By Linda Kor
Northland Pioneer College officials have made the decision to join other community colleges in the state as part of a collaborative council that will represent common interests of the colleges in legislative, industry and public matter. The Arizona Community College Coordinating Council is the brainchild of the Arizona Community College Presidents Council (ACCPC), and will include voluntary representatives from each of the colleges who will direct a staff employed to ensure those interests are being addressed.
NPC President Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, who is part of the ACCPC, will also be the college’s representative on the ACCCC. The president’s council has been discussing the need for the ACCCC for the past year as efforts to effectively communicate the needs of the colleges have failed to produce the desired effect. In creating the new council it was noted that no ACCCC board action shall have the effect of impairing the sovereignty of a local district governing board.
After reviewing the information, the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board authorized the college to pay the required annual dues in order to have a voice on the council. The dues are calculated by using a base rate shared by all the colleges plus a percentage of the Full Time Student Enrollment, or FTSE, for the previous two years. For this first year, NPC’s dues will be $4,616, but each year the dues amount will be reassessed and likely increase as the base rate increases. The total approved budget for the endeavor for the first year is $300,000, which will pay for administration costs including staff, rent, government relations and other operating expenses.
According to Swarthout, the president’s council rotates leadership each year and constant changes in legis-lative contacts make the ability to keep the focus on important issues difficult. “It’s been frustrating not knowing who to talk to with everything rotating. Each of us have busy fulltime jobs with no time to properly manage these needs or put out a good public message,” she explained.
The office will be based in Phoenix with proximity to the state capital and governor’s office, but would represent all areas of the state.
“With the input of the council, the information will be tailored to benefit all colleges,” explained Swarth-out. She said that in the past Maricopa Community College has dominated in legislative decision making simply because it is the largest college in the immediate area, making it the entity that legislators went to for input. With the new council in place, all community colleges in the state will receive equal representation, and there will be a greater focus on statewide priorities and concerns.
In other business, the board authorized a 60-month lease agreement between NPC and Konica Minolta So-lutions in the amount of $85,134.60 for a printer/copier/scanner/tri-folding/binding machine to replace a Xerox copier with an expired lease.
The board also approved the 2013-14 budget development calendar.
By Linda Kor