Board of Trustees AGENDA

Upcoming Meetings

17
June

Board of Trustees Meeting

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
President's Dining Room

Meeting Highlights

Information and summaries of Cowley College Board of Trustees meetings. To view the Official Minutes of the Meeting, in PDF format, click the "View Official Minutes" link in each prior meeting highlight.

Dr. Schoon provides College updates at the Board of Trustees meeting

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Board Meeting Highlights in News

 

Board adopts priorities discussed at July work session

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Board Meeting Highlights in News

Cowley College Board of Trustees conducts summer work session

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Holding Thursday’s summer work session at its Education Center located on the main campus in Arkansas City, Cowley College’s Board of Trustees discussed several topics during the three-hour long session.

The topics discussed were Sumner County sales tax, Kansas Board of Regents Data Share Analysis/Accountability and Institutional Measures (AIM), and updates on current institutional goals and enrollment management.

The meeting also consisted of goal setting for the upcoming academic year.

Along with Cowley College’s Board of Trustees, Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon, and Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, were joined by Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison.

Lucas and the Trustees spent a good portion of the meeting discussing things that are going well at the Sumner Campus in Wellington and things that still need to be addressed.

Phelps provided an update on the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. While Dr. Schoon discussed performance agreements for the academic year 2022 and provided an update on enrollment management.

Six candidates for the open Trustee spots on the Board attended Thursday’s work session.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting will occur Monday, August 21, at 6 p.m. inside the President’s Private Dining Room.

 

Board hears of a record-breaking year for the Foundation

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Working on a campaign to raise funds for Cowley College’s new Career and Technical Education Center in Arkansas City, Dr. Kori Gregg, Foundation president, informed Cowley College’s Board of Trustees that the Foundation has raised a record amount of funds for a second consecutive year.

With 1,360 gifts received, the Foundation raised just under $1.1 million for the year. A total of $364,070 was used to award 646 Foundation Scholarships.

Working to reach its goal of $8 million, Dr. Gregg has solicited 17 major donors and secured 14 major gifts with three asks on the table. She has also written three grant proposals with one major grant secured and two additional grant applications withstanding.

Working with Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon, Dr. Gregg and the Foundation have secured $6,420,000 out of the eight-million dollar campaign.

“We have been sharing the value of the building and have people see that education is a good investment,” Dr. Schoon said.

A groundbreaking event for the CTE Building was held on June 27. Building foundation work will begin soon.

In other matters:

  1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Schoon informed the Board that Cowley College was recently recognized for its athletic success by finishing fifth in the Daktronics NATYCAA Cup standings. Also, current men’s tennis player and national champion Bruno Nhavene was recently named the Junior College Male Athlete of the Year at the 2023 Greater Wichita Sports Commission Banquet. Dr. Schoon also mentioned the Summer Theatre being conducted at Cowley and the recent success of Seussical the Musical. There was also a Robotics Camp held at the College, while several Cowley employees helped the College have a presence at the Wheat Festival in Wellington, including Sumer Campus Operations Officer Jan Grace. Lastly, Dr. Schoon and Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, plan to visit Cloud County Community College to learn more about its Wind Turbine Technology program.
  2. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update. She also mentioned the relocation celebration currently going on at the new Wichita Center location.
  3. Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
  4. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
  5. The Board of Trustees will conduct a special work session on Thursday, July 27.
  6. Approved the Consent Agenda:
  7. Board Minutes of the June 20 meeting.
  8. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
  9. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
  10. Administrative Reports.
  11. Held first readings on the following policies: (119.00) Acquisition and Disposal of College Property; (165.00) Sick Leave Full-Time Non-Faculty Employees.
  12. Personnel Transactions. The Board was informed of the resignation of Manuel Raga as head men’s and women’s tennis coach, effective July 20, and Troy Thrasher as assistant women’s basketball coach.
  13. The Board was informed of the employment of Dr. Rachel Bates as vice president of academic affairs, effective August 1; Laura Wollard as Biology instructor, effective August 1; Brittnie Burris as academic department specialist, effective August 1; Cindi Rowe as academic department specialist, effective August 1; Holli Rowe as head cheer and dance coach, effective August 1; and Emily Oesterle as academic department specialist, effective August 1.
  1. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. She mentioned groundbreaking on the new CTE Building was held on June 27, and foundation work is set to begin on the first of August.
  2. Janice Stover, interim vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the Academic Affairs office has been busy reviewing fall course schedules and enrollment and planning for back-to-school in-service and instructor orientations.
  3. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
  4. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the 2023 academic year collection opened on July 1, 2023. This set of comprehensive data files is one of the primary source of information for the Kansas Board of Region Data, Research and Planning (DRP) staff’s site, KHE Stats, and is used for both state and Perkins Grant funding.
  5. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update. She informed the Board that all enrollment locations continue to enroll new students by appointment and walk-ins and continue to reach out to current students for enrollment.
  6. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided a housing update.
  7. Jeff Fluty, athletic director, informed the Board that former Cowley baseball players Carlton Perkins (15th Round), Isaac Stebens (16th Round), and Mac McCroskey (20th Round) were recently selected as draft picks in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft. Lastly, Cowley College's Tiger Booster Club is preparing to host the 28th annual Tiger Skins - Brian Groves Memorial Golf Tournament Saturday, August 19, at Ark City Golf & Fitness.
  8. Dr. Scott Layton, faculty liaison, informed the Board that 30 full-time faculty are currently teaching 183 credit hours for the summer semester.
  9. Approved the contract with Tandem Cyber Operations for cybersecurity operational services for $202,911.03.
  10. Approved the purchase of Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection from JR Microsystems for $41,260.
  11. Approved the College to continue using Union State Bank, RCB Bank, Sunflower Bank/Wichita, and Carson Bank/Mulvane as official depositories and utilize all qualified institutions in the County for the investment of idle funds.
  12. Held a 20-minute executive session for preliminary discussion related to property acquisition.
  13. The Board will hold its annual retreat beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 27 at the Cowley Education Center.
  14. Trustee Bob McGregor praised the work done by Cowley College instructor David Hays and the individuals helping with the STEM Camp being held this week at the Sumner Campus in Wellington.
  15. The meeting adjourned at 6:54 p.m. 

