JANUARY 23, 2003
A special board meeting and community listening session of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board was scheduled to be held at 5:45 p.m. at Mesa Community College in Mesa Arizona, pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02, notice having been duly given.
Nancy Stein, President
Ed Contreras, Secretary
Linda Rosenthal, Member
Don Campbell, Member
Gene Eastin, Member
Debra Thompson for Rufus Glasper
John Schroder for Ron Bleed
Nick Balich, Absent
I. SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
CALL TO ORDER
President Stein called the Special Board Meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
A. Administration of Oath of Office to Re-Elected Governing Board Members
Ms. Janet Felton, Executive Assistant to the President of Mesa Community College and a notary public, administered the oath of office to Mrs. Linda B. Rosenthal, re-elected Governing Member from District 3, and Mr. Gene Eastin, re-elected Governing Board Member from District 4.
B. Election of Governing Board Officers for Calendar Year 2003
President Nancy Stein declared the vacancy of the office of President of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board and called for nominations. Governing Board Member Gene Eastin proposed the nomination of Mr. Ed Contreras for the office of President. There being no further nominations, President Stein closed the nominations and called for a motion to approve. Motion approved 5-0.
President Nancy Stein declared the vacancy of the office of Secretary of the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board and called for nominations. Governing Board Member Gene Eastin proposed the nomination of Mrs. Linda B.Rosenthal for the office of Secretary. There being no further nominations, President Stein closed the nominations and called for a motion to approve. Motion approved 5-0.
President Contreras presented Mrs. Stein with a gavel plaque inscribed with appreciation for the past year of service as President of the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board.
C. ADJOURNMENT OF SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
President Contreras adjourned the special meeting of the Governing Board at 6:10 p.m.
II. LISTENING SESSION
President Contreras transitioned the meeting over to the Community Listening Session hosted by Mesa Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. His introductory remarks included an analogy of how people at the beginning of the year oftentimes visit their medical doctors for a check-up on their well-being. In similar fashion he likened this listening session to an opportunity of checking to see if the heartbeat of the Maricopa Community Colleges was matching the needs of the communities they served, i.e., legs to carry, eyes to envision, and ears to listen to the population's needs and wants.
President Contreras asked Board Members to introduce themselves and note which districts they represented. He expressed appreciation to everyone in attendance for being present and willing to express their thoughts.
Chancellor Fred Gaskin congratulated Mr. Contreras on his election as President of the Board and thanked everyone for their attendance. He also acknowledged the presence of the NAU CC580 community college class taught by Dr. Jose Leyba. Chancellor Gaskin further remarked that the Maricopa Community Colleges were concerned about the high school dropout population and his wishes to be responsive to the needs of communities served. He stated that the Maricopa Colleges were affordable and accessible and were experiencing great enrollment growth. The services and programs offered not only serve the state's younger population, but also retraining of adults. The state's economy is dependent on a well-educated workforce.
The Listening Session proceeded as follows:
Lionel Diaz, Manager, Facilities and Planning Development
Mr. Diaz reviewed the impact of the 1994 Bond Election in which voters passed a $386 million bond for the Maricopa Community College District. In the East Valley, funds were used to construct a new 92,0000 square foot library on the Dobson Campus, as well as remodeling on this campus which will continue for another year. To increase the capacity of this campus, additional property was purchased which provides an eastern access to MCC. At the Red Mountain Campus, 15,000 acres were developed with wonderfully designed buildings and portables for a total of 96,000 square feet of space. At the Chandler-Gilbert Campus, there was a complete turnaround with the new library and new laboratories. In addition, 40 additional acres were purchased for this campus. The Williams Campus received a number of old building from Williams Air Force Base and although they aren't new, the students like this convenience. There is also an agreement with the hospital at Sun Lakes to purchase 5,000 square feet of space.
Dr. Larry Christiansen & Maria Hesse
Dr. Christiansen called attention to the packet of valuable information everyone had received. He spoke about the "one college/two campus concept" available through Mesa Community College. The Metropolitan Phoenix area is experiencing explosive population growth and especially the East Valley. Mesa Community College must prepare for more students which are expected to number 93,000 nine years from now. Master plans for Red Mountain will provide access as it continues to move forward.
