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College seeks feedback for nursing candidates

College seeks feedback for nursing candidates


Pima Community College held candidate forums for its assistant dean of nursing and director of nursing positions at West Campus on July 29.

PCC is searching for an assistant dean and director of nursing following the investigation, and subsequent resignation of its former dean, Marty Mayhew. Nancy Peasley, a nursing program laboratory specialist, also left Pima after she was placed on administrative leave due to the findings of the investigation.

The forums were open to the public and Pima is encouraging all community members to provide the college with feedback no later than 5 p.m. today, August 1. Video footage and feedback forms are available here.

During the forums, attendees spoke with Yuko Bautista, Jacqueline Kern and Joseph J. Gaw.

The forums began with a brief opening statement followed by community member questions.

Bautista began teaching at Pima in 2002, she is an instructional faculty member for the college’s nursing department and is pursing a doctorate in education from Grand Canyon University.

She said it has been an honor to be an instructor at PCC, she feels her time at the college has been a blessing and believes teaching is her calling.

Bautista was asked to describe what role she would play while working with Pima’s healthcare partners, and Tucson’s hospital administrators regarding promoting the college’s nursing students.

“I’m a very big advocate for Pima and I realize we have competitive colleges, universities in the clinical settings,” Bautista said. “But I am very proud to say that because of the caliber of students that we have here at Pima, I don’t have to do a lot of work as far as promoting our students.

“Our students do it for us,” she said. “And, I am just here to enhance, be able to facilitate and be supportive.”

Kern was educated at the University of Arizona, she has almost 40 years of nursing and education experience and became an instructor for Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

She said her earliest childhood memories were colored and flavored with the dream of becoming a nurse. And, her initial nursing experience prior to graduating from the UA was working with the founder of Tucson’s Casa de los Ninos, Sister Kathleen Clark.

Kern was asked what management skills or styles she would utilize when addressing disagreements, conflicts and any miscommunications between nursing faculty and staff.

“Well certainly define the issue first, ‘what is the problem’” Kern said. “The nursing process is really problem solving, so that serves us.

“Sure there can be shifting of positions sometimes, but more it’s calling people to their higher-selves,” she said. “You can put your personal life on the back burner and you can focus on the work. Because that’s what we’re here for is to get the work done.”

Gaw obtained a Doctor of Education degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Grand Canyon University. He has been a registered nurse in Tucson for the past seven years and signed on to Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

He earned an associate degree from Pima as a non-traditional student, while he concurrently worked and helped raise his family. He said because of his humble beginnings, he relates to Pima’s students, especially as a first-generation college graduate.

Gaw closed his time by answering whether he had any plans, suggestions or ideas to increase Pima’s nursing students certification pass rates.

“Two words, and it’s hyphenated; critical-thinking,” Gaw said. “The current literature shows that students are leaving high school with decreased skill in basic knowledge education.

“So, what we need to start doing is getting out of this rut, because the students are taught in their schooling process to learn and dump,” he said, referring to students not retaining material.

“Compared to other schools our size we have a pretty strong pass rate, but we can always go higher. Until we hit 100 percent, then we can’t very well go higher,” Gaw said, ending his forum with a laugh shared by the crowd.

Pima submits Self-Study to accreditor

Pima submits Self-Study to accreditor


Pima Community College has submitted its Self-Study Report to the college’s accrediting body in the latest move required for PCC to have sanctions removed.

The Higher Learning Commission placed Pima on probation last April following a fact-finding team’s discovery of multiple leadership violations and a “culture of fear” at the college.

The college has spent the past 15 months identifying the issues and making the changes needed to have the sanctions lifted.

“The Self-Study Report documents the progress we are making toward our goal of making PCC one of the United States’ premier community colleges,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in an email to employees announcing the submittal of the report. “We recognize that our mission, to develop our community through learning, requires a commitment to student success, consistent engagement and diversity.”

According to a press release from Pima, the highlights of the report include:

The college has created a strategic plan, based on extensive input from community members, faculty, staff and administrators, to guide its major initiatives over the next three years.

