Cowley College

Swan, Foster take part in Board of Trustee meeting

August 11, 2020

Recently appointed to fill vacant seats on the Cowley College Board of Trustees, JoLynn Foster and Christopher Swan took part in the 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 increase access due to social distancing guidelines.

Foster was appointed to fill the vacant seat of Bob Juden, a 1.5-year term, and Swan was appointed to fill the vacant seat of Jill Long, a 3.5-year term. Swan and Foster will serve the remainder of the vacated terms and could then stand for election. Foster has four years of previous experience on the Board and served as Board Chair in 2018, while Swan is currently the Engineering Director for GE Aviation-Strother.

“We look forward to working with both of them for the good of Cowley College and the community,” Board Chair Dr. Harold W. Arnett said.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Dr. Rittle said students have begun arriving on campus and the College is preparing for Dorm Storm and weekend open enrollment August 15-16. A full slate of face-to-face classes will begin August 18 with social distancing guidelines in place. Also, the Theatre Department will conduct “9 to 5” August 20-22 in the Robert Brown Theatre. Face coverings, social distancing, and best practices in personal hygiene will be in place for those attending the production. Dr. Rittle also thanked the Board for a successful Board Workshop. Lastly, he thanked the COVID-19 task force members as well as the faculty, staff, students, Trustees, and community members. “It will take all of us to get through this journey,” Dr. Rittle said. “We will prevail if we stick together.”
2. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
3. Resolved, that the 2020-2021 state appropriation budget for Cowley College, officially published in the Cowley CourierTraveler, is hereby adopted, and the fiscal officers of the Board of Trustees are authorized to encumber and expend such funds according to the statutes of the State of Kansas and policies and procedures of the Board of Trustees. This action will be communicated to the proper officials of Cowley County and the State of Kansas for the purpose of levying and allocating taxes to meet the revenue requirements.
4. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
5. The Board discussed filling the vacant seat of former Trustee Nancy Burger.
6. The Board discussed the Trustee Affirmation of Service Agreement.
7. Approved the following Board policies: Services of the Bookstore (144.00); Employee Complaint Policy (150.00); and Health Services (471.00). Chair Arnett and Trustee Gary Wilson wished to thank the individuals for getting these policies done in a timely manner.
8. Held a first reading on the following policies: Personnel Record (121.00); and College TB Testing Policy (475.00).
9. 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.
10. Approved the contract with Mahaney Group Inc. for a proposed price of $121,950 to re-roof the Mulvane SEA Center.
11. Approved the resignation of Lana Almeida Da Silva as assistant volleyball coach/dorm manager, effective July 20.
12. Approved the separation of John Popchoke as custodian, effective July 20; approved the separation of Shelly Huffman as Registrar secretary, effective July 28; approved the separation of Jeremy Mount as maintenance technician, effective July 31.
13. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided a Sumner Campus update and facilities maintenance update. She also provided a deferred maintenance update as well as a list of COVID 19 precautions the College is working on.
14. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, provided a curriculum update. Cowley signed a new articulation agreement with Ottawa University. This agreement allows transfer of up to 80 hours of credit from Cowley College and for Cowley transfer students a to receive a Residential Scholar Scholarship (RSS) if they attend classes at the Ottawa campus or receive a $150 per credit hour reduction on a Bachelor’s degree completion online. Also, the college is moving forward with plans to implement the Manufacturing Technology Certificate A at the Winfield Correctional Facility. The program will start in August with the first cohort of students. This program will allow the students to receive their High School Diploma at the completion of the Manufacturing Technology Certificate A. Also, Shelby Huddleston, Director of Instructional Technology, was nominated and selected as this year’s SIDLIT 2020 Outstanding Technical Support Staff Award. Lastly, nine new students are enrolled in the China Ad Astra program.
15. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, provided updates from the Golden Tigers program, marketing, public relations, website analytics, and upcoming Foundation events. The Golden Tiger Advisory Board has decided to postpone all Golden Tiger classes until the spring semester 2021 in order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment for our golden tigers and community.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the Institutional Effectiveness Office will participate in a nationwide, virtual event as a presenter/panelist on August 18. The focus of the session is general data governance and use at Cowley College along with a Q & A. Also, the 2020 fall administration of the College Employee Satisfaction Survey (CESS) will occur from Monday, October 5 through Friday, October 16. Employees will receive an emailed invitation from Noel Levitz multiple times throughout the two-week surveying window. In accordance with ethical standards in data collection, employees will be notified in all messaging that their responses are anonymous and confidential but will be part of an unredacted report to be provided to the trustees by January 2021.
19. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. O’Toole also mentioned the Summer Excellence Camp was a success with 17 of the 22 students completing the Upward Bound courses that are offered each summer, English, Mathematics (Algebra I - Algebra III), as well as, Space Science with a “C” or better.
20. Pam Smith, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. Smith also received the following thank you from former science student and Cowley Tiger softball player, Emilee Wells: “I want to take the time to thank you again for your time in writing me a letter of recommendation for the Scholars in Rural Health Program. I am thrilled to tell you that I have been accepted into the program! After completing this two-year program, I will automatically be admitted to the University of Kansas School of Medicine!”
21. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board the conference presidents and athletic directors have their scheduled fall meetings on August 13 and 14th and hope to have spring schedules ready for approval then. Over the summer the NJCAA announced the all-academic honors for teams and individuals. Cowley had 59 individuals earn all-academic honors and nine teams. That is 59 individual athletes that earned above a 3.60 GPA, with 12 of those being a perfect 4.0. For the team awards the requirement of an average 3.0 GPA for all members of the squad was met by; baseball, volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, softball, women’s soccer, men’s indoor track, men’s tennis and the top academic team for the Tigers was women’s tennis with a 3.44 team GPA.
22. Heard public comment in regards to the Carnegie Library. Those who spoke were: Sid Regnier, Roger and Diane Sparks, Dale White, Michael Bergagnini, Ed Crittenden, Paul Erdmann, and Kristi Shaw.
23. The Board held an executive session for 20 minutes for discussion related to property acquisition.
24. Roger and Diane Sparks rescinded their offer to the Board for the purchase of the Carnegie Library.
25. Postponed filling the vacant seat of Trustee Nancy Burger until the September Board meeting. The Board is seeking interest from a Winfield, KS resident.
26. The Board rescinded the current Trustee Affirmation of Service agreement.
27. Approved the proposed Aviation Mechanic-Powerplant program offering Certificate A, C, and AAS degrees.
28. Approved the minutes of the Board of Trustee meeting conducted on July 20.
29. The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.