Ms. Hesse spoke about the three campuses which comprise the Chandler-Gilbert Community Colleges (Pecos Campus, ASU East at WAFB, and Sun Lakes in South Chandler). Gilbert has been identified as the fastest growing city in the United States, going from 5,000 people in 1980 to 130,000 in 2000. Chandler's population has also grown tremendously having gone from 90,000 in 1990 to a current population of 200,000.
Mesa Community College and Chandler-Gilbert Community College continue to collaborate to meet the needs of the communities they serve in the East Valley.
Keno Hawker, Mayor, City of Mesa, spoke about the explosive growth in the East Valley. Mesa now has a population of 430,000 and is expected to grow to 700,000. He is interested in having a job center in Mesa which would provide additional jobs in the East Valley so that citizens would not have to drive to the West Valley to work. He expressed appreciation for the collaboration that takes place between MCC, CGC, and ASU East on the transfer of credits so that students are not dead-ended if they change programs. The demographic shifts in population are creating a need for retraining of adults and serving Hispanics relocating to the East Valley, as well as baby boomers.
Dr. Debra Duvall, Superintendent of the Mesa Public Schools and Chair of the Mesa Community College Commission on Excellence, spoke about the emphasis that the East Valley community places on partnerships and how everyone benefits from these associations. People broaden their knowledge and skills through athletic and arts programs which are in place. MCC, in turn, benefits from the support and feedback. She stated that Mesa Community College is recognized for the quality of teaching and services it provides. With the Mesa Public Schools being the largest school district in the state, MCC is very important to the population it serves. Dr. Duval recommended going for as large a bond as possible. She suggested taking this money to fulfill needs.
Roc Arnett, President, East Valley Partnership, stressed three areas that must be the focus:
1. Today's competitive world calls for a world-class work force. Mesa and the East Valley are a region now and the bar must be raised for the workforce.
2. It is important to broaden the horizon and manage the workforce demographics. There is a need to prepare future workers and provide labor market information that they need.
3. It is essential for the business and education communities to make a comprehensive effort to capture the Hispanic community. This community wants to work and we must participate in training them.
Ramon Elias, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley for the last thirty years, has seen tremendous growth. They now have nine facilities and one charter school serving 11,000-plus children. They promote education as the means to achieve goals. They strive to maintain strong partnerships with the community colleges and provide "Youth of the Year" recipients from each facility with a scholarship to MCC and maintain dual enrollment between the charter school and MCC. He would like to see more scholarship funds available for adults who would like to pursue an education but are having a tough time making ends meet.
Dr. Chuck Backus, Provost of ASU East, spoke about the partnerships that have been put in place between ASU East, Mesa Community College, and Chandler-Gilbert Community College. It is projected that the student population will jump from the current 3,2000 number to 15-20,000 by 2004. With the technology programs they offer at ASU East, it is hoped they will be known as ASU Polytechnic in the future as they continue to meet the educational needs of the workforce of Arizona. He urged the community colleges not to miss the opportunity to provide health professional training.
Art Betancourt, ASMCC President, remarked that students' point of view of MCC is that of devotion to student success. Faculty and student services go to great lengths to serve the students. The reasonable tuition rates are an affordable way to transition to four-year schools. He stated that salaries of adjunct faculty should be increased and that transportation should be provided or made available. It is important that the needs and dreams of all Valley students be protected for the future good of students and the community.
Dr. Annette McHenry, Former Mesa Schools Counselor and Commission on Excellence Member, mentioned that she had been an Arizona resident for 27 years and was proud of what MCC had done with its square footage in serving its student population. She encouraged the community colleges to build and expand. In 1965 there were 60,000 people and now there 400,000. There should be a major emphasis to continue to strive for excellence and get the best faculty, courses of study, and opportunities to prepare for personal endeavors. Arizona serves a world community and must meet the challenges of the global market.
Peter Moraga, Commission on Excellence Member, raised concerns about stereotyping, about the state's water shortage and also how to address raising the level of education and self esteem of the growing Hispanic community.
Gloria Moraga, Commission on Excellence Member, reiterated what Mr. Moraga had
spoken about with reference to stereotyping. She also spoke about what Mesa Community College has done right with opening of the second campus at Red Mountain. The 202 Freeway is promoting growth in the East Valley and MCC has become high tech with its new Library and new Science Building. Education links with BYU and ASU East are great incentives. She stated that challenges she sees are Arizona's increasing population, diversity, ethnicities, providing high quality services and serving students with arts and athletic programs. She encouraged exploring four year college degrees in the technology fields or other business-friendly careers, teaching, and nursing.
