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Penny Wills began her tenure as president of Yavapai College on Aug. 1, 2011, with a beginning salary of $220,000 — a notable increase from her pay as president of Northeast Iowa Community College, significantly above the national average for community college presidents.


According to the American Association of Community Colleges, “The reported median salary for all respondents in 2012 was $167,000 and mean base salary was $173,848.”

Wells’ wage has not remained static for the last half decade, however. According to Yavapai College District Governing Board member Deb McCasland, Wills’ salary is currently $270,000 — an amount that marks a 22.73 percent increase in pay over the course of five years.

Today, enrollment at Yavapai College is approximately 8,400 students, 1,900 of whom are full time. This number reflects a decrease in enrollment of approximately 2,000 students since Wills took office, McCasland said.

On Dec. 26, former Yavapai College District Governing Board member Robert Oliphant reported that, “In the last eight years, the college’s enrollment has fallen by 4,794 students. The head count report for the fall, 2015 showed a decline continuing with a drop from fall 2014 of 416 students.

“The decline is troubling in view of reports from Northern Arizona University and other colleges of major increases in first-year enrollment. NAU, for example, reported it was breaking enrollment records. NAU’s overall student population is 29,035, up from 27,639, and the university welcomed 5,141 first-time freshman compared to 4,765 last fall.”

Statistics on Arizona university president salaries were taken from The Arizona Republic/AZ Central, while enrollment statistics were taken from Cappex.

Compensation Comparison
The salaries of public higher education presidents in Arizona.
Four-Year Universities
Michael M. Crow, Arizona State University: $475,000. Enrollment is 70,000 students, 56,000 of whom are full-time students.
Robert N. Shelton, University of Arizona: $470,000. Enrollment is 39,000 students, 33,000 of whom are full-time students.
John D Haeger, Northern Arizona University: $300,000. Enrollment is 25,000 students, 19,000 of whom are full-time students.
Two-Year Colleges
Lee D. Lambert, Pima Community College: $290,000 [as of 2013, when PCC last released the chancellor’s salary]. Enrollment is 37,000 students, 14,000 of whom are full time.
Penny Wills, Yavapai College: $270,000. Enrollment is 8,400 students, 1,900 of whom are full-time students.
Shouan Pan, Mesa Community College: A range from $161,250 to $209,625 [according to Chancellor’s Executive Council Salary Schedule, fiscal year 2015-16]. Enrollment is 26,000 students, 9,000 of whom are full-time students.
Irene H. Kovala, Glendale Community College: A range from $161,250 to $209,625 [according to Chancellor’s Executive Council Salary Schedule, fiscal year 2015-16]. Enrollment is 21,000 students, 8,000 of whom are full-time students.
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