The PCC Governing Board has revised its policies and bylaws.

The college has developed and implemented sexual harassment response and prevention training for the board, administrators and employees.

The board has formed a finance and audit committee to provide additional oversight of PCC’s financial, audit and investment-related performance, policies and procedures.

The board has formed a Human Resources advisory team to review the performance of Human Resources. The college is improving faculty oversight of curriculum.

The college is redesigning developmental education to improve student success, is adding faculty and plans to hire a developmental education leader to provide overall direction.

The college has improved policies and procedures regarding complaints and grievances, and has created an Office of Dispute Resolution to address public or employee concerns in an independent, fair and objective manner.

The college has paid off the last of its long-term debt.

The HLC will send another fact-finding team to Pima Sept. 15-17 to determine if all the changes reported have been implemented and all of the accreditor’s concerns have been met.

The team will submit its site report in October, and the commission will vote next February whether to lift the sanctions, keep the college on notice or keep probation in place.

If the HLC does not remove probation, students may be ineligible for financial aid and credits earned at PCC may not transfer to other institutions.

The Self-Study Report can be downloaded here.

Pima hosts nursing program candidate forums

Pima hosts nursing program candidate forums


Pima Community College will host candidate forums for its assistant dean of nursing and director of nursing positions July 29.

PCC is searching for an assistant dean and director of nursing following the investigation and subsequent resignation of its former dean, Marty Mayhew. Nancy Peasley, a nursing program laboratory specialist, also left Pima after she was placed on administrative leave due to the findings of the investigation.

The forums will be held on Pima’s West Campus in Room A-207, and the candidate schedule will be:


Yuko Bautista – 9:45-10:15 a.m.

Jacqueline Kern – 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Joseph J. Gaw – 12:45-1:15 p.m.


Pima has invited all community members to these 30 minute forums, and attendee feedback must be reported to the college no later than August 1 at 5 p.m.

Bautista is currently pursing a doctorate in education from Grand Canyon University, and holds Master of Business Administration and Science in Nursing degrees from the University of Phoenix.

Bautista began teaching at Pima in 2002, and is currently an instructional faculty member for the college’s nursing department.

Kern was educated at the University of Arizona and holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing.

Kern has almost 40 years of nursing and education experience, she was the clinical associate professor at UA for four years starting in 2008 and in 2012 became an instructor for Pima’s nursing department.

Gaw obtained a Doctor of Education degree, along with Master and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees from Grand Canyon University.

Gaw became a registered nurse for Tucson’s Community Health Systems Northwest Medical Center seven years ago. He began instructing online for Northern Arizona University last year, and signed on as a full-time instructor for Pima’s nursing department in 2012.

For additional details including candidate bios, forum videos and the community feedback form, visit the PCC website here.

Morgan Phillips named president of Desert Vista Campus

Morgan Phillips named president of Desert Vista Campus

Pima Community College has announced Morgan Phillips as the new president of its Desert Vista Campus.

Phillips takes the helm of the campus following the retirement of the previous campus president, Johnson Bia, after an internal investigation found Bia had acted inappropriately towards female employees. Vice President of Instruction Ted Roush has been acting president of the campus since Bia’s retirement was announced May 1.

Phillips has served as the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C. since 2012, according to a press release from Pima.

“Morgan comes to PCC with extensive experience in accreditation, strategic planning and forging partnerships with business and industry,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said. “His familiarity with efforts to improve educational outcomes and the use of online technology to enhance student learning will make him a welcome addition to our leadership team.”

Phillips holds a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Florida, a Master and Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Florida and associate degrees from Brevard Community College and Blue Ridge Community College.

“As a community college graduate, I have a close personal understanding of the transformative role institutions like Pima can play in our students’ lives,” Phillips said. “My top priority as a community college administrator is to make sure we provide our students with the programs and services they need to realize their dreams.”

He will take over on Aug. 14, following approval by Pima’s governing board.

