Cowley College

Board approves 2021-2022 operating budget

June 21, 2021

Cowley College’s Board of Trustees approved the 2020-2021 proposed operating budget of $23,317,010 during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday in the President’s Private Dining Room located inside the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

Approving the proposed operating budget allows the College to begin fiscal year 2021-2022 on July 1, 2021. The 2021-2022 State Appropriation Budget will be on the August 2021 Board of Trustees Agenda. By the August 2021 Board meeting, the College will have all of the County’s estimated assessed valuation information to shore up the Operating and State Appropriation Budget. The administration will adjust the Operation’s budget accordingly.

Prior to the Board meeting, the Trustees participated in a Legislator Meet and Greet facilitated by Cowley College Government Liaison Jessica Lucas. Senator Larry Alley, Senator Michael Fagg, Representative Doug Blex, and Representative Cheryl Helmer were in attendance to visit and to discuss concerns and opportunities with the Trustees.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Dr. Rittle mentioned the college signed an agreement with WSU Tech to offer a paramedic cohort in Wichita. The college has also agreed to recent partnerships with Skyline and Conco Construction in support of the new construction trades program set to start in August on the Main Campus. Summer enrollment has gotten off to a strong start and summer camps are underway and will continue through July.
2. Chris Swan provided a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update. “I appreciate the work of the Finance Subcommittee in helping us with the operating budget,” Dr. Rittle said.
3. Glennis Zimmerman provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
4. Chair Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda to include:

  1. Board Minutes of the May 17, 2021 meeting.
  2. 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.
  3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
  4. Administrative Reports.
  5. The Board approved the following policies: (157.00) Student Account Bad Debt Write-Off Policy; and (412.00) Payment of Tuition and Fees.
  6. The Board held first readings on the following policies: (132.00) Purchasing Policy; (137.00) Conflict of Interest; (242.00) Selection of Department Chairperson; (244.00) Field Trips and Special Presentations.
  7. The Board approved the employment of Kami Moore as director of adult education, effective June 22; approved the hiring of Roybell Baez as assistant men’s basketball coach, effective June 22; approved the hiring of Marcos Meza as custodian, effective June 22; approved the hiring of Cameron Rieth as track and field head coach, effective June 22; approved the employment of T. Parker Ray as track and field assistant coach, effective June 22; approved the hiring of Courtney Peterson as financial aid specialist, effective June 28.

7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a CARES Act update.
8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that she has reviewed faculty job targets and the Academic Affairs team held a retreat on May 17.
9. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board that the Scholarship Committee was tasked in 2019 with analyzing the awarding of scholarships at the college, both in processes of awarding and budget for awarding. The committee has continued to meet over the course of the last two years, and after much discussion and analysis, created a scholarship awarding process that established individual scholarship budget pools from which each awarder may draw down throughout the year. These pools were determined based on each awarder’s historical data over a three-year period, so that the baseline budget would closely resemble what they had typically awarded each year less a percentage reduction that was applied to help reduce scholarship expense.
10. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
11. 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.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that work on the College’s Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Quality Initiative (QI) is progressing with the completion of several worksheets for departments and teams to use to guide data points for the updated Accountability and Institutional Measures (AIM) document.
13. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update.
14. Pam Smith, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors.
15. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that the Tiger athletic programs recently completed a successful 2020-2021 campaign. Along with the teams’ success, there were also several individual national champions. Also, Lady Tiger cross country national champion Lubna Suied and All-American men’ basketball player Dalen Ridgnal have been named finalists for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission Junior College Athlete of the Year Award. The winner will be announced on July 1st.
16. Approved the 2021-2022 official publication and Board of Trustee meeting dates. Each monthly meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the President’s Private Dining Room.
17. Approved the authorization to use iFactory as a website redesign and development partner for $179,722 to be paid through the HEERF Funds.
18. A trio of executive sessions were held totaling one hour and 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel, regarding the routine annual Presidential performance appraisal as well as faculty contractual negotiations. The Trustees agreed to auto-renew an additional year to Dr. Rittle’s rolling three-year contract.
19. Approved the College regularly publishing all required notices in the Cowley CourierTraveler, which is considered the best practice for maintaining communication with the total community college district.
20. The meeting adjourned at 7:59 p.m.

Rama Peroo

Director of Institutional Communication & Public Relations
Cowley College
125 South 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005