Scott Stewart
Pima College Governing Board, Dist. Four

My Record and My Agenda

My Record
  

When I was first elected my primary intention was to keep the college effective and affordable for both students and taxpayers. I also was interested in exporting Pima's strengths to other institution. The reason this was a priority was (and it still is!) Pima's fastest growing market share was remedial education for recent high school graduates.

 

I have never governed as a partisan. Instead, I work hard and study the College and the choices before it. Some of our main choices relate to where our students come from and where they go next, either transferring to a 4-year university or going directly to work. I believe my study has allowed me to make the best judgments possible regarding such choices.

 

In my time on the Board, I've personally worked to attract students from alternative venues such as charter and private schools and home-schooling. I have ensured Pima remains friendly to such students. We have reached out as well to these institutions and associations to help them solve their student challenges. I've also successfully pushed partnerships so our graduates can afford further education beyond Pima. The College now offers several of these.

 

During my years on the Board, I've helped Pima make the following improvements:

 

  • More transparency - our “metrics” are now posted on the PCC website

  • Moved our Aviation Technology Program to a site on the airport grounds to qualify for FAA Certification in more areas

  • Increased the staff workweek from 37.5 to 40 hours

  • Moved staff closer to a “Pay for Performance” plan, rather than simply basing their pay on time employed

  • Improved pay dramatically for the high-demand nursing faculty

  • Ensured that Pima listens to local employers so we can learn what is needed and wanted from our graduates

  • Ensured the College works with local high schools, charter schools, private schools, and home school associations to know how their students do on our placement exams.

  • Reduced opportunities for identity theft by insisting that Pima not use Social Security Numbers as a student ID

 Obviously, I'm proud to have successfully worked on all of the above. I would appreciate your support to continue my work.

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My Agenda 

 

Why would I like to get re-elected as one of the 5 members of the Pima College Board of Governors, an unpaid position?

 

Pima Community College has an annual budget of nearly $200 million. The Governing Board oversees the operations of the College, its priorities, its finances, and, most importantly, how it serves the community. Pima College serves a student population greater than that of the University of Arizona. Most fundamentally, the board is the voice of the community to the college.

  

We’re on the front lines in education, dealing with students who are unprepared for college, preparing others to transfer to a university, and training others for careers in fields such as aviation, engineering, nursing, and radiology. As a large organization, it has its flaws, often-unwieldy bureaucracy, and tendency to focus inward. I’d like your vote to get re-elected to help keep the college effective and affordable for both students and taxpayers - something increasingly difficult with state budget cuts - and to help keep the college focused on serving its customers and the community rather than its internal constituencies.

  

One of the things that makes Pima more effective than many K-12 institutions is competition. There are technical schools, trade schools, business schools, and the U of A - even on-line colleges. When Pima College doesn't perform well enough, our customers can easily vote with their feet.

  

There are many things that Pima can do to improve education in Arizona and that are more likely if I am on the board. Many of the things I listed under accomplishments would not have moved forward without me.

  

Some of the areas that we need to address very soon are:


  • Adult Education – last year the state budget for community colleges zeroed out Adult Education, a program for which there is a 3 to 1 Federal match. Since about 20% of Arizona high school students get their GED to fulfill the state’s high school graduation requirements, this is a most unfortunate choice. I will continue to fight for funding of Adult Education.  

  • Faculty Compensation – to be able to attract senior faculty from other institutions, we need to revise the faculty compensation schedule to credit prior experience just like private sector employers count prior experience from other employers when deciding on how much to pay new employees. This will be very tough to do in the continuing economic climate and even harder to be fair to existing faculty who came with prior experience that wasn’t counted. However, I believe we have to do it in order to be effective and competitive.

  • Student Services – we still need to do more to improve the customer service in the areas of advising and registration. We’ve come a long way with the new student services centers,but still more consistency of information is needed, as well as better processing speed to shorten lines at registration. _______________________________________________________________________________________________

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