunt?

Presently, Yavapai Community College President Penelope Wills is reportedly paid an annual salary of $267,811. At the May 10, 2016 District Governing Board meeting, it voted 4-1 to extend her contract for one year and hand her $5,000. Board Representative Deb McCasland voted against the extension and $5,000.
Wills’ used the $5,000 as a PR stunt, indicating according to the Board, that she intended to donate  the $5,000 to the Yavapai College Foundation. It is a tax deductible contribution from her gross income.

PAY RAISERepresentative Ray Sigafoos poured political syrup on what is suspected as a Wills’ PR stunt saying he had “never seen” an executive do this in “35 years of higher education.”  The Blog speculates that Sigafoos, a tax accountant, must have seen many clients with incomes over a quarter million dollars routinely making much larger donations to charities. They didn’t, however, have a public platform on which to boast of their gift.
Representative Al Filardo fell for the suspected Public Relations stunt and poured additional political syrup on the tax deductible donation. He said he “really appreciated you (Wills’) doing that.” (Maybe we should see the tax returns of Wills’ and all the Governing Board so we can say, “we really appreciate your charitable contributions.”)
The Wills’ reported public record of failures for the past year include: (1) Lost $1 million in tuition revenue because of the drop in student enrollment. (2) Lost another $1 million because the aviation program has collapsed (not clear if this is also tuition or what; College only reports the drop in revenue is in addition to the $1 million noted earlier.) (3) Achieved an estimated 5% drop in overall student enrollment. (4) Failed to settle multi-million dollar lawsuit with whistleblower who headed the aviation program before he was fired and now alleges the College failed to comply with VA regulations). (5) Opposed giving the Verde Valley a semblance of independence at the March, 2016 Board meeting.  (6) Presided over the continuing multi-year decline in enrollment. One speculates that the $5,000 was awarded because matters didn’t get any worse.
The Governing Board set no specific public goals for Wills to meet during the next year.
The portion of the Governing Board meeting devoted to the extension and salary increase can be viewed by clicking here.

Penelope Wills’ paid $267,811 annual salary

Vice Presidents annually paid $164,524

The Daily Courier newspaper published the salaries of the Yavapai Community College administrators in its March 19, 2016 edition.  According to the newspaper, President Penelope Wills is paid an annual salary of $267,811.  The three vice presidents are annually paid $164,524. 

SALARY The Executive Dean for the Verde Campus, James Perey, receives less that the CTEC Dean.  They are respectively paid $102,103 and $112,416.  The salaries as published in the Courier appear below.  You may read the Courier article containing the salaries by clicking here.

Yavapai College salaries according to the Courier:

President *$267,811

Vice President of Advancement $164,524

Vice President of Finance & Administrative Services $164,524

Vice President of Instruction & Student Development $164,524

Dean of Career and Technical Education Division $112,416

Executive Dean $102,103

Dean of Student services $100,425

Dean of Lifelong Learning $96,979

Dean of Business, Education and Social Sciences Division $96,136

Dean of Foundation Studies Division $96,136

Dean of Arts and Humanities $92,796

Dean for Instructional Support and Improvement $92,796

*Many colleges provide a compensation package which includes a combination of salary, housing allowance, car allowance, club allowance, deferred compensation and bonus. Yavapai College officials, for transparency, included compensation items within the total salary given here. For comparison, the Yavapai College president’s compensation is approximately 2% above the median compensation package for presidents of community colleges with similar budgets.