Cowley College

Board hears of enrollment increase at Cowley College

July 16, 2019

Cowley College's Board of Trustees had an opportunity to hear of the college's increase in enrollment during the annual monthly meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Summer enrollment increased in headcount by approximately five percent from this same date a year ago, and fall headcount continues to pace ahead of this same time last year.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved the 2019-2020 proposed operating budget of $22,828,761 after adjusting for the 2% cost of living for all full time and regular part time staff, as well as final state appropriations. The proposed state appropriation budget is hereby approved for posting for the scheduled hearing of the public on August 12, 2019 at Cowley College’s Winfield Allied Health Center.

Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, said the proposed mill levy will remain flat.

In other matters:

  1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Dr. Rittle commended the staff for their work to achieve a balanced budget. He also mentioned the admissions team and the heavy lifting they did to finish summer enrollment strong, and complimented the work of the Trustee Finance sub-committee. Dr. Rittle also mentioned the grand opening for the Education Center will take place at 3 p.m. on August 8. During the Grand Opening Cowley College and Newman University will sign a new 2+2 agreement in education to expedite teacher training.
  2. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, spoke of the Role of the Trustees through the Lens of the Higher Learning Commission. She informed the Board of the five criteria for accreditation and said the governing Board delegates day-to-day management of the institution to the administration and expects the faculty to oversee academic matters.
  3. The Board received a deferred maintenance update from members of the Willdan Group. Dr. Annaria Barnds, Business Development Engineer, and Doug Riat, Vice President of Business Development, provided a 20-minute update. The primary deferred maintenance needs are the HVAC system in the Renn Memorial Library and campus-wide lighting improvements. Also, the Mulvane Center needs a new roof.
    “I think it’s a great idea to protect ourselves against a very large expense,” Trustee Brian Sanderholm said.
  4. The Board received program review updates from Humanities, Natural Science, and Health and Human Services. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with an Academic Program Review Summary. Marlys Cervantes shared information on behalf of Humanities, Dr. Scott Layton shared information on behalf of Natural Science, and Chris Cannon presented information on behalf of Health and Human Services. Strengths and weaknesses in the Departments were shared with the Board as well as program review process goals. The three remaining departments will present their program reviews at the August Board meeting. “We appreciate all your hard work,” Chair Jill Long said. These comments were echoed by Trustee Nancy Short-Burger.
  5. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, distributed an informational packet from the Willdan Group.
  6. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board through her Board report that the Academic Affairs Council unanimously voted, approved and accepted by electronic email the new AGR Course Procedures (presented by Buddy Curry) to begin on August 1, 2019. She also provided a Distance Learning and Site Management update as well as an update on workforce and community education.
  7. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, said staff at the Foundation have been working to increase efficiencies and processes to better enable fundraising efforts in the future. Projects completed at year-end included a transition from the college SIS to QuickBooks Online. This transition was made at the recommendation of the Foundation’s auditor. In addition, now having the latest version of Raiser’s Edge has enabled the Foundation to move hosting to the cloud and makes available many new functionalities that the older version did not provide. Dr.Gregg said the Foundation will be even more instrumental in the future in providing support to the College. The Foundation is building to go to the next level of fundraising.
  8. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the Information Technology staff have worked on over the course of the past month.
  9. Dr. Gregg filled in for Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, to provide an enrollment update. Summer and Fall enrollment are up from this same date last year. Cowley will conduct Enrollment Day events on its main campus on July 23 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and July 27 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
  10. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, provided an update on current data collection. The new IPEDS collection year will begin early fall. Work has begun for the creation of new dashboards and visualizations for program review.
  11. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. He also mentioned that IMPACT staff hosted a two-day training on campus with “Blumen”. This summer 28 students lived in Docking Dorm that were participating in the Upward Bound Summer Excellence Camp. Also, Cox began preparation for Wi-Fi/cable removal installments and the Nelson Student Center Game Room has begun facility upgrades including new carpet being installed.
  12. Jan Grace, Sumner Campus Operations Officer, discussed the monthly Chamber meetings, Rotary, City Council, and Sumner County Commission meetings she attended. She also mentioned the events Cowley recently sponsored, including the Veteran’s Salute July 10 at the Wheat Festival’s Picnic in the Park, and the Gaming Truck July 13 at the Wheat Festival in Wellington. On August 17, members of Cowley College’s Emergency Medical Technician program will participate in the Wellington Fire/EMS Golf Tournament. Grace also mentioned enrollment continues to grow at the Sumner Campus.
  13. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a sports update. Larson informed the Board that the Tiger Basketball Camp will be held July 16-18 and the annual Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive will take place on Wednesday, August 7. On July 29-30, Cowley will host the KJCCC and Region VI fall meetings at the Short General Education Center on the Sumner Campus in Wellington. Larson also shared the tremendous academic success Cowley’s student athletes achieved during the spring semester as 63 student athletes earned NJCAA All-Academic Team Honors and nine of the Tiger athletic teams received honorable mention for NJCAA Academic Team of the Year honors. Lastly, the Tiger Athletic Department placed fifth in the 2018-19 Daktronics NATYCAA Cup (National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators) standings. This is the Athletic Department’s highest finish since 2011. Lastly, the Tri-County Golf Tournament in Wellington will take place September 7.
  14. Approved the resignation of Sandy Wiemers as Alumni Relations and Golden Tigers Coordinator, effective June 30.
  15. Approved the employment of Ian Alumbaugh as intramural coordinator/dorm manager, effective July 16; approved the employment of James Eggemeyer as assistant wrestling coach/dorm manager, effective July 16; approved the employment of Autumn Kincaid as Alumni Relations/Golden Tigers Coordinator, effective August 1; approved the employment of Leigh Ann Verbeck as Adult Education Data Coordinator/Instructional Staff, effective August 1.