Town Hall seeks community views on future of Treasure Valley Community College


By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – Revitalizing enrollment and honing the vision for Treasure Valley Community College will be the focus of a March 16 town hall meeting hosted by the Malheur Enterprise.

The public is invited to the meeting, which will be at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. It starts at 6 p.m.

The Enterprise proposed and organized the town hall in cooperation with the Nyssa, Ontario and Vale Chambers of Commerce and the college.

The goal is to solicit broad community input on how to position Treasure Valley Community College to best serve students, businesses, and the community into the future.

“The community college is a vital institution in Malheur County, providing educational opportunities for students who might not otherwise continue their educations and assisting businesses by

training current and future employees,” said Enterprise publisher Les Zaitz.

However, a critical need is to address shifting enrollment that is creating financial challenges for the college. Zaitz noted that TVCC enrollment has dropped since 2010, and the college had to cut $1 million from its 2016-17 budget.

The intent of the town hall is to generate ideas and community input on ways the college can increase enrollment and prevent a repeat of such budget issues.

Zaitz will moderate the town hall, which will begin with several speakers offering brief presentations on the college history, finances, educational program, and enrollment.

That will be followed by an open mic session on key topics, providing members of the audience a chance to offer suggestions and solutions. Individuals will have a 2-minute limit for their remarks.

The meeting will close with 15 minutes devoted to synthesizing audience comments into recommendations for the college leadership and board of directors.

Educators, students, business leaders and anyone with an interest in keeping Treasure Valley Community College a vital institution for the community is welcome to attend. Representatives of the college administration, faculty and other employees have indicated they will participate.

“We want to use public input from this for our strategic planning process,” said Angie Sillonis, TVCC spokesperson. “We want to hear what the community wants and needs from the college.”

Sillonis said the institution is interested in hearing ideas from those in attendance on a wide variety of topics.

“We want the community to feel engaged with the college and are interested in hearing ideas and words of wisdom,” she said. “We are hoping for a great turnout.”

Have a news tip? Email new@malheurenterprise or call John L. Braese at 541-473-3377.