Morgan Phillips 2

Morgan Phillips will take over as president of Desert Vista Campus on Aug. 14 (photo courtesy of PCC)

Pima holds campus president forums

Pima holds campus president forums


Pima Community College held campus president candidate forums for its Downtown and Desert Vista campuses July 1-2.

The forums began with a brief opening statement from each candidate, followed by attendee questions deemed relevant to the position these presidential hopefuls are vying for.

PCC’s Desert Vista Campus had four candidates attempting to rally for the campus president position.  During the two days of forums attendees spoke with Ross Santell, Peggy Bradford, Ted Roush and Morgan Phillips. Judging by the audience reaction here are some of the speaker highlights.

The initial question posed to Santell was what background experience, knowledge and training does he have that would help advance Pima’s Desert Vista Campus.

“I have worked at a number of campuses and a number of colleges around the country, urban and rural environments,” Santell said. “As part of that work, you have to work with business in the area to try to identify needs.

“I think those would be one side, the workforce side if you will, the employment side of the community,” he said. “Working to understand that, and working to develop programs to meet those needs.”

Bradford, a former adjunct instructor, was asked to speak about the strengths of adjunct faculty, the roll they play in higher education and how best to encourage part time instructors to engage with Pima’s learning community.

“The adjunct is a professional and we benefit by the expertise that they bring from their particular industry,” Bradford said. “If you want them to continue to be the professionals that they can be, you need to provide the resources.

“I see adjuncts as being crucial to the college, particularly when you think about student learning outcomes,” she said. “Can you separate out your classes and say, ‘we are just going to assess the full time faculty?’ Is the Higher Learning Commission going to allow you to do that?”

Roush, Desert Vista’s vice president of instruction, said the campus feels like home and the place he plans on finishing his Pima career. When Roush was asked what his vision for the future of the Desert Vista campus was he first spoke in generals.

“My vision is to make every one of our programs the best they can be, to improve the facilities and to get the best personnel,” Roush said. “That sounds like mom and apple pie stuff, but that’s truly what makes a great place.”

Ultimately Roush said it was more important to help create the vision through collaboration, rather than construct it himself.

“But my job is not to make the vision,” he said. “My job is to talk to you, engage with you and make the vision from that. And, that has not been the past practice at the college.”

Andrew Plucker, director of Downtown Campus administrative services, opened their July 1 forum featuring candidate Phillips with an anecdote thanking the crowd for attending the meeting during World Cup fever.

Phillips was asked to speak about the trends in higher education, and how community colleges are in a unique position to take advantage of the opportunities that those trends present.

“One of the things that is going to have the biggest impact is the federal government’s change in their willingness to fund direct assessment programs,” Phillips said. “The government is really trying to cut down the cost of higher education, and their looking at this direct assessment as one of the ways to do that.”

Phillips explained that working professionals could earn college credits via the direct assessment program and circumvent enrolling in institutions like Pima. But, he also said the direct assessment program could offer concurrent enrollment for students on a national level for study programs not offered locally.

“Even though Pima’s not officially a four year institution, functionally for students living in the area it could act like that,” Phillips said.

The forums were open to the public and Pima is encouraging all community members to provide the college with feedback no later than July, 7 at 8 a.m. If you were unable to attend the 45 minute candidate forums, video footage is now available to watch on Pima’s website.

All additional details can be found here.

Pima reveals leader of new dispute management office

Pima reveals leader of new dispute management office


Pima Community College has announced who will lead a new dispute resolution office as the college works to become more receptive to feedback from students, employees and the community.

Robert P. Shoun, a former Tucson Police Department captain, will be the new director of PCC’s new Office of Dispute Resolution.

“With vast experience in all aspects of complaint and grievance processes, Robert will make an excellent leader of the office,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in a letter to all Pima employees.

“He has an extensive background in intake and triage, investigations and audits, documentation and reporting, and record-keeping and trend analysis,” Lambert wrote.

