Navajo County taxpayers will not see a change in the tax rate for the Navajo County Community College District to fund the Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget which was approved May 21 by the District Governing Board. No public comments were received during the public hearings on the operating and capital budgets, tax rate and tax levy.
Next year’s NPC operating budget is based on keeping the tax rate unchanged from the current year, at $1.8164 per $100 of net assessed valuation. Maintaining the same rate will result in a 1.5 percent increase in revenue, due to new construction and valuation adjustments of property and improvements. NPC has not had a secondary property tax since 2009 to pay for bonds and has never had a budget override.
Under state law, the rate could have been increased to $1.8621. “This is the second year in a row that the board has decided not to increase the tax rate to the maximum,” stated James Matteson, who represents District 4 on the board. “If you look at the revenue over the last three years, there has been very little change.”
“We may need to make some line item adjustments once the actual state operating and equalization figures are approved by the legislature,” noted Maderia Ellison, NPC’s vice president for Administrative Services. “The budget can only be decreased, not increased from the approved amounts.”
In her monthly financial report, Ellison noted the unanticipated large amount of interest income, $880,624, earned this year, up 630 percent of the projected budgeted amount. She stressed the college has not depended on this income source to fund programs. “However, interest income will be reduced as we use our reserves on the planned construction projects,” Ellison added.
The board also honored retiring Emergency Medical Services instructor Lynn Browne-Wagner, who has trained over half of the paramedics in Arizona over the last 35 years. Respectfully known as LBW by her students, she is a pioneer in the EMS field, working as a flight medic and educator; has served on numerous state and national boards; written national and state certification exams and EMS textbooks; and been a guest lecturer on the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.
“I want to thank the college for allowing me to pursue outside opportunities to educate others,” commented LBW upon receiving a crystal eagle statute and signed print of a soaring bald eagle by NPC art instructor Peterson Yazzie from Dr. Debra McGinty, dean of Nursing and Allied Health.
A workaholic, LBW remarked she is enjoying two weeks of retirement, lounging in her pajamas and watching TV. But she will soon be back on duty at the state’s Poison Control Center, something she has done since 1991, continuing in her role as an educator.
In action items, the board:
- Supported a grant application to the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation to create a simulated operating room. This would be used by the new Surgical Technology program to get students acquainted with the OR setting before clinical rotations.
- Awarded a multi-year contract to Last Call Media to provide maintenance and ongoing improvements to the college’s public website, www.npc.edu.
- Approved the 2021-22 Academic Calendar, which includes a new three-day instructional break between eight-week sessions that coincides with fall breaks at many area high schools. The college will be open during the break as instructors prepare for the second eight-week session.
- Renewed the annual maintenance contract with Jenzabar, the software backbone for the college’s student records and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
- Adopted a revision to the college’s procurement Policy 1932, requiring that purchases substantially conform to the Arizona State Procurement Code.
Reports to the Board
Institutional Effectiveness Director Dr. Judy Yip-Reyes presented an expanded report on the fall 2018 student outcomes survey. The survey allows students to rate the course, from assignments to textbooks; and the instructor, on presentation of material to student interactions. “Overall, this was a very positive report card,” said Yip-Reyes. Any negative student comments are shared with the instructor and dean, and corrective steps are taken to improve the learning experience. “We learn and grow from these comments,” she added. Board member Derrick Leslie had asked to see the negative comments, to see if there were some common issues with instruction.
NPC Friends and Family Board Chair Mary Koury reviewed recent activities, including a “delightful retreat in Kayenta, hosted by Myrtle Daize-Grey. The nonprofit board is reviewing strategic plans and considering a REZ Golf Tournament as a fundraising option. The third annual pro-am Disc Golf Tournament will be August 10 at the Four Seasons course in Snowflake. “I want to thank the town managers and councils for helping to support this event,” added Koury. Registration and additional information about the tournament can be found at www.npc.edu/DiscGolf.
Two recent donations to the Claude Endfield Early Childhood Scholarship Fund have brought the endowment to over $40,000. NPC Friends and Family hopes to award the first scholarship from this endowment for the fall semester.
Dr. Inez Schaechterle presented her first Faculty Association report to the board. Dr. Kevin Jones will be the vice president; Mark Ford, the treasurer; and Dr. Allison Landy, the secretary, for the upcoming year.
College President Mark Vest noted that five of the 14 positions under hiring review have verbally accepted job offers.
The Strategic Planning and Accreditation Steering Committee (SPASC) is focusing on the November 18 and 19 Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visit, noted Rickey Jackson, interim vice president for Learning and Student Services. There will be a presentation on Guided Pathways at the board’s June 18 meeting.
Four architectural and design firms made presentations to the review committee on May 20 for the proposed construction projects on the Show Low Campus. Board member Matteson, a licensed engineer, is confident NPC will be getting a good firm to revise the master plan and design the proposed construction projects.
The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, June 18, at 10 a.m. in the Tiponi Community Center on the Holbrook – Painted Desert Campus, 2251 E. Navajo Blvd. The board will meet in work session at 9:30 for a briefing on the upcoming accreditation visit and to discuss the Show Low construction projects. Copies of the agenda will be posted online, at least 24 hours in advance. The board does not normally meet in July.
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