Wayne Balmer, former city manager of the City of Mesa and Project Manager for Williams Gateway Airport, expressed an interest in having NAU or ASU centers at community college campuses to provide four-year degrees or teaching certificates for post-baccalaureate degreed people.
Dave Udall, Attorney, mentioned that he had six children who have attended MCC. His wife became so active with MCC at one point, that she actually became an employee. She worked on addressing the problem of transferring of credits and in 1994 MCC was able to reach an agreement with BYU. The MCC Transfer Center was built in 1998 and this has been a great addition to the campus. Mr. Udall asked how the bond money would be divided up. If the bond is to pass, it must have the support of the East Valley. The East Valley alone could make it pass so the East Valley needs to get a huge share of the money.
Jack Hannon, Nuestro Neighborhood & Latino Town Hall, spoke about the many immigrants that are coming to Arizona and their need for education. He said, "They need to hear our voice based on our needs."
John Kess, Town of Queen Creek, was appreciative of the educational opportunities offered by Chandler-Gilbert Community College and MCC. Queen Creek is experiencing a 14% annual growth rate. As that part of the Valley grows, so will the needs for education.
Galen Updike, ATIC and CLH, (Arizona Telecommunications Information Council), has been a resident of Mesa for 20 years and appreciates the educational and arts opportunities MCC provides for his children. He would like to see more e-learning opportunities versus bricks and mortar. The business community stands ready to assist MCC and would like to see the college district use more local companies for equipment and facilities' requirements.
Ron Peters, Former Chair of Commission on Excellence and Interested Citizen, stated that his family has graduated from MCC. Most East Valley jobs are supplied by small businesses. He would like to see a campus created in downtown Mesa where there would be light rail access and be more convenient to the Hispanic community.
Gary Smith, City of Mesa Economic Development Advisory Council, has observed that MCC has listened to the needs of the community and has been responsive in tailoring education to employment and transferability of credits. The challenge is money. He recommended creating educational programs for low income populations in the way of vocational and training classes. There is a need to reach out to Hispanic community.
Donnette Hermes, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, stated that Chandler has gone from a small farming community to a commerce center. Chandler is committed to rallying support for the Maricopa Community College District.
Laverne DaCosta, East Valley NAACP, spoke about issues affecting African American families. They are stereotyped as being unmotivated and blaming others for negative situations they encounter. She stated that MCCD is guilty of not hiring unless EEOC complaints are filed. It is time to make some changes. Requested that Governing Board take a look at promotion practices.
Dr. Oris Friesen, ATIC, stressed the need to continue the certification program pertaining to the telecommunications industry.
Elias Esquer, AACHE, stressed that the mission of MCC should reflect the community, however, he felt it was not reflected in the faculty. Board Members spend a lot of time and effort in serving and he very much appreciates this.
Dr. Christiansen thanked everyone for their participation and efforts in making the evening successful and insightful. He turned the program over to President Contreras for closing remarks.
Dr. Don Campbell heard a lot of things which went beyond the building and facilities. He heard that we continue to provide quality education and training of people for Arizona's workforce. He also heard that there is a need to use Arizona companies for MCCD supplies. With reference to the interpretation of the remark made by Roc Arnette, he provided support of the efforts Mr. Arnette has made to provide the scouting program and services to the Valley youth. There is a need for parent involvement if children are going to succeed.
Linda Rosenthal commented that she appreciated being present for this listening session and being able to hear the laudatory comments. She truly believes that the Governing Board and Administration will do the very best to continue to provide for the needs and wants of communities they serve.
Gene Eastin was pleased to see the community presence since the community is the foundation of our system. He appreciated all the remarks, both positive and negative. These remarks have not fallen on deaf ears.
Ed Contreras thanked everyone for their comments. He stated he was proud to be an East Valley resident and proud to be a board member. The East Valley community is very committed to education. Education is the lifeblood of the community no matter what race or economic standard. MCCD must continue to be a part of the driving force of the population. We need to raise the bar and stay ahead of the course. We must relocate businesses so that workers live where they work. He commented that he heard a lot of warning signs - changing demographics of our communities and the growth there has been in minority students. It is important that we buy land before the people are there. The community colleges must work with businesses because they provide jobs. He stressed that the Governing Board Members are dedicated to serving.
The meeting concluded at 8:23 p.m.
Governing Board Secretary