Gila Community College board member Tom Loeffler will untangle the college’s sometimes complicated and often dramatic twists and turns at a Citizens Awareness Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 22.
Cookies and refreshments will be served during the meeting, which takes place at the library.
“The college is an economic engine — could be an economic engine for the community,” said Loeffler, “but it’s also an educational engine for the community.” The Payson campus offers over 250 different courses for learners of all ages.
However, controversy often mars the college’s image and advocates say a restrictive contract hamstrings GCC’s progress.
For instance, all GCC employees, including deans, receive paychecks from Eastern Arizona College, which runs GCC. Consequently, deans don’t take direction from the GCC board.
Loeffler plans to address those concerns, along with concerns about unprofessional treatment of instructors.
He’ll also talk about whether local taxpayers have a voice in the college’s operations, and why the board’s powers are so limited.
Because GCC formed after the state implemented tax base and population thresholds for operating community colleges, Gila County cannot run its own school. The county falls beneath the thresholds.
GCC currently contracts with EAC in Graham County, which has a smaller tax base and lower population than Gila County. Graham County, however, was grandfathered into the state law.