Board selects firm, team members

June 22, 2017 by Anonymous

HOLBROOK — A consulting firm and community and college employee members for a Presidential Search Team were approved by the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board during the regular monthly meeting on June 20 in Holbrook.

R.H. Perry, based out of North Carolina, exhibited the higher education presidential search experience desired to guide the Search Team to find a replacement for Dr. Jeanne Swarthout, Northland Pioneer College’s seventh president, who has announced plans to retire in June 2018. R.H. Perry was selected over two professional search firms who had applied for the contract.

Named to the Search Team were: Matt Weber, Northern Arizona Vocational Institute of Technology (NAVIT) superintendent; Hollis Merrill, Snowflake USD superintendent; and former NPC Board member Bill Jeffers from Holbrook; community volunteer Jane Hawthorne; NPC faculty members Wes King, Dr. Allison Landy and Peterson Yazzie; NPC staff members Jeanmarie “Gigi” Nielson, Amber Hill and Cara Joe-Dukepoo; Gail Campbell, associate dean of Education and College & Career Preparation; and a student to be named by the Student Government Association.

President Swarthout was also authorized to create a Presidential Transition Team, to work with the eventual successful candidate, to acquaint them with the district and partner organizations.

The board also approved an agreement with Cochise Community College to provide Respiratory Therapy (RT) training at the Show Low campus starting in January 2018.

Cochise RT Professor Jim Nosen explained the program will initially be for 10 students, limited by available clinical opportunities. Students interested in this program should contact Dr. Debra McGinty, dean of Nursing and Allied Heath, 532-6133.

Maintenance worker Leonard Lee, who started at NPC in August 1981, received a Meritorious Service Award for his 36 years of service. Emeritus status was awarded to retiring faculty members Shannon Newman, math and College & Career Preparation, since 2000; and Theresa Artz-Howard, Nursing Assistant, since 1999.

The number of high school students taking advantage of NPC’s College Bound scholarship has nearly doubled since it was first offered in 2014, reported Mark Vest, vice president for Learning and Student Services. College Bound covers tuition for high school juniors and seniors to enroll in up to 24 credits of general education classes.

The Finish Line scholarship, which covers tuition for the final 12 credits needed for a degree has remained fairly stable. Finish Line was created for students who have exhausted their federal Pell Grant eligibility, and is frequently used by students in programs with high credit loads, such as nursing and early childhood.

The board also renewed dual enrollment agreements with Holbrook, Joseph City, Chinle and Snowflake school districts. A new agreement with Miami High School was also approved.  

The salary schedules for NPC’s hourly employees and faculty were adjusted. The board had approved a 1.5% increase to the base, but it was determined moving employees one step helped reduce salary compression. The change was cost neutral. Exempt and professional nonexempt employees were not impacted by the change.

Institutional research consultant Eva Putzova explained she is meeting with faculty to gather information for a more in-depth report on whether students are learning, and successfully meeting the educational goals of NPC programs.  Assessment of student learning is a focus of the college and is central to its upcoming accreditation review with the Higher Learning Commission.  Putzova commended the NPC faculty for being focused on how best to serve students and understanding and encouraging assessment of learning.

Ten scholarships for Nursing students have been awarded through NPC Friends and Family, thanks to the support of Summit Healthcare and Frontier Communications, noted Betsyann Wilson, executive director of NPC Friends and Family.

The nonprofit alliance is hosting its first Scholarship Disc Golf Tournament on August 12 at the Four Seasons Course in Snowflake. Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for NPC’s U.S. Veteran students. To show what disc golf is all about, Wilson and Tournament Director Steve Johnston will be making a presentation and hands-on demonstration of disc golf to the Snowflake/Taylor Chamber’s Lunch and Learn event on June 28. For tournament registration and other details, visit

Following three lengthy executive sessions, the board extended the contract of President Swarthout for another year. The board recommended and directed the president to address termination of a college employee for cause. Finally, the board approved a separation agreement with another college employee.

Board member James Matteson asked staff to draft a board policy defining attendance standards for those serving on the board.

The board does not regularly meet in July. The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, August 15, beginning at 10 a.m., in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. Copies of the agenda are posted online at least 24 hours in advance.

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