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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

9/4/2014 2:08:00 PM
Julie Larson voices support for local college administration
Julie Larson: “We want in the Verde Valley what Prescott has.” VVN/Vyto Starinskas
Julie Larson: “We want in the Verde Valley what Prescott has.” VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - Well-known Verde Valley educator Julie Larson joined Ruth Wicks in a presentation to the Cottonwood City Council Tuesday to drum up support for a separate administration for the Verde Campus of Yavapai College.

Larson is the one-time principal of Dr. Daniel Bright School and then superintendent of the Cottonwood Oak Creek School District.

Larson recalled when she was an administrator that locals in the Verde Valley could work full time and still attend college. Larson says many in the Cottonwood school district got their degrees that way. She applauded the Yavapai College opportunities on the Prescott campus. But, she says, those opportunities are not available here any more.

"We want in the Verde Valley what Prescott has," she said.

Ruth Wicks, a former Mingus Union High School educator and counselor, said the college is making great efforts in communication and praised creation of the two new advisory boards. But, Wicks said that, "We need a Verde Valley president answerable to a Verde Valley Governing Board and an independent administration.

Wick pointed to Maricopa County that has 10 separate colleges that work independently.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Article comment by: T. Hearn

Reply to Just Wondering:

Didn't the new 10-year master plan call for some $103.8 million, of which some 97% would have been earmarked for Prescott projects?

Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014
Article comment by: Atta girl, Linda!

The only truly bad news is no news.


Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Buchanan

Thanks for watching the Verde Comm Ed website. We are continuing to add courses weekly. Also, Verde Comm Ed will be bringing you on-campus cultural and community events, such as the League of Women Voters District 6 Candidates Forum (Sep 29).

Posted: Monday, September 8, 2014
Article comment by: David Perrell

In response to a complaint that there were only six courses available in Comm Ed at the Clarkdale campus compared to 134 at Prescott, Linda Buchanan advised checking back later for a "more robust and complete listing of Comm Ed courses." I just followed that advice, and I think it would be fair to say the course listing is now 133% more robust . There are now three more courses plus a five-part wine seminar.

Posted: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Article comment by: Just Wondering

Would former associates be disgruntled if so many courses hadn't already migrated to the Prescott campuses?

Would Verde Valley property owners be listening to them if they could see a positive return for their $12 million annual investment?

What exactly does "working with the county" constitute in Bill Lumberg's opinion?

How much capital bond funding would Yavapai College have requested for its next 10-year plan if Bob Oliphant hadn't gone public with how little Verde Valley campuses would be getting out of it?

Could that be one of the reasons it's so difficult to find highly qualified candidates for school boards? The virtual gag order and concerted personal attacks on anyone who violates the sanctity of the Board of Governors' star chamber?

Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Article comment by: Tired of being ripped off

As a taxpayer, I'm just tired of being ripped off. All you property owners, check out how much you're paying to these people. How much return are you getting on that investment?

Their 10-year plan shows something like 99% of our money is being invested in the Prescott area.

Julie Larson is right, we want here in the Verde what Prescott is getting with all the money they are taking from us.

Either that or reduce our property tax here in the Verde, and let the Prescott people pay for their own college.

Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Article comment by: Another Watchdog

People are beginning to pierce the veil of this power struggle. Look at the few who are driving so hard to tear the college apart. Go behind their personal agendas, and get straight to the axe-grinding. Disgruntled former associates do not a great new level of administration make.

Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014
Article comment by: Bill Lumberg

"But, Wicks said that, "We need a Verde Valley president answerable to a Verde Valley Governing Board and an independent administration.

Wick pointed to Maricopa County that has 10 separate colleges that work independently."

Some important context:

By state law there can only be 1 community college district per county. If VV wants its own board then it has to form its own county first. That is not in the best interest of the residents of VV.

Maricopa has 10 community colleges in name only. The maricopa district is still governed by a single board and administered by a single chancellor. They call their campuses "colleges" and the campus deans "presidents" but this is mainly an issue of semantics.

It's not surprising that they use a more decentralized model. Each of those "colleges" serves a population 10 times the size of the Verde Valley. Maricopa the 4 largest county in the United States and has more than 30 times our economic output. To suggest they are a model for us is laughable.

Instead take a look at Gila County. That's more compareable to an independent VV. They still can't support a college on their own.

In the end this whole issue is about politics and power struggle. The VV isn't being robbed by anyone and our students will have less educational opportunity, not more if we go it alone.

We need our leaders to work with the county as a whole, not against it.

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