Board approves 2023-2024 operating budget

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Cowley College’s Board of Trustees approved the 2023-2024 proposed operating budget of $24,521,896 during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Approving the proposed operating budget allows the College to begin fiscal year 2023-2024 on July 1, 2023. The 2023-2024 State Appropriation Budget will be on the August 2023 Board of Trustees Agenda. By the August 2023 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.

The Trustees also discussed the upcoming groundbreaking ceremony for the new Career and Technical Education Center on Tuesday, June 27, at 10 a.m. The groundbreaking will take place at 513 W. Washington Avenue in Arkansas City.

In other matters:  

  1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. She mentioned the Adult Education Program Commencement and the Commencement held at the Winfield Correctional Facility. She praised the instructors’ work, including that of Adult Education Program GED instructor LaVaughan Scheuerich. Cowley Summer Theatre Camp recently performed Guys and Dolls and will perform Seussical the Musical on July 14-16 in the Robert Brown Theatre. She also informed the Board that the Cowley College men’s tennis team captured its first national title since 1991 and its first-ever title at the NJCAA Division I level by dominating the field at the NJCAA Division I Men's Tennis National Championships held in McKinney, TX. The Lady Tiger tennis team also had its highest-ever finish at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament by finishing as the national runner-up. Tiger head coach Manuel Raga and assistant coach Arianna Raga attended the meeting.
  2. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update. For the Cowley County Trustee seats, there are three open seats and six candidates, so the top three vote-getters in November will earn seats on the Board. Candidates include: - Alan Marcotte, Winfield (incumbent) - David Stanley, Ark City (incumbent) - Kyle Carlson, Ark City - Jacinda Shaw-Kinzie, Ark City - Joe Shriver, Ark City - John Sybrant, Ark City.
  3. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
  4. Trustee David Stanley provided a recap of the KACC Quarterly Meeting he and Dr. Schoon recently attended.
  5. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
  6. The Board of Trustees will conduct a special work session on Thursday, July 27.
  7. Approved the Consent Agenda: The Board of Trustees approved the proposed changes to the Faculty Master Agreement submitted by the College Administration and the Cowley Education Association. Approving these changes will allow the administration and the CEA to finalize the Master Agreement for the 2023-2024 academic year.
    1. Board Minutes of the May 15 meeting.
    2. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
    3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
    4. Administrative Reports.
    5. Board Policy Approvals. (131.00) Reimbursement for Travel; (161.00) Requisition and Selection – Non-Faculty Personnel; and (260.00) Transfer Coursework.
    6. Personnel Transactions. The Board was informed of the resignation of Kristie Martinez as Natural Science Department Specialist, effective June 23, and Lindsay Sanderholm as head cheer and dance coach, effective September 4.
    7. The Board was informed of the employment of Mason Warren as Biology Instructor, effective August 1; Tracy Circle as administrative assistant to the vice president of finance and administration, effective July 1; Benjamin Kritsonis as assistant wrestling coach/dorm manager, effective July 5; and Damion Cleverley as custodian, effective July 5.
  1. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. The remodel of the new Cowley College campus in Wichita is nearing completion, with the new location planned to open this week.
  2. Janice Stover, interim vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that a planning retreat was held on May 31 with the Academic Affairs Council. Following the retreat, the Academic Affairs Fall Semester preparation and planning are underway.
  3. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
    11. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update.
  4. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the Kansas Board of Regents Data, Research and Planning (DRP) staff will host the annual Data Quality Conference (virtual) on June 21 with the Annual Year (AY) Collection officially opening on July 1. The Council of Institutional Researchers in Two-Year Organizations (CIRTO), a group serving institutional research offices at Kansas community and technical colleges, will hold its annual meeting on June 22. The leadership role of Community College Co-Chair will transfer from Cowley College (2021- 2022/2022-2023) to Johnson County Community College at this time; Cowley College’s IE Office will participate as a panel member during a professional development session on data literacy.
  5. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided an update on student life activities.
  6. Jeff Fluty, athletic director, praised the work done by Tiger tennis coaches Manuel Raga and Arianna Raga after guiding the men’s and women’s tennis teams to record-breaking seasons.

