Oversight of Wyo. colleges at stake in debate.CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Local control has emerged as an issue while a new advisory group helps to create a strategic plan for Wyoming's community college system.
MPR (MultiProtocol Router) Software from Novell that provides router capabilities for its NetWare servers. It supports IPX, IP, AppleTalk and OSI protocols as well as all the major LANs and WANs. Associates Inc, a Berkeley, Calif.-based consultant, is drafting the plan with help from an advisory council appointed by the Wyoming Community College Commission.
The goal is to create more state-level oversight of the college system now that the state provides more than half of the system's funding.
State funding for the colleges has nearly doubled since 1999, reaching about $85 million a year.
Bruce Brown, an advisory council member, said a strategic plan for the colleges is a good idea, but no one should forget the word "community" in "community college." He said each of Wyoming's seven community colleges serves different students and has different needs.
Brown ran for state auditor State auditors are executive officers of U.S. states. The office usually is created by the state constitution.
"I'm concerned that may happen here. I have not seen that happen. I don't sniff anything in the air that says it would. It's just a concern I have," he said.
Ann Noble, another advisory council member who also serves as chairwoman of the Wyoming Community College Commission, said the strategic plan for the colleges will exist alongside--but not replace--the strategic plans the colleges have developed for themselves.
"There still would be the local colleges with their local issues and their local funding, complemented with the state funding and the state strategic plan," Noble said.
One purpose of the state strategic plan, she said, could be to establish colleges as "centers of excellence" in certain areas and eliminate unnecessary duplication of programs between schools.
One of the strengths at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, for example, is training for the oil and gas industry. That college might become known as the place to go to in Wyoming for such training. Meanwhile, duplicative courses in that field at other colleges might be eliminated.
"There would be no reason to replicate those types of programs," Noble said. "The strategic plan would make sure that the centers of excellence get well-funded but wouldn't necessarily get replicated."
Some of the other 14 advisory council members represent K-12 education, economic development and the Legislature.
The council first met several weeks ago and will meet again in April, according to Jim According to Jim is an American situation comedy television series originally broadcast by ABC. The show premiered with little publicity in October 2001, following the surprise hit comedy My Wife and Kids. Rose, executive director of the Wyoming Community College Commission.
"We think it's a reasonably sort of broad and sort of ecumenical group, if you will, that we hope is going to represent what the state really sees as its needs in terms of a community college system and will inform the creation of the plan as well," Rose said.
Representatives of MPR met with the council at the Feb. 18 meeting in Cheyenne.
"We got a lot of feedback," said Laura Horn, MPR's principal investigator Noun 1. principal investigator - the scientist in charge of an experiment or research project
scientist - a person with advanced knowledge of one or more sciences for the project. "Now we've got a lot of information to pare down Verb 1. pare down - decrease gradually or bit by bit
minify, decrease, lessen - make smaller; "He decreased his staff" and synthesize To create a whole or complete unit from parts or components. See synthesis. into the mission and vision of the plan."
MPR also is seeking public feedback through a Web site on which people can offer their thoughts for improving Wyoming's community college system.
MPR's deadline to finish a draft strategic plan is the end of June. That's when the panel needs to begin working on the next two-year budget cycle. Horn said the firm is on track to meet the deadline.