Cowley College

Wilson tabbed Chair of Cowley College Board of Trustees

January 20, 2021

The Cowley College Board of Trustees appointed Gary Wilson to assume the duties of Chair of the Board during Tuesday night’s meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room following a tie vote and a resultant coin-flip. Wilson was elected to serve a 4-year term on the Board of Trustees, starting in January 2018. His current term expires in January 2022.

Wilson graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1968, then continued his education at Cowley County Community College, graduating in 1970. In 1970, Gary represented Cowley County Community College and Area Vocational Technical School at the Kansas Legislature. After Cowley, Gary worked as a heavy equipment and diesel mechanic and became a certified GM technician. He spent 10 years as a reserve Deputy Sherriff before starting the steel fabrication business, Good Time Productions, in 1990 which built products for the worldwide market. Wilson worked at Good Time Productions for 22 years.

In addition to his long career, Wilson served on the Cowley College Welding Advisory committee for roughly 11 years. He spent more than three years on the ACHS school board and served three 4-year terms as a Cowley County District 2 Commissioner.

Other officers elected for the upcoming year: vice chairman, Glennis Zimmerman; a past Chairperson, who shall serve as an advisor to the Chairman of the Board, vacant; Kansas Association of Community College Trustees voting delegate, Chris Swan; an alternate delegate to the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, Ned Graham; Association of Community College Trustees voting delegate, vacant; an alternate delegate to the Association of Community College Trustees, vacant; a trustee representative for professional negotiations, Glennis Zimmerman; a trustee representative to the Cowley College Foundation, Chris Swan; a trustee representative to the Tiger Booster Club, Brian Sanderholm; three trustees to serve on the Finance sub-committee JoLynn Foster, Chris Swan, Brian Sanderholm; three trustees to serve on the Academic sub-committee, Glennis Zimmerman, Dr. Steve Abrams, and vacant; three trustees to serve on the Board policy sub-committee, Gary Wilson, Ned Graham, and vacant; and Gary Wilson was named trustee designated to open bids received for college purchases.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. He mentioned the Tiger Heart Award that was given to long-time Cowley College employee Somsy Songvixay; the upcoming retirement of long-time track and field head coach Mark Phillips; the work done by faculty, staff, students and community members to help Cowley continue to serve its students during this pandemic; the construction of a Workforce and Community Education workspace in the basement of Galle-Johnson; and the College’s recent acquisition of more than 1,500 Covid-19 test kits to ensure the health and safety of the student-athletes and employees.
2. Dr. Rittle presented a gift to December Student of the Month Garrett VanDeventer of Arkansas City, KS.
3. The Board received a deferred maintenance update from Dr. Annaria Barnds.
4. Trustee Chris Swan provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
5. Trustee Brian Sanderholm provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
6. Held first readings for the following policies: Executive Officer (104.00), Instructional Media (222.00), Transfer Coursework (260.00), and Communicable Disease (474.00).
7. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
8. 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.
9. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a CARES Act update.
10. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar has been approved using guidelines from the Kansas Board of Regents. She also shared information on new programs that are in the works.
11. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, shared information on the annual campaign and year-end giving projects the Foundation is working on. She also discussed preliminary meetings that have been held in regards to Cowley College celebrating 100 years on August 1, 2022.
12. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
13. 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.
14. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the IPEDS winter data collection and submission is complete for the Graduate Rates Survey. Data collection is in progress for the Student Financial Aid survey and will be complete by the next Board meeting. Also, the spring IPEDS data collection and submission for the Fall Enrollment survey is due by April 7, 2021.
15. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. He also shared information on Student Life events held in December. Lastly, O’Toole shared that student evaluations showed 95% of students were very satisfied with the IMPACT program.
16. Pam Smith, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. Several Cowley instructors presented breakout sessions during the Professional Development Day held on December 15.
17. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that Cowley athletics will return to action this week. Volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, men’s and women’s track will all start competition the week of January 18, while baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis will start at the end of the month and men’s and women’s soccer will start at the end of March. There will be more than 175 athletic contests over the next 160 calendar days. Cowley will host 80 sporting events during the 16-week spring semester. “It will be the busiest athletic season in Tiger sports history,” Larson said. Larson also mentioned that no fans will be allowed at Cowley sporting events until at least February 5 based on Jayhawk Conference guidelines.
18. Approved the following Board policies: Insurance: Building Vehicles (152.00), Staff Participation in Student Elections (272.00), Final Examinations (275.00), and Adjunct Instructor Evaluation Policy (279.00).
19. Approved the employment of Gregory Butler as Workforce and Career Specialist, effective January 20; approved the employment of Jennifer Heersche as director of Workforce and Community Education, effective January 20.
20. Approved the Consent Agenda.
21. Discussed the filling of the remaining Trustee vacancy and moved to cease filling the current Board vacancy until no earlier than January of 2022.
22. Discussed the draft Trustee Data Privacy Agreement.
21. Discussed live stream options due to cost.
23. Approved the minutes of the Board of Trustee meeting conducted on December 14, 2020.
24. Approved future meetings be conducted via Zoom rather than have them live streamed due to cost.
25. Trustee Dr. Steve Abrams was absent.
26. The meeting adjourned at 7:07 p.m.