“These two outstanding coaches represent the college exceptionally and put Cowley College in a good light,” Fluty said. “Like so many of our coaches, I am really proud of what they have done representing Cowley College athletics.”

Currently, the Tiger coaching staffs are busy recruiting and hosting summer camps.

  1. Held a 20-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel regarding faculty negotiations, pursuant to the exception related to non-elected personnel.
  2. The Board approved the recommendation to utilize the Cowley CourierTraveler for publication of official notices and accepted the official meeting dates as presented. Future meeting dates are set for July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16, November 20, December 11, and in 2024, January 16, February 19, March 11, April 15, May 20, and June 17. The Board meetings will be held in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center through the 2023-2024 academic year, with the exception of the July 17 Board meeting being held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room and the October 16 meeting being held at the Short General Education Center at the Sumner Campus in Wellington.
  3. The meeting adjourned at 6:54 p.m.

 

Winfield Center windows and door replacement approved at Special Meeting of the Board of Trustees

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During a special Zoom meeting held Friday afternoon, the Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the administration’s request to contract with Wickham Glass out of Wichita, KS, to replace the windows and doorways at the Winfield Center at the cost of $343,500 funded through the Kansas Board of Regents Capital Outlay Tech Ed Grant.

In other matters:

*The Board was informed of the resignation of assistant Men’s/women’s soccer coach Tanner Brock, effective June 9.

*Approved the employment of Blake Smith as head athletic trainer, effective June 1; approved the employment of Andrea Major as fitness trainer, effective June 1; approved the employment of Rebecca Holman as student life counselor, effective July 24; approved the hiring of Rikki Hettenbach as Wellness Center Manager, effective August 1.

*Held a pair of executive sessions totaling 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel regarding faculty negotiations, pursuant to the exception related to non-elected personnel.

Board hears about Criminal Justice Program at Cowley College

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Cowley College’s Board of Trustees had an opportunity to learn more about the school’s Criminal Justice program during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Led by Department Chair Frank Owens, the Criminal Justice program prepares students for a career in law enforcement and corrections. Career areas exist in many areas, such as local police departments and organizations, county and state police departments, corrections, environmental protection services, juvenile facilities, crime laboratories, courts and judicial offices, and community-based corrections.

Julie Rhoads, director of education, shared a Criminal Justice promotional video.

Students that have declared a major in Criminal Justice and meet qualification guidelines are eligible to be a Student Patrol Officer. For more information on the Criminal Justice program, contact 620-441-5285 or frank.owens@cowley.edu.