“He is an expert communicator who understands the importance of confidentiality and objectivity, and recognizes the need to keep all parties in the loop.”

The creation of the office is the latest move made by the college in an attempt to become more open and responsive to community concerns.

Pima’s handling of complaints, including allegations against former chancellor Roy Flores, was cited by the Higher Learning Commission when it placed PCC on probation last year.

“The office’s commitment to excellent community service aligns with my goals and the college’s culture of continuous self-improvement, and is a key component in our efforts to reaffirm its accreditation,” Lambert wrote.

Shoun’s first day on the job will be July 14, with the dispute resolution office formally launching a week later. He will report to the college’s internal auditor.

To report a complaint, constituents can:

• Access the College’s compliance and ethics hotline at 1-855-503-8072, or by visiting  and choosing “File a New Report” at the top-left of the page.

• Send an email to

• Contact Internal Audit at 206-4561.


Robert P. Shoun was a captain with Tucson Police Department before being tapped to head the new Office of Dispute Resolution at Pima Community College. (Photo courtesy of TPD.)


Pima campus president forums announced

Pima campus president forums announced

Pima Community College will host campus president candidate forums for its Downtown and Desert Vista campuses July 1-2. Pima has invited all members of the community to these 45 minute forums, and attendee feedback must be reported to the college no later then July 7 at 8 a.m.

PCC’s Desert Vista Campus candidate forum will be held in the Ocotillo Room D-104. The candidate schedule for Tuesday, July 1, will be:

Ross Santell – 8:15-9 a.m.

Peggy Bradford – 1:15-2 p.m.

Ted Roush – 2:15-3 p.m.

On Wednesday, July 2, Morgan Phillips will vie for the Desert Vista presidential position from 8:15-9 a.m.

During the same two days, Pima’s Downtown Campus will host its forums in the campus art gallery. On July 1, Phillips will take the floor from 1:15-2 p.m., and on July 2, Bradford will speak from 8:15-9 a.m.

For additional details, including bios for all the candidates and links to feedback forms, visit the PCC website here.

Comments show PCC still has work to do ahead of HLC visit

Comments show PCC still has work to do ahead of HLC visit


Pima Community College still has a long road ahead to fix the problems found by its accreditor last year, according to comments made by employees and students on the college’s Draft Self-Study Report.

Most of the 64 comments on the report highlighted technical rewrites or addressed errors of fact. Many of those commenting took issue with how problems with Pima’s libraries have been addressed, and one raised concerns with the duties of the newly created Office of Dispute Resolution.

The report is part of the process for PCC to have sanctions lifted from the college. A fact-finding team from the Higher Learning Commission found a “culture of fear” and numerous administrative problems during a visit last January and placed Pima on probation.

That negative environment still exists at the college, according to at least two comments on the report recently obtained by Aztec Press. All of the comments were anonymous.

“The culture of fear and intimidation is still over-whelming and still exists,” wrote one commenter. “We continue to hire and promote people that are destroying the institution.”

“Many of the people you selected to lead and represent the college to participate in these committees were the very ones causing the culture of fear and intimidation at this institution,” wrote another commenter.

They both also discussed nepotism at the college, with one writing “there is no trust and you can’t complain about a colleague because you never know who they are related to at the college.”

One went on to call their director a “tyrant” and wrote “it doesn’t matter who you put on the hiring committee, they will always choose their family or friend over the most qualified applicant.”

The second commenter wrote there is still “dictator-like supervision” and “since this college was put on probation, nothing has changed.”

Some of the feedback the college received was positive.

“I enjoyed my experience as a PCC student and would recommend the college to anyone I know,” read one comment.

Another wrote, “I look forward to seeing the additional work these bright minded members of the HLC have to offer and can’t wait to see the future academic work from PCC alumni now that the content of their academic work will be vastly improved.”

“Keep working diligently! I have faith in you folks!”

When the HLC sends another team to visit in September to determine if all the issues have been fixed, they will be hearing negative feedback from at least one of the respondents.

