MCC chancellor gets 3-percent raise

Michael Kearns

Michael Kearns

KINGMAN - Mohave Community College Chancellor Michael Kearns will earn $190,550 after the Board of Governors approved a 3-percent salary increase.

In a unanimous vote at their meeting on Friday, the board honored Kearns' contract to match other employees' salary increase.

At the June 12 meeting, the board approved an average increase of 3 percent to MCC administrators. The increase, effective July 1, represented an additional $5,500 for the 2009 fiscal year.

Beyond the contractual obligation, the board cited Kearns' efforts for MCC. Board Secretary Kathleen Hodel cited the increase in distance and dual enrollment, a raise in financial aid, work on the faculty and recruitment plans, budget management and the procurement of the nearly $2 million Title III grant as justifiable factors for the raise.

"The public's responding to all the positive information," Hodel said.

The board also approved dual enrollment intergovernmental agreements between MCC and Mohave County high schools for the 2008-2009 academic year. This year has seen a 66-student increase from last year's 500 students and a jump to 3,153 credit hours from 2,399 during the 2007-2008 academic year.

The board approved an articulation agreement with Palo Verde Community College in California. The agreement includes a tuition reciprocity agreement for all but allied health students, which will allow in-state tuition for students in Needles, Calif., and Mohave County.

In their final action, the board approved 19 new hires, three internal hires, five changes in title, two position reclassifications, two unsuccessful probations, 13 resignations, one retirement and one transfer.

Kearns reported on MCC's progress.

A 9.7-percent increase in full-time student-equivalent enrollment for 2007-2008 brought the number to 3,143.

"This is the first time we've ever crossed the 3,000 mark for FTSE," Kearns said.

Kearns attributed the increase to new programs and MCC's more student-friendly approach with financial aid.

"We're very proud of the fact that we've grown," Kearns said.

Part of the student-friendly approach is the use of a $20,000 emergency loan fund and a tuition payment plan.

"This is the way they can stay in school, not drop out, and pay it in a certain amount of time," Kearns said.

Kearns said the Joint Conference Committee of the Community Colleges and Universities on July 17 approved the development of baccalaureate degrees at community colleges.

Community colleges would be able to offer baccalaureate degrees universities do not want to offer.

"It could put the college in an inferior position because the universities could cherry-pick the programs," Kearns said.

Pima Community College will serve as the pilot for the program.

With the dissolution of the Arizona Community College Association on Dec. 31, the former members have lobbied Governor Janet Napolitano to create a similar organization by executive order. Kearns said he anticipates Napolitano will sign the order for the creation of the Arizona Community College Council within the week.

The board will meet at 10 a.m. on Oct. 10 in Room 502 on the Thomas C. Henry Campus in Bullhead City. The meeting can be viewed in the Interactive Television classroom on the Neal Campus, 1971 Jagerson Ave., in Kingman in Room 502.