Cowley College

Board approves 2020-2021 operating budget

June 17, 2020

Cowley College’s Board of Trustees approved the 2020-2021 proposed operating budget of $21,973,170 during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. The meeting was held in the spacious Wright Room in order to safely increase community access with an approximate gathering limitation of 60 people while maintaining adequate social distancing. The meeting was also live streamed to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The Board also discussed individuals that have submitted letters of interest to fill the two trustee vacancies. The list of applicants include, Dr. Steve Abrams, Michael Bergagnini, JoLynn Foster, Chad Giles, Richard Rush, Dennis K. Shurtz, and Christopher L. Swan. Both Foster and Shurtz have previous experience on the Board. Whoever is chosen will serve the remainder of the vacated terms and could then stand for election. The Board approved the deadline of June 22, 2020 to receive any additional applications for the two trustee vacancy positions. In addition, the Board set a public forum date of July 13 at 6 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room for the trustee candidates to be interviewed by the Board.

In other matters (the administrative reports were listed in the Board book):

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Fall classes are expected to be conducted face-to-face and the College is preparing to have students in the dorms. Also, the Ben Cleveland Wellness Center re-opened to the public on Monday, June 15. Lastly, the Education Center is nearing its one-year anniversary. The Education Center reported a 7.89 percent increase in education enrollment and approximately 24 percent increase in FTE in Early Childhood enrollment from the previous year.
2. The Board approved the minutes from the May 18 meeting of the Trustees as well as the minutes from the June 1 special meeting of the Board. The Board Clerk is directed to file the minutes with the official records of the College.
3. The Board approved the financial reports. The Treasurer is directed to file said reports with the financial records of the College for audit according to the policies of the Board of Trustees and the Statutes of the State of Kansas.
4. The Board approved the bills and claims as presented. Fiscal officers of the College are hereby authorized and directed to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented herein.
5. The Board approved a decision to begin the Board of Trustee Handbook review process.
6. The Board approved the following policies: Board Policy 105 and 128.
7. Held a first reading on Board Policies 103, 108, and 216.
8. Resolved, that the Board directs that no employees of Cowley College will receive additional compensation except for the following instances: years of service credit, existing contractually obligated increases, additionally assigned duties or promotions, moves on the salary schedule due to additional education, or when stipulated by grant funding for fiscal year 2021.
9. Approved the presidential performance evaluation tool as presented, and to implement its use in the upcoming annual evaluation cycle.
10. Approved the resignation of Harty Blackert, technical director of theatre, effective May 29; approved the elimination of the position of LMS Coordinator, effective June 30.
11. Approved the employment of Kim Peri as administrative assistant to the vice president of academic affairs, effective July 1.
12. The Board approved the recommendation to utilize the Cowley CourierTraveler for publication of official notices, and accepted the official meeting dates as presented. Future meeting dates are set for August 10, September 21, October 19, November 16, December 14, and in 2021, January 19, February 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, and July 19. The Board meetings will be held in the Wright Room through the remainder of the 2020 academic year with the exception of the September 21 Board meeting being held at the Sumner Campus.
13. The Board received a deferred maintenance update from Doug Riat, vice president of business development with the Willdan Group.
14. Discussed the live streaming and recording of future Board meetings.
15. The Board directed Cowley College Chief Financial Officer Holly Harper to prepare a report showing overall, annual, actual program/department budget allocations and expenditures at the Administrative Council level, showing comparative reductions or changes, specifically including the president’s budget for fiscal years 2016-2021. This report will also separate overall discretionary spending within each area. The report shall be submitted to the Board chair no later than July 31, 2020.
16. Designated RCB Bank, Union State Bank, Sunflower Bank/Wichita and Carson Bank/Mulvane as official depositories for funds of Cowley College. All qualified institutions in Cowley County are approved for the investment of idle funds.
17. The Board tabled discussion directing the department of human resources to provide an accurate report comparing full-time employee turnover from July of 2010 through June of 2015 with corresponding dates from July 2015 through June of 2020 in order to separate the current president’s tenure from previous presidents. The report shall include faculty, staff, and administration as separate sub-categories with annual sub-totals and totals. The report will also separate overall discretionary spending within each area.
18. The Board recessed from 7:55 p.m. to 8:05 p.m.
19. The Board agreed to pursue further discussion with Tiger Village General Partners, LLC and Stacy Davis with Sumner County Economic Development Commission based on the public-private partnership proposal they presented on the Sumner Campus micro-housing village concept. Trustees Gary Wilson and Glennis Zimmerman volunteered to continue discussion with Tiger Village General Partners, LLC and Stacy Davis with the Sumner County Economic Development Commission.
20. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided a Sumner Campus update and facilities maintenance update. Harper provided the May Community Appreciation Tuition Scholarship (CATS) initiative was a success, with 241 students enrolled in 655 credit hours. A profit of more than $30,000 was generated after faculty expenses were paid. Also, as part of the federal government’s response to COVID-19, colleges were awarded funds under the CARES Act. In total, Cowley College will receive $1,266,119, of which $603,357 is being sent directly to students for expenses related to the disruption of their education.
21. Approved the contract with Great Western Dining to provide food services at both the Arkansas City and Sumner County locations as prescribed in the respective agreements.
22. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, provided a curriculum update. She also provided a distance learning and site management update to include the Sumner Campus. The Tiger Deli was awarded with a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Implementation Grant for $5,000. Also, on Monday, June 15, active Wellness Center members were welcomed back. No new memberships, including guest passes, will be sold until further notice.
23. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, provided updates from the Golden Tigers program, marketing, public relations, website analytics, and upcoming Foundation events.
24. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month, and also provided a Student Information System update.
25. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Shaw also informed the Board of the recruiting events the admissions representatives have assisted with over the past month and have lined up in the coming months.
26. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, provided the Board with a Kansas Board of Regents update and an update from The Higher Learning Commission.
27. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. He also informed the Board of the recent IMPACT staff retreat.
28. Pam Smith, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. Natural Science Department Chair Dr. Scott Layton was selected as a Watkins Research Fellow for Teachers of Science at Wichita State University. Also, the faculty and administration are working to complete negotiations regarding changes to the Master Agreement for the academic year 2020-2021.
29. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that the virtual athletic awards program will be live streamed on Thursday, June 18 at 7 p.m. on the website as well as both Cowley College and Cowley Sports Network Facebook and YouTube channels. Also, the college is patiently waiting for the June 19 announcement from the NJCAA National Office on any changes or restrictions to the startup of athletics for the upcoming school year.
30. Approved the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar.
31. Resolved, that the actions described in Board Policies, Finance and Administration, Academic Affairs, Institutional Advancement, Information Technology, Enrollment Management, Institutional Effectiveness, Student Affairs, Sumner Campus Operations, Faculty, Athletic, and Transportation reports, are hereby approved, and all correspondence relating thereto be received and filed for future reference.
32. Held two executive sessions in regards to discussion of a confidential proprietary matter totaling 40 minutes and another executive session regarding non-elected personnel for 30 minutes.
33. Approved the decision to have the Chief Financial Officer present the financial reports at future Board meetings.
34. The Board concluded business at 10:12 p.m.