In other matters:

  1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Schoon informed trustees of the “Did you Know” social media campaign designed to increase awareness of the College by sharing facts on enrollment and scholarships. She updated the Trustees on the enrollment initiative that waives online fees for summer classes. Gave a brief update on the summer projects involving renovations and office moves. Announced that the Wind Energy Technology program passed through the first round of the state approval process for new programs. Dr. Schoon also gave kudos to the Visual and Performing Arts department for a greatly attended alumni concert and also mentioned the centennial film produced by Cowley student Arnau Sagrera. Recent awards include the Bill and Judy Docking Faculty Achievement Award, given to Frank Owens, and the Ben LeClair Staff Excellence Award, given to Jody Arnett. Dr. Schoon ended with a follow-up on the spring athletic teams.
  2. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update.
  3. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
  4. Julie Rhoads, CEA president, shared 2023-2024 CEA leadership introductions.
  5. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
  6. Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
  7. The Board held first readings on the following policies:
    1. Approved the Consent Agenda
    2. Board Minutes of the April 17 meeting.
    3. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
    4. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
    5. Administrative Reports.
    6. Board Policy Approvals.
    7. Personnel Transactions.
  8. Held first readings on the following policies: (131.00) Reimbursement for Travel; (161.00) Requisition and Selection – Non-Faculty Personnel; (260.00) Transfer Coursework.
  9. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. The repairs to the Brown Center North Entryway are complete. Maintenance has started to remodel the new Wichita location with the intent to open the new location on June 26.
  10. 10. Janice Stover, interim vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that Amy McWhirt was recently appointed the Humanities and Communications Department Chair following the retirement of Marlys Cervantes.
  11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
  12. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update.
  13. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that work has begun on the data for the College’s annual performance agreement.
  14. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided an update on student life activities.
  15. Rama Peroo, interim athletic director, informed the Board that the Tiger men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams recently repeated as conference champions for the first time since the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally as they prepare to compete at the Outdoor National Championships May 18-20 in Hobbs, NM. The Lady Tiger tennis team had a pair of individual national champion singles players and finished as the national runner-up at the national tournament in Tyler, TX. The second-place finish was the best in the program’s history. The Tiger men’s tennis team is ranked No. 1 and is currently playing for its first national title since 1991. The Lady Tiger softball team won 40 games and captured the conference title for the first time since 2018 before having its season come to an end with a loss in the District B title game. The Cowley College baseball team had its streak of conference titles snapped at five in a row but still had another successful season placing second in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division with a record of 23-9. The Tigers won the sub-regional over Pratt to advance to play at the Region VI Tournament May 17-19 at Wichita State University. Cowley is searching for a third straight appearance at the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, CO.
  16. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
  17. Approved the following policies: (134.00) Campus Conduct; (138.00) Political Activity.
  18. Personnel Transactions: The Board was informed of the resignation of Gage Musson as Wellness Center Manager, effective May 3; Dr. Thomas Weaver as Biology instructor, effective May 31; The Board announced its intent to non-renew the contract of Brian Patterson ad Construction Trades instructor; The Board was informed of the employment of Jeremiah Brammer as public safety officer, effective May 8; Maya Damron as admissions assistant, effective May 22; Shawne Dimeo as financial aid specialist, effective June 1; and Amy Linder as Cosmetology instructor, effective August 1. Approved the employment of Jamie Hibbs as education instructor, effective August 1.
  19. Approved advance payment of June and July salaries for 18 faculty members that have completed their contractual obligations at the end of the school year.
  20. Approved the 2023-2024 price increase as presented for Fresh Ideas Dining Services.
  21. The Board will hold a summer planning session on Thursday, July 27, from 2-5 p.m. in the Cowley College Education Center.
  22. A special meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place on Friday, May 26, at noon to discuss window bids for the Winfield Allied Health Center.
  23. The meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

Board Approves new Wichita location for Cowley College.

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Cowley College’s Board of Trustees authorized the College to enter into a lease agreement with Brunswick Properties LLC for its new Wichita location, beginning May 1, 2023 and expiring on April 30, 2028. The decision was made during Cowley College’s monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

The property is located West of Ridge Road on Maple and consists of 1,800 square feet. The College is moving from its previous Wichita location on South Market Street, where they have been since 2015.

Also, during the meeting, Board Chair Brett Bazil and Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon provided the Trustees with an overview on their recent attendance at the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference held in Chicago, IL. Main topics of discussion included Student Mental Health, Leadership, and Employee Turnover.