“I will actually be recommending to HLC that PCC gets shut down,” wrote one respondent.

A PCC spokesman was unable to provide an immediate reaction to the comments.

PCC holds forums for veterans

PCC holds forums for veterans


Pima Community College recently hosted two forums to provide information regarding veteran education benefits and waiver assistance for students who received debt letters from the Veterans Administration.

Pima’s forums were held on June 21 and June 23 in an effort to assist approximately 3,700 students whom had received veteran benefits since Fall 2010.

Zach Newton, a former PCC student, received a debt letter in April and attended Monday’s forum to obtain information about the waiver process. Newton transferred to the University of Arizona in 2013, and is still receiving VA benefits that he said were recently cut by almost $1000.

“I got a debt letter in the mail saying I owe money for classes I took in 2010,” Newton said. “I don’t know if it’s too late to start the appeal process or not, but I am still receiving VA benefits.”

Newton said he was surviving by pooling funds from financial aid, veteran benefits and part-time employment. Newton receives veteran benefits from his father’s GI-Bill.

“I’ve got student loans and I do work part-time but frankly I’m broke,” he said. “The price of education is really high, worrisome and it accumulates. I’m in debt, it’s stressful and scary.

“I need the money but I have to make it work whether I get it or not,” Newton said. “I’ll just sink myself deeper in debt. I don’t know what else to do? I have to continue to go to school.”

Since March, Pima’s Chancellor Lee Lambert has worked towards solving veteran student issues with the political offices of Congressman Ron Barber, and Arizona Senator John McCain.

Maricela Solis de Kester, Barber’s Tucson district director, attended the forums in order to provide constituent support for Pima and veteran students. Solis de Kester said part of the discussions with Lambert prior to the two events involved answering some key questions.

“’How are we going to help veterans understand what the debt letters mean, where the liability lies and what the process will be to reconcile that liability,’” Solis de Kester said. “The chancellor decided to hold these forums to get the word out, and they invited our offices to participate.”

On June 16, McCain wrote a letter to Lambert expressing his concerns regarding the hurdles Pima and its veteran students continue to face. McCain did praise PCC for hosting the forums, and Lambert’s commitment to meeting with his office but called for swift resolutions to these critical issues.

“As the relatively new chancellor of PCC, I understand that you have unfortunately inherited this student veteran issue,” McCain wrote to Lambert. “I appreciate your willingness to meet with my office, on three separate occasions, since the veteran audit was announced in March 2014. But, immediate action to remedy this widespread problem is essential.”

On March 18, the Arizona Veterans Education & Training Approving Agency prohibited PCC from enrolling new veteran students for 60 days due to poor record-keeping and payments to ineligible students.

By May 20, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services found PCC in full compliance with regulations, which allowed the college to enroll veterans for the summer and fall semesters.

PCC names new provost

PCC names new provost


Pima Community College has named administrator and instructor Erica Holmes as its new provost and executive vice chancellor for academic and student services.

“With a decade in higher education leadership, Erica has the combination of skills and talents Pima needs at this pivotal moment,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said in a press release.

“I believe her recognized ability to make data-driven decisions and the value she places on strategic planning will make her an integral member of the college’s leadership team.”

Holmes has more than 15 years experience as a college instructor, and from 2009-2013 she served as vice president of academic affairs at a community college in North Carolina, according to information provided by PCC. Her most recent administrative position was at Kennedy-King College in Chicago.

“I am very excited to provide leadership that builds on the college’s core values and student success,” Holmes said. “I look forward to collaborating with the dedicated faculty and staff and the community. Together we can build on and continue the positive momentum of the college.”

She will begin work on July 1, following approval from Pima’s governing board.

Erica Holmes (Photo courtesy of PCC)

Erica Holmes (Photo courtesy of PCC)

PCC veteran enrollment sanctions lifted

PCC veteran enrollment sanctions lifted


The state has lifted enrollment sanctions on Pima Community College, allowing the college to enroll Veterans Benefit recipients once again.

