Cowley College Board of Trustees
Highlights from the Board
of Trustees' Meetings
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Academic Year 2015-2016
Board of Trustees' Meetings
January 19, 2016
Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided the Board of Trustees with his vision for the 2015-2016 academic year during the Board of Trustees monthly meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 19 in the McAtee Dining Center. Dr. Rittle said that since the August Board Retreat the College has a sense of where we were to where we are now.
Dr. Rittle spoke of Administrative Team Development with the hiring of two new vice presidents; compliance with governing bodies such as the upcoming Higher Learning Commission visit and the recent annual audit; Community Engagement and Relations such as clothing drives, police training, legislative forums and sporting events.; brand recognition and advancement with Cowley College recently being listed as the second most recognized College in the Greater Wichita Area; expansion of course offerings; reputation of the college; Business and Industry courses and offerings; sustainability of athletic programs; data driven decision making; advancement of external partnerships; new property acquisition; and new academic/athletic programs.
The recent addition of two new programs cost the College no new monies but directly tie to new enrollment.
“We are very mindful of entering into any debt process/activity in which a clear return on investment is not evident,” Dr. Rittle said.
In other matters:
- Dr. Rittle, along with Jim Ramirez, Board representative for professional negotiations, Dr. Gloria Walker and Dr. Harold Arnett, will meet with the College’s CEA representatives and Tim Knoles of the KNEA on Jan. 25. The new Professional Negotiations Act passed last year in the legislature mandates that all bargaining teams (both local and board teams), receive training on the new regulations and dates set forth, before you can actively start bargaining for the 2016-2017 year. The notice date has been moved from Feb. 1 to March 31.
- Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, spoke of the heaters that were recently installed in the McAtee Dining Center. She also mentioned the renovation and move of the Cowley College Security and Public Safety Department.
- Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, provided an update on the recent armed intruder training provided by Director of Security and Public Safety Officer Matt Stone during the College’s in-service. He also mentioned the College is progressing with the construction apprentice training partnership.
- Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, informed the Board that the “go live” date for the Student Information System has been moved to Sept. 12.
- Ben Schears, vice president of institutional advancement, spoke of the recent contract the Cowley College Foundation approved with Cargill Associates to begin the first phase of the capital campaign.
- Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Cobble also said campus visits, first time prospects, and applications were up in the month of December. Enrollment at the College’s Wichita Downtown Center continues to climb and the school is continually working on new avenues for the location to accommodate the increasing demand.
- Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $446,120.01; financial aid funds of $1,252,074.88; and Foundation funds of $6,422.61.
- The Board asked the College Administration to come up with a fall presentation date to be presented at the February Board meeting in regards to conducting a feasibility study on future academic, athletic, and activities programs.
December 14, 2015
Cowley College’s Board of Trustees approved two new course programs during the Board of Trustees monthly meeting held Monday, December 14 in the McAtee Dining Center.
The two new course programs are Fire Science (Certificate A) and Milling Technician (Vocational Certificate).
Also during the meeting, Christina Henson of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC, provided Cowley College’s Board of Trustees with an audit report. In performing the audit, the accountants examine the validity of financial transactions according to generally accepted accounting principles and state law.
Later in the meeting, Cowley College president Dr. Dennis Rittle informed the Board of some of the major happenings at the College over the past month. A few of the highlights included the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Board of Regents recently awarding the Workforce AID project for Rubbermaid to Cowley College; the College and Best Western Patterson Park Inn teaming together to host a successful Thanksgiving Basketball Classic; the College recently presenting Newell-Rubbermaid in Winfield with a Champion Level plaque in recognition of their work with the school; Dr. Rittle and Stephani Johns-Hines, associate vice president for Mulvane and online operations, served as presenters and panelists at the Regional Kansas Association of City/County Managers Conference held Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Best Western Holiday Manor in McPherson, KS; Dr. Rittle served as a keynote speaker during the Arkansas City Chamber of Commerce noon networking luncheon held Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the President’s Private Dining Room; Dr. Rittle recently held a strategic planning meeting with Fort Hays State University president Dr. Mirta Martin; and the College has implemented several new programs.
In other matters:
- Saw Dr. Rittle present Cera Magana of Wichita, KS, with a gift for being named the school’s November Student of the Month. “Thank you all so much. It really was an honor just to be nominated. I am happy people are noticing what I do,” Magana said.
- The Board approved the 2015-2016 final county valuation and mill levy. The mill levy is 18.915, which is up from the final 2014-2015 levy of 18.790.
- Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, spoke of the Workforce AID project for Rubbermaid that was awarded to Cowley College. This will provide training for 12 students in all specified areas and is built around Cowley’s Mechatronics program, which was originally developed in collaboration with Rubbermaid several years ago. The training will begin in January and will deliver 13 credit hours for the trainees. Those that complete the training will be employed by Rubbermaid.
- Brian McChesney, systems administrator, provided an update on the Student Information System. The second pass for data migration and cutover to the portal (JICS) was performed last week. Training has been resumed and discussions with Jenzabar are underway about which third party products need to be integrated.
Students in Cowley College’s Media Club had an opportunity to share details of their recent attendance at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Association National College Media Convention in Austin, TX during the Board of Trustees monthly meeting held Monday, Nov. 16 in the McAtee Dining Center.
In other matters:
- Approved the recommendation to reschedule December’s Board meeting to Dec. 14 at 6 p.m. in the President’s Private Dining Room of the McAtee Dining Center. A pre-holiday meal for the Board of Trustees will be held at 5 p.m. prior to the regular meeting, with no business during this time.
- Held a first reading on proposed changes to the following policies: Vacation-Administrative Staff (113.00) and Classified Personnel (166.00). The changes would remove confusion and enact the best practices in higher education as they relate to the accrual and management of employee vacation leave. In addition, the application of a consistent formula to compute the accumulation of maximum vacation leave benefits for non-administrative employees, who comprise the majority of the college’s full-time non-faculty employees. Final approval will be requested at the December Board meeting.
- Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with analysis of lease versus buy for Cowley College’s current fleet of vehicles. She provided the Board with a pair of scenarios.
- Board member Sid Regnier asked Dr. Walker to provide the Board, at a future meeting, with a lease versus buy analysis for Cowley’s current fleet of buses.
- Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board of a new course approved for the Non-Destructive Testing program. Phased Array Level I is a course that was requested by the Career and Technical Education advisory group. It may be submitted as a Stand Alone Parent Program as a one-course certificate program.
Sarah Bryant, Cowley College director of marketing, provided Cowley College’s Board of Trustees with an update on the presidential installation during the annual Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.
The Installation ceremony for Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, Cowley College’s fifth president, will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 15. The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Robert Brown Theatre, on the College’s main campus in Arkansas City.
Also during the meeting, Cowley College president Dr. Dennis Rittle informed the Board that classes have begun at Cowley’s Wichita Downtown Center. He also mentioned the redesign of the Cowley College website, and the several business and industry visits that are upcoming at the main campus.
In other matters:
- Approved the formation of a Finance sub-committee and an Academic sub-committee and the appointment of Board members to those committees. These sub-committees will allow members of the Board to serve alongside administrators at the College.
- The Board approved the Bills and Claims with general operating funds of $435,766.50; financial aid funds of $1,244,832.45; and Foundation funds of $7,433.09.
- Dr. Gloria Walker, Cowley College vice president of finance and administration, provided a security and public safety update. Dr. Walker also shared an update on the impending legislation on open-carry fire arms and how Cowley College is in discussions on how the school will ensure its students, employees, and community safety.
- Dr. Harold Arnett, Cowley College vice president of academic affairs, discussed the recent meeting he and Stephani Johns-Hines had with Newell Rubbermaid representatives to discuss the development of training programs. Dr. Arnett and Stephani Johns-Hines will also meet with Westrock (formerly Calmar) representatives on Oct. 22.
- Paul Erdman, Cowley College vice president of information technology, discussed the network reconfiguration and equipment installation that is ongoing at the College.
- Ben Schears, Cowley College vice president of institutional advancement, shared news of a recently finalized scholarship established by Coca Cola Bottling Company in Winfield, KS, and a scholarship being created by Galaxy Technology to provide assistance to machine tool majors. Schears also mentioned the Cowley College Foundation has begun conversations with a campaign firm in preparation of a feasibility study for a future campaign, and provided the Board with a year to year comparison on year to date gifts received by the Cowley College Foundation.
- Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, provided an admissions update. The admissions staff is staying busy with high school visits, tours and campus events. Spring enrollment will begin Monday, Nov. 2.
- Jason O’Toole, Cowley College executive director of student affairs, informed the Board that the College’s dorms are at full capacity.
- Shane Larson, Cowley College athletic director, shared news that the Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive surpassed its goal of $70,000 and has now raised $71,688.
September 21, 2015
After 25 years at Cowley College Mindi Shriver announced her plans to retire on January 1, 2016 during Cowley College’s Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.