In other matters:

  1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. She mentioned the recent Annual Honors and Awards banquet held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room where Arnau Sagrera-Barnet was named the 2022-2023 Cowley College Student of the Year. She also mentioned the KACCT Conference she attended in Junction City, KS. Also, the Cowley College Cheer team were crowned the Coed National Champions while competing in Galveston, TX. Lastly, she informed the Board that the Cowley A Quiz Bowl team placed third as a team at the state meet with Cowley sophomore Zane Hubble placing first individually.
  2. Saw Dr. Schoon present a gift to March Student of the Month Maycee Wolfenbarger (absent) and April Student of the Month Lillie Dodge.
  3. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update.
  4. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
  5. Roxanna James, Impact/TRiO director, provided a TRiO update. Currently, the program serves 160 first generation college students.
  6. David Stanley provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
    1. Approved the Software, Security & Development Program (Software Development/Coding Pathway-Cert A, Software Development-Cert B, Networking Pathway-Cert A, Cyber Security Pathway-Cert A, and associated new courses as presented.
  7. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
  8. Chairman Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
    1. The Board held first readings on the following policies: (134.00) Campus Conduct; and (138.00) Political Activity.
  9. Approved the Consent Agenda:
    1. Board Minutes of the March 13 meeting.
    2. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
    3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
    4. Administrative Reports.
  10. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. The Bus Barn is complete and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on April 4.
  11. Janice Stover, interim vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the Cowley Adult Education program received a $10,000 special project grant from the Kansas Board of Regents. This grant is paying for 20 iPads and 5 hotspots along with a full year of internet service for all of the devices through T-Mobile. This grant was a collaboration with T-Mobile and KBOR to help increase connectivity of our students.
  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. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that she and the Board Chair, President, Tiger Learning Center Educational Navigator, and faculty (Criminal Justice; Social Science) recently attended the annual accreditation conference.
  14. Rama Peroo, interim director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger men’s and women’s tennis teams continue to dominate, with the Cowley men No. 1 in the national rankings, while the Cowley women are ranked second. The Tiger men are 12-1 on the season, with its lone defeat coming at the hands of Wichita State University. While the Lady Tigers have won nine matches in a row. The Lady Tiger softball team had won 22 of its last 23 games and is in first place in the conference with a record of 10-0. The Tiger baseball team has won 15 of its past 17 games and are 17-3 in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division. The Tiger men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams continue to get solid results as numerous athletes set personal best marks at the Wichita State University KT Woodman Classic held April 6-8. Cowley’s Tigerette Dance team recently earned the opportunity to compete at the American Dance Team National Championship in Denton, TX, while the Cheer Squad were crowned Coed champions at nationals in Galveston, TX.
  15. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
  16. Personnel Transactions
    1. The Board was informed of the resignation of Kurt Mount as custodian, effective March 13; David DeAndre as public safety officer, effective April 5; and Lori Broyles as admissions secretary, effective April 28. The Board was informed of the employment of Justice Circle as head wrestling coach, effective May 1; Jeff Fluty as athletic director, effective June 1; Kasey Copeland as Humanities instructor, effective August 1; and Jonathan Fleig as Social Science instructor, effective August 1.
  17. The meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

Dr. Schoon, first Cowley College female President, appointed through August, 2024

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The Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Dr. Michelle Schoon as the Cowley College President during Monday’s meeting held at noon in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center. The Board agreed to employ Dr. Schoon as Cowley College President for a period commencing March 1st, 2023, and ending August, 1st, 2024.
Dr. Michelle Schoon has been at Cowley since 1991 and has served as the interim president since early February of this year. She previously served as the school’s vice president of academic affairs. 
While at Cowley, Dr. Schoon received an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), as well as being a recipient of the College’s Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence and Student Learning and Paul Stirnaman Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence. She was also named Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2004 and 2007. Dr. Schoon has a bachelor of science from Bethany College, a masters of curriculum and instruction from Wichita State University, and an educational doctorate from Southwestern College.
In other matters:  
1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Schoon spoke of the website redesign that launched on Monday. She also provided an update on the search for a new athletic director. The College has received over 20 applications and hopes to narrow down the candidate list to conduct interviews after Spring Break. 
2. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
3. Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update. 
4. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

A. Board Minutes of the February 20 meeting. 
B. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
C. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
D. Administrative Reports.
E. The Board approved the following policies: (101.00) Mission and Related Statements; (126.00) Weapons Policy; (432.00) Financial Aid; (433.00) Satisfactory Academic Performance for Federal Aid Recipients; (453.00) Substance Abuse for Intercollegiate Athletics; 
F. The Board was informed of the resignation of Courtney Peterson as financial aid specialist, effective February 21.
G. The Board was informed of the employment of Tammie Hedrick as Academic Department Specialist-Humanities, effective March 20.


