Cowley College

Board of Trustees meeting held at Cowley College's main campus in Arkansas City

September 17, 2019

Cowley College’s Board of Trustees gathered Monday evening in the President’s Private Dining Room located inside the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center to discuss items of business during its annual monthly meeting.

Next month’s Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Monday, October 21 at 6 p.m. at Cowley College’s Short General Education Center.

In other matters:

1. Dr. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle informed the Board that Cowley College is busy working with Cowley County and Sumner County Workforce Development to build synergies in service for our region. Cowley has also applied for the Second Chance Pell which offers inmates who qualify the opportunity to take college classes with the support of federal dollars. Also, Cowley awarded more than 800 technical certificates and degrees which is an increase of approximately 100 from the previous year. Lastly, Cowley recently received formal approval from the Higher Learning Commission to enter into the Open Pathway for institutional accreditation. Dr. Rittle praised the work done by Dr. Schoon, as well as the faculty and staff, in order to accomplish this important accreditation milestone.
2. Saw Dr. Rittle present a gift to Kendall Ray of Braman, OK, for being named the school’s September Student of the Month. “Cowley is the best place to be. This is an indescribable feeling being named Student of the Month.”
3. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided the Board with a legislative update. Lucas said higher education funding continues to be the main topic of discussion among legislators, the Technical Education Authority, the Kansas Board of Regents, the governor’s team, and the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees. Also, full funding of Excel in CTE (SB 155) remains a top concern.
4. Student Senate president Donte Chattman provided the Board with a student update. Chatman mentioned the Student Senate meetings, free movie nights, intramural activities, and back to school events that have been held since the start of the fall semester.
5. Board Chair Jill Long and Dr. Rittle requested the Board receive a deferred maintenance update from the Wildan Group. Dr. Annaria Barnds, Business Development Engineer, provided an update on the next steps.
6. The Board, a participating employer in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, approved the inclusion of all of its eligible employees in optional insurance under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, effective January 1, 2020.
7. Trap shooting Club advisors, students, and constituents presented an overview of the proposed club. Student Life Director Landon West, Todd Ray, head of maintenance and grounds, and Criminal Justice director Frank Owens were joined by members of the community to provide the Board with awareness and general discussion to ensure that the liability aspects of the proposed Club have been adequately vetted. Members of the Duck Creek Gun Club in Winfield, KS, were on hand to answer any questions. Competition would consist of shooting 25 target rounds from the 16 yard station. The Kansas High School State Championships are hosted by the Kansas Trapshooting Association. It is the fastest growing high school sport in the nation. The Club would be both an individual and a team sport. Aubrey Cartlidge, a freshman at Cowley College and a recent graduate of Winfield High School, who placed third out of around 3,500 high school competitors at the Grand Championships, spoke about the benefits of the sport.
8. Held a first reading on the revised Fringe Benefits policy (112.0) which will absorb the current policy (162.0). The updated policy includes the increase in the benefit stipend from $540 per month to $640 per month.
9. Nancy Short-Burger and Dr. Rittle provided a brief recap of the KACCT meeting they recently attended. Trustee Short-Burger relayed the importance of our College having a voice in decisions due to the political landscape in higher education. In addition, she shared a position statement of the statewide trustee association.
10. Dr. Rittle filled in for Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, to provide a Sumner Campus update. Dr. Rittle also said an emergency temporary chiller was located, rented, and installed at the Renn Memorial Library. Also, the Mulvane Science, Engineering and Academic (SEA) formerly Bloomenshine Building, needs a new roof. The administration is preparing the Request for Proposal and will post it as soon as the scope of work is completed.
11. Approved Community National Bank to finance the purchase of the National Ultra Coachliner DX bus for a term of 42 months with monthly payments of $6,664.40. The terms fall within the budgeted amount for the fiscal year 2019-2020, and staff will budget the same for the next three and a half fiscal years.
12. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the Ad Astra China program is progressing with students being enrolled. Cowley will be the preferred community college for Fort Hays State University’s China program. Dr. Schoon also mentioned the GED graduation that was recently held at the Winfield Correctional Facility with 18 diplomas awarded. Lastly, the Cowley College Media Club will hold the Constitution Day event on Tuesday, September 17.
13. Rama Peroo, director of institutional communications and public relations/sports information director, filled in for Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, to provide a Foundation update. Peroo informed the Board that the Cowley College Gold Card has a new look and a new name. The Gold Card, which allows individuals 60 and better free access to all home athletic events and most theater events has been rebranded to “The Platinum Card”. All the same benefits apply and Gold Card holders can continue to use their current card. Cards will now be processed out of the Institutional Advancement office. The rebranding is intended to lessen the confusion between the Gold Card and the Golden Tigers which are separate programs.
14. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month. He also provided a Student Information System update.
15. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. The college saw an increase in students taking part in the New Tiger Orientation and High School Tiger Orientation summer sessions. She also mentioned the college’s participation at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, KS. The Principal and Superintendent Day and Senior Day events are approaching.
16. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the 2019 annual year collection has been submitted and is currently under review. Information about students enrolled at Cowley College on the 20th day will be reported to the Kansas Board of Regents on September 27. Phelps said the college saw an increase in military students, while 747 high school students enrolled in classes during the 2018-2019 academic year, a year over year increase of 2.5 percent. Also, 778 students began their higher ed career at Cowley College during the 2018-2019 academic year, a year over year increase of 17.3 percent. The fall census student body does not represent the full fall student body headcount.
17. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. The dorms are currently at 92.2 percent occupancy. O’Toole also mentioned the numerous Student Life activities that were held during the month of August.
18. Jan Grace, Sumner Campus Operations Officer, discussed the events Cowley recently sponsored and the monthly Chamber, City Council, and Commissioners meetings she attended. Grace also mentioned the Kansas Strong event that was recently held at the Sumner Campus and that the Tiger Eatery is being enjoyed by individuals in Sumner County.
19. Pam Smith, faculty liaison, provided a faculty update. Smith informed the Board that the Writing Center is now open for the fall semester. Also, Julie Rhoads, with the assistance of Jan Grace, once again hosted the Science and Math workshops, sponsored by Kansas Strong, for area teachers at Cowley College’s Short General Education Center in Wellington. Rhoads is also scheduled to attend the Governor’s Symposium on Early Childhood Education in Kansas on October 7th along with two Education Majors from the Cowley KNEA Club. Also, Jennifer Rupp reported in the first two weeks the Writing Center has had 40 visits from 32 students. They will hold a Resumes Workshop on September 19th.
20. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a fall sports update. Larson said both the men and women’s soccer teams are ranked as are both the men and women’s cross country teams, while the Cowley volleyball team is currently ranked 11th. Larson also mentioned the five nominations for induction into the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame and the Tri-County Golf Classic held September 7 in Wellington. Also, Tiger Booster Club luncheon dates have been set for the remainder of the fall semester.
20. Dr. Schoon informed the Board of the Bill and Judy Docking Faculty Achievement Award that Pam Smith was the recipient of . “I feel very honored,” Smith said.
21. Approved the resignation of Autumn Kincaid as Alumni/Golden Tigers Coordinator, effective September 17; approved the resignation of Adam Parson as custodial supervisor, effective September 20.
22. Approved the employment of Cheri Adams as Military Services Coordinator, effective September 17; approved the employment of Lana Da Silva as assistant volleyball coach/dorm manager, effective September 17; approved the employment of Kim Peri as Natural Science Department secretary, effective September 17.