Also during the meeting, Cowley College president Dr. Dennis Rittle discussed the recent ribbon cutting ceremony held at the school’s Wichita Downtown Center, the upcoming Vice President’s Meet & Greet Reception for Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, and Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, to be held from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, September 29 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room, and the Presidential Installation Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Brown Theatre and reception to follow in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
Dr. Rittle also mentioned the Manufacturing Day event that will take place Friday, October 2 at the school’s Walker Technology Building in Arkansas City. Stan Ahlerich, Executive Director of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, has been invited to speak about the impact of manufacturing on the local and state economy.
Dr. Rittle thanked the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame committee, the Tiger Booster Club Board, and the college’s Board of Trustees for their work during the process of selecting three new members into the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame. All-American track/cross country athlete Josephat Boit, women’s basketball coach Darin Spence, and All-American baseball player John Urick were recently chosen to be inducted into the 2016 Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, January 16, 2016.
Dr. Rittle also shared news of an official invite he received to meet with Sumner County commissioners on Monday, September 28 to explore Cowley College making a larger footprint in Sumner County.
In other matters:
- KACCT Board delegate, Ned Graham, and Cowley College president Dennis Rittle attended the annual KACCT/COP meeting Sept. 11-12 at Cloud County Community College. Graham and Dr. Rittle provided a review of the meeting.
- Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board that she plans to seek bids on a CD that is maturing on Sept. 22. She also said the relocation of the welding program on the Mulvane campus is nearly complete, and policy 132 (Purchasing) and policy 142 (Access to College Facilities) are under review for developing and/or revising associated procedures. The fiscal year 2015-16 budget is also to be submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents before September 30, 2015.
- Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that Ti Training Corp was on Cowley College’s main campus in Ark City Sept. 15-16 to shoot a variety of training scenarios for Criminal Justice training. The director was so pleased with the scenarios that Criminal Justice instructor Frank Owens developed that he is interested in using them for national distribution. Dr. Arnett also stated that several faculty members are currently developing proposals that would provide potential students with the opportunity to earn certificates in a relatively short time that would increase their earning potential and/or employment options.
- Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, informed the Board of the college’s presence at the Kansas State Fair. He also mentioned with the recent opening of Cowley College’s Wichita Downtown Center the college is working on engaging the local area through the Wichita Chamber of Commerce events like Exposure as well as working with businesses in local neighborhoods with plans to expand those opportunities. Cobble also said Health & Human Services Day will take place Oct. 8 and Social Science/BCIT Day will be held Oct. 20.
- Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that $69,000 in pledges have been received through the Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive and the Foster Parent Meet and Greet will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, September 27 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
- Appointed Dr. Gloria J. Walker as Treasurer of the Board. Dr. Walker replaces interim treasurer Dr. Dennis Rittle.
August 10, 2015
Cowley College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2015-2016 operating budget for the college during its annual monthly meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.
The 2015-2016 budget has a projected mill levy of 18.75, which is s decrease from the final 2014-2015 levy (18.79).
Revenues are based on in-state enrollments, a state operating grant, and an estimated county valuation of 247,991,044. Expenditures are based on anticipated enrollments at each campus and objectives as set forth by the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Team.
The college’s total budget for 2015-2016 is $32.5 million.
In other matters:
- Discussed the Fall Retreat conducted Saturday, August 8. Items discussed at the Retreat were College Mission Statement, College Vision, and strategic goals. The Mission Statement states “Cowley College is committed to providing opportunities for learning excellence, personal achievement, and community engagement.” The Vision Statement states “Champion the relevance of two-year colleges in higher education through holistic learning and workforce development opportunities.” Strategic Plan Goals are, planning and leading, student success, valuing people, student/stakeholder needs, technology infrastructure, and financial parameters. The metric for the presidential evaluation sheets was approved at Monday’s meeting and a presidential installation date was discussed. The date of Sunday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. inside the Robert Brown Theatre was approved for the presidential installation.
- Welcomed Dr. Gloria Walker, Cowley College vice president of finance and administration, who will begin employment on September 1, 2015.
- Discussed enrollment figures. Although enrollment is currently behind last year’s pace, Dr. Rittle is encouraged by the progress made over the last week. “We are closing the gap rapidly and it is conceivable we will touch last year’s FTE,” Dr. Rittle said. “I would like to thank Josh Cobble, Marcus Hicks, and their (admissions) team as well as the marketing team. It has been a concerted effort to get the word out. The college is a great asset.”
- The annual KACCT/COP meeting will be held September 11-12 at Cloud County Community College.
- Approved Board representative Brian Sanderholm’s attendance at the 46th annual Community College Leadership Congress October 14-17 in San Diego, CA at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.