7. Approved the Wind Turbine Technology Certificate A and associated new courses as presented.
8. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. 
9. Dr. Schoon informed the Board that the Natural Science and Mathematics Department hosted Math and Science Day at the main campus on February 15. A total of 96 high school students from eight schools participated in this annual recruiting event where they competed in subject specific exams and scientific apparatus/skills events that tested their critical thinking and engineering skills. Two winning seniors were awarded tuition scholarships for their performance.
10. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided an enrollment update. 
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, filled in for Debbie Phelps, to inform the Board that the Institutional Office began the work to assemble information for the College’s HLC Assurance Argument earlier this year. The Assurance Argument is an electronic document, required at the end of the Open Pathway’s 10 year accreditation cycle, and is used as a critical piece of evidence for reaffirmation of accreditation.
13. Rama Peroo, interim director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams had a combined 13 All-Americans at the national championships held in Topeka, KS. The Lady Tigers had two national runners-up and placed 11th as a team, while the Tiger men finished 18th. Cowley’s wrestling team wrapped up its season by placing 20th at the national tournament held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Tigers were led by freshman Melton Powe placing third in the 174-pound weight class and garnering All-American honors. Cowley’s Tigerette Dance team finished second in the Region and third in the performance and pom category while competing in Olathe, KS. The Tiger men’s and women’s tennis teams are off to torrid starts with the Cowley men’s tennis team ranked No. 1 in the national rankings, while the Cowley women are ranked second. The Tiger baseball team, picked to win a sixth straight Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title, has played a tough early season schedule and are currently ranked 20th. The team recently played its first home games of the season and got to utilize the beautiful new scoreboard that was installed thanks to the diligent work of director of maintenance and grounds Todd Ray, maintenance technician Darrell Quick, and their crew. 
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors. 
15. Abby Morris, director of marketing, provided the Board with an update and demonstration of the new website which launched on Monday. “This is a new era of innovation for Cowley College,” Morris said. “I am super excited about what this means for Cowley College.”
16. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update. 
17. The meeting adjourned at 12:47 p.m.

Three long time employees announce retirement from Cowley College

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Three Cowley College employees, totaling 72 plus years of service, announced their retirements at the Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Jody Arnett, administrative assistant to the vice president of finance and administration, Frank Arnold, Social Science instructor, and Humanities and Communications Department Chair Marlys Cervantes announced their retirements at the conclusion of the spring semester.

Arnett has been employed at Cowley College for more than 28 years, while Arnold and Cervantes have each worked at the College for more than 22 years.

Cervantes said her time at Cowley has been wonderful.

“I have grown in my career and personally because of the experiences I have had here,” Cervantes said. “I am looking forward to this new adventure and will always be a Tiger at heart.”

Arnold echoed those sentiments.

“I would like to thank everyone at Cowley College for 22 years of pure pleasure of teaching,” Arnold said.

Lastly, Arnett said so much of her life over the past 28 years have been tied up with this institution.

“I have made lifelong friends at Cowley and many have truly become like family,” Arnett said. “It has been a privilege. I will miss all of you.”

In other matters:

1. Dr. Schoon provided the Board with a College update. She informed the Board of the upcoming Quiz Bowl nationals in which the College has two teams qualified to compete. She also mentioned the recent agreement of transfer/reverse transfer of credit with Southwestern College. Lastly, the Higher Learning Commission had an opportunity to conduct a multi-location visit at  the Mulvane Tech Building, Short General Education Center in Wellington, and the Winfield Correctional Facility. The report stated no concerns from the HLC.
2. David Stanley provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
3. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
4. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the January 17, January 30, and February 2 meetings.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies: (401.00) Student Affairs Council.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (101.00) Mission and Related Statements; (126.00) Weapons Policy; (432.00) Financial Aid; (433.00) Satisfactory Academic Performance for Federal Aid Recipients; (453.00) Substance Abuse for Intercollegiate Athletics;
The Board was informed of the retirement of Frank Arnold, effective June 1; Marlys Cervantes, effective June 1; and Jody Arnett, effective July 14.
The Board was informed of the resignation of Jason O’Toole as athletic director, effective February 28; Julia Jarboe as Mulvane Site Coordinator, effective February 28; and Paige Winslow as Director of Cosmetology, effective May 31.
The Board was informed of the employment of Brett Ross as maintenance technician, effective February 20.
7. Saw Dr. Schoon present a gift to January Student of the Month Takeshi Taco from Peru and February Student of the Month Janet Wismach from Germany.
8. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update.
9. Dr. Schoon informed the Board that the College started two new welding cohorts and one electromechanical maintenance at the Winfield Correctional Facility. She also mentioned the approved revisions to the academic calendar to include the Juneteenth Holiday and modified summer hours.
10. Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided an enrollment update.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board the Winter Collection for federal reporting is now closed and the Spring Collection is open until its deadline in April.
13. Rama Peroo, interim director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame recently inducted the 2023 Class featuring four individuals and one team. The Tiger men’s tennis team is ranked No. 1 in the preseason national rankings, and the Cowley women are ranked second. The Tiger baseball team is ranked seventh in the preseason poll and is picked to win a sixth straight Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division title. The Lady Tiger softball team is ranked 15th in the preseason poll and picked first in the Jayhawk Conference (Division II). The Tiger men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams are nationally ranked and eager to do even bigger things in the outdoor season. The Cowley women are ranked 10th, and the men are ranked 11th nationally. Cowley’s wrestling team is also performing well and qualified five wrestlers to compete at nationals, while Cowley’s cheer and dance teams also continue to shine and are the defending region champions.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
15. Approved the contract with Conco Construction to build the new CTE Center and authorized the Chair to sign the contract in order to receive the $4 million in ARPA funds through the Kansas Department of Commerce.
16. Approved the purchase of two Hamilton T1 ventilators and support equipment from Hamilton Medical for $33,000 through KBOR Capital Outlay Tech Ed grant funds.
17. Approved a $500 increase to single occupancy, $300 to double occupancy for The Lodge and Sumner Housing for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
18. Approved the removal of Dr. Randy Smith and the addition of Dr. Michelle Schoon to all Cowley College bank accounts.
19. Approved a $5 increase in tuition and fees per credit hour for the fiscal year 2023-2024.
20. Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update.
21. Dr. Kori Gregg, Foundation President, provided a quarterly update.
22. Held an executive session totaling 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.
23. Held a second executive session totaling 20 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.
24. Held a third executive session for 20 minutes for consultation with the College attorney.
25. Approved moving the March 13 Board meeting to noon.
26. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.

Board terminates contract of Dr. Smith, Schoon named interim president

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In a special meeting of the Cowley College Board of Trustees Thursday in the McAtee Dining Center, the Trustees made the unanimous decision to terminate the contract of Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith.

The meeting began with a 30-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, regarding employee performance, pursuant to the exception for discussion related to non-elected personnel. College attorney David Andreas was present in the executive session.

An additional 30 minutes was then added to the initial executive session prior to the second executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, regarding employee performance, pursuant to the exception for discussion related to non-elected personnel for 30 minutes. The Board requested David Andreas and Dr. Randy Smith be present in the executive session.

A third executive session was held for consultation with the College attorney pursuant to the exception for attorney client privilege for 15 minutes with David Andreas only. Amended the third executive session to add 10 minutes.

An open session followed where the Board of Trustees moved unanimously to terminate the president. The Board named Cowley College vice president of academic affairs Dr. Michelle Schoon as the interim president until a formal search can be conducted.

Dr. Michelle Schoon has been associated with the college since 1990 and became Natural Science & Mathematics department chair in 1997.

Dr. Schoon received the Stirnaman Award for Teaching Excellence (2005-2006); Who's Who's Among American College Instructors (2001, 2002, 2004, 2007); Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence (2000-2001); and NISOD master teacher award (1996).

Dr. Schoon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology education from Bethany College, her Master’s degree in curriculum and Instruction from Wichita State University, and her Educational Doctorate from Southwestern College.

Special meeting of the Board of Trustees of Cowley College

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Enrollment trending upward at Cowley College; new food service getting rave reviews

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The Cowley College Board of Trustees heard some good news concerning enrollment and its new food service provider during Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Trustees held in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center. The college saw an increase in spring enrollment as of the first day of classes, while students are thrilled with the change in food service providers.

“This is superb news,” Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith said. “We hope to have many more individuals enroll in the next few days. Also, the students have had many good things to say about the change to Fresh Ideas Food Service Management as our food service provider.”