During a May 20 visit, representatives of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services found that PCC is “fully in compliance” with regulations and will allow the college to enroll veterans for the summer and fall semesters.

On March 18, PCC received a letter from the Arizona Veterans Education & Training Approving Agency informing the college that enrollment for recipients of veteran’s benefits would be suspended.

The letter cited multiple deficiencies in record keeping for veteran enrollment and degree progress.

The VETAA allowed the college 30 days to develop an action plan and another 30 days to implement it.

Pima veteran services specialist Gary Parker oversaw a team of three other specialists and more than 40 other Pima employees as they reviewed more than 3,100 student-veteran files to correct the problems found by the VETAA.

“It was very impressive to see firsthand the enormous progress your staff has made,” wrote April Monthie, senior veterans’ education and training specialist from VETAA, in a letter to Chancellor Lee Lambert. “It represents a huge commitment on the staff’s and your part.”

Lambert acknowledged the importance of serving veterans in a recent blog post.

“The college owes its student-veterans the best possible programs and services as they transition back to civilian life,” Lambert wrote. “Thanks to our dedicated employees, we have taken a big step toward achieving that worthy goal.”


Pima readies for HLC visit

Pima readies for HLC visit


Pima Community College is addressing probation by posting a draft of its Self-Study Report online on May 12.

The report is the next phase of the process as Pima moves to emerge from sanctions imposed by the Higher Learning Commission last year.

The HLC noted numerous deficiencies in leadership and a “culture of fear” at PCC when its fact-finding team visited the college in January 2012.

The report describes the findings of an Institutional Self-Study that Pima is conducting at the direction of the HLC.

The self-study is available here

Public comment to the HLC regarding Pima’s performance began on May 1 and will remain open until Aug. 1.

Comments can be made electronically at the HLC website, or in writing.

To submit by mail, address comments to: Public Comment on Pima Community College, The Higher Learning Commission, 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604.

There will also be a comment period when students and employees can express their concerns directly to PCC.

However, this comment period will only be open until June 1.

The college will create an anonymous submission system for the community, according to an email from Acting Provost Zelema Harris.

“Many important efforts lie ahead, but I am confident that we are, in fact, getting there, and are significantly closer to regaining the fullest confidence of the HLC and our constituents,” Harris wrote.

The HLC will send a fact-finding team to Pima from Sept. 15-17 to determine if all areas of deficiency have been addressed.

One of HLC’s concerns stemmed from high turnover rate among college leadership and a lack of permanent administrators.

A search committee recently interviewed several candidates to fill the provost and three campus president positions on a permanent basis.

However, the committee did not make any decision regarding the finalists.

“It is the consensus of the search committee and others involved in the process that while each of the finalists were capable and had strengths, it is in the best interests of PCC that we revisit the pool of candidates and screen additional applicants,” Lambert said in an email to employees.

The college still plans to have the campus president positions filled by July 1.

“Restoring confidence in the leadership of the college is one of my top priorities,” Lambert said.

“I am committed to providing the campuses with presidents who can move us forward as we work together to address challenges and seize opportunities,” he added.

Executive retires after inquiry

Executive retires after inquiry


An administrator who served at Pima Community College for more than two decades has decided to retire following an investigation into misconduct.

Former Desert Vista Campus president Johnson Bia made the announcement May 1. His last day at PCC will be June 3.

The college interviewed a woman who filed a complaint, several witnesses and Bia himself, according to a fact-finding report released by PCC.

The complainant told investigators that Bia often inquired about her personal life and said his comments made her feel uncomfortable.

She also told investigators “she never told Bia ‘no’ because she is scared of him.”

Several witnesses confirmed the assertions.

However, other witnesses and Bia himself contended the allegations may have stemmed from an unfavorable performance review given by Bia to the complainant.

In a response included with the final report, Bia disputed the characterization of the conversations between himself and the complainant.

“I recall many of the interactions and conversations, but not in the extreme manner portrayed in the allegations,” Bia wrote.

