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Emeritus Faculty: Don Sieh


B.S., Southern State College of South Dakota

M.S., Northern State College of South Dakota

At A Glance

Started 1971
Classes Taught Composition, English Skill Building, Report Writing, World Literature, Construction Technology, Construction Theory
Department English & Construction
Retired 1996


Sieh, Donald H. An Investigation of the Responsibility for School Shop Accidents. MA thesis. Northern State Teachers College, 1963. Print.

Additional Information

If you have additions or corrections to this page, please contact the College Archives at 928-776-2262 or  We are especially looking for :

  • Nomination materials of faculty for Emeritus status
  • Classes taught by individual Emeritus faculty 
  • Evidence of their superior teaching at YC
  • Their involvement in committee work and special projects
  • Photographs of them during their time at YC
  • List of written works published, public artwork, music written and performed

Yavapai College Career

Mr. Don Sieh started teaching English courses at the college in 1971.  The college was two years old and still in its formative stage. There were about thirty-five faculty, five to ten administrators, and staff responsible for staffing the college.

Work to shift focus of composition courses

The English department at that time taught composition using preconceived formats: narrative, descriptive, and expository.  He and his colleagues worked for years to change this to student writing that used the generative nature of ideas.  This proved to be a much easier approach for students to understand and it promoted critical thinking.  He taught English courses for thirteen years.

Faculty governance

Before Mr. Sieh arrived, policy and procedures manuals for faculty, students, operations of the college, salary schedules, dorm rules, etc. had been written by the administrators. There was little or no way for faculty and students to have input in the areas that affected them. Tensions built between faculty and administration. Mr. Sieh ran for Faculty Association President and was elected in November of 1971. The Faculty Association under his leadership developed a faculty constitution which addressed how faculty would form itself to fit into the institutional governance system. Committees for curriculum, faculty affairs, student affairs, and salary were proposed. The District Governing Board accepted the constitution in May of 1972.

Student governance

Mr. Sieh and other faculty also worked to improve student input into the governance system after a student was wrongfully dismissed from a dorm in the fall of 1972. The faculty appealed to the administration on the student’s behalf and won. Policies on student conduct, student participation in governance, and a student justice system emerged from this. These models became the basis for the present policy and procedures manual of the college. They have evolved and grown as the college has.

Move to the construction program

After teaching English for thirteen years, Mr. Sieh led the house construction program for twelve years. His vocational education background and general contractor’s license were great assets to the program. He was responsible for teaching classes that designed, site built, decorated, and sold one house each school year.

Committee Work

  • Faculty Association President – 4 terms
  • Student Affairs Committee - 1975/76

Community Service

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • St. Vincent de Paul

Mr. Sieh retired in 1996. He was recognized for his many contributions to the college and given Emeritus Faculty status in February, 1997.

Oral History Interview

Additional Photos

Mr. Sieh carrying boards on a work site.
Student-built house at The Ranch.