“It was very clear the descriptions provided and the interactions portrayed were intended specifically to establish an allegation of sexual harassment.”

Bia also suggested that witnesses shared or corroborated information in formulating their accusations.

The investigation determined that the evidence presented did not meet the threshold of actionable sexual harassment.

However, the report concluded Bia’s behavior violated college policy and did not fit the standard set for college administrators.

Bia confirmed his retirement in an email sent to employees at Desert Vista. He made no mention of the allegations or investigation.

“I have simply concluded it is time to move on and I have been blessed here at Pima,” Bia wrote.

Chancellor Lee Lambert addressed the decision in an email sent to all PCC employees.

After the college looked into the allegations, “Johnson and I agreed that it was in everyone’s best interest that he retires at this time,” he said.

Lambert said it is a “difficult situation” but also made clear to employees what is expected of everyone at Pima.

“It is critical that all PCC employees feel free to express their concerns about potentially difficult workplace situations,” he said.

“No matter what you do or where you work at PCC, there should be no barrier to open and honest communication.

“A goal we should all share as PCC employees is to maintain the highest level of professionalism,” Lambert added.

Northwest Campus dedicates building

Northwest Campus dedicates building


Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 24 for its new 48,000-square-foot instructional building.

“This has been a long time coming,” Northwest Campus Acting President Darla Zirbes said. “We are eager for students to enjoy learning in a bright, new space that is as modern and well-equipped as you’d find at any college in the country.”

A PCC committee approved the $12.4 million project—called the “G” building—in April 2010.

The three-story building features seven classrooms, a lecture hall, a writing lab, eight science labs, a math emporium, 11 faculty offices and a hotel lobby and suite that serve as simulators for the Hotel and Restaurant Management program.

With the opening of the building, PCC employees look forward to setting a higher standard of education for students.

“Having a modern science facility will help them when they transition to other institutions,” Vice Chancellor for Facilities Bill Ward said.

Northwest Campus psychology instructor Gail Gonzales said having more space for students will be helpful.

Community leaders also praised the campus addition.

“This is the place where the future begins,” said Dave Perry, president of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Ed Stolmaker, president of the Marana Chamber of Commerce, called the building an excellent opportunity for PCC students.

Faculty will begin moving into their new offices this month. The first classes in the new building will be offered in the summer sessions.

“This building is an example of the great things PCC can accomplish by listening to each other, remaining true to our vision and working together,” Chancellor Lee Lambert said.

Pg04-Ribbon cutting

From left, Ernie Federico, Bill Ward, Brenda Even, John Gillis and Lee Lambert use scissors for the new “G” building’s ribbon cutting. (Will Willcoxson/Aztec Press_

Pima news

Pima news

‘Study Paws’ at West Campus


Finals week is fast approaching. Tests bring stress, and the possibility of a meltdown.

Rather than letting stress consume you, consider stopping by the West Campus Library to relax with therapy dogs during a “Study Paws” event.

The therapy dogs will visit the library on May 13-15 and 19, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Students, faculty and staff are welcome.

Librarian Rosanne Couston said “Study Paws” is practiced at many colleges throughout the country.

“The dogs are a nice way of helping students reduce their stress and anxiety during that final push at the end of the semester,” Couston said.

Some of the dogs visiting the Pima campus will also make trips to the University of Arizona Law School, the UA Honors College, hospitals, elementary schools and nursing homes.

-By Jennifer Graham

‘Fun Friday’ at Northwest Campus

Northwest Campus’s student life center will host a Fun Friday on May 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The recreational center will be open to anyone and will contain Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and board games.

For more information, call 206-2131 or email

-By Will Willcoxson

East Campus plans fundraiser

The East Campus student services center will host a fundraiser May 23-24 to benefit eligible Pima Community College adult students and help them pay fees for the high school equivalency certificate.

The event will consist of a gently-used treasures sale, silent auction, bake sale, cake walk, music and more. The fundraiser will take place from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Community Room and mall at the East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Road.

-By Beto Hoyos