In addition to providing enhanced menu options with a focus on healthy and freshly prepared meals, Fresh Ideas’ investment option will allow for updates to both the dining hall and the Tiger Deli. Their unique technology products offers students a modern, convenient and fun way to engage with dining on campus.

Also, during Tuesday’s meeting, the Board appointed Tiffany Vollmer to continue to serve as Clerk of the Board, appointed Dr. Steve Abrams to continue as Treasurer of the Board, and appointed David W. Andreas to continue as Attorney for the Board at a monthly retainer fee of $400. The contracts will run through the regularly scheduled Board meeting in January 2024.

In other matters:

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith thanked the committee for its work organizing a successful Professional Development Day and In-Service event. He also informed the Board of his meetings with area legislators regarding developments across the state. Dr. Smith also shared that the Golden Tigers program has more than 300 individuals enrolled in classes. The Golden Tigers offer classes at its main campus in Arkansas City and its Sumner Campus in Wellington. A Job Fair featuring more than 20 area employers will be held Wednesday, January 18, from 3-6 p.m. inside the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Lastly, Dr. Smith informed the Board of a possible merger between Fort Hays State University and other technical colleges in Kansas.
2. Saw Dr. Smith present a gift to Felipe Mentz of Brazil for being named the December Student of the Month.
3. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
4. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
5. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
6. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update. Phelps provided an update on the increase in enrollment the college is experiencing.
7. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the December 12 meeting.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies: (407.00) Student Organizations; (411.00) Student Travel; (424.00) Student Housing; (452.00) Varsity Athletics; Student Advisory Council.
The Board was informed of the resignation of Robin Graves as Humanities and Communication Department Specialist, effective January 3; Jennie Heersche as Director of Workforce and Community Education, effective January 6; Laura Fleming as Tiger Deli Manager, effective January 6.
The Board was informed of the employment of Dawn Simpson as Student Accessibility Coordinator, effective January 5, and Matthew Thomas as Education Navigator, effective January 5.
8. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. Ireland Hall renovations were finished over Winter Break. Repairs to the Brown Center North Entryway are nearing completion.
9. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the Paramedic Program graduated 17 individuals in December. The graduates had a 100% first-attempt pass rate for the NREMT practical exam.
10. Dr. Randy Smith, interim vice president of student affairs, provided an enrollment update.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that Institutional Effectiveness has submitted data for three of the four Winter Collection surveys: Graduation Rates, Graduation Rates, and Outcome Measures. The fourth and final data collection, the Student Financial Aid Survey, is in progress and will be submitted, following review by the Director of Financial Aid and her staff, by the deadline of February 4.
13. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that spring sports have begun practicing, while winter sports are in the middle of their seasons.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
15. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
16. Approved the contract with Wells Construction to pour the concrete entrance and approach to the bus barn at a cost of $53,856. 
17. Approved the adjustment to the 2022-2023 academic calendar, allowing closure on June 19, in observation of Juneteenth.
18. Cowley College announced the notice of lease termination for its Wichita Downtown Center, effective June 30, 2023. The Wichita Downtown Center is located at 532 South Market. Cowley opened the Wichita Downtown Center in 2015. The College will begin looking for alternative storefront locations for the Wichita site.
19. Approved moving the June Board meeting to Tuesday, June 20.
20. Trustee members Gary Wilson and Dr. Steve Abrams were absent.
21. The meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m.

Cowley College receives stellar audit; Bazil elected Board Chair

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Following a Christmas lunch sponsored by Great Western Dining Monday afternoon in the McAtee Dining Center, Brett Bazil was elected as Chairman of Cowley College’s Board of Trustees during the school’s regular monthly meeting. The Board also approved the 2021-2022 annual audit.

Bazil has been a Board member since January 2022. Bazil was born in Arkansas City and raised in Winfield. He graduated from Winfield High School and Southwestern College with a BS in Applied Mathematics. He holds a certificate in management from Wichita State University, W. Frank Barton School of Business.

Bazil has worked in the computing field for over 42 years. He was employed with Boeing/Spirit for 31 years before his work was outsourced to IBM in support of Spirit account, where he was employed for 11 years. Bazil is a reserve police officer for the Burden, KS, police department and a law enforcement tracker with BlueLine Tracking/Cowley Trackers.

He and his wife Ann have been married for 44 years and have two children and four grandchildren. They own a small farm that was part of Ann’s family. His current term will expire in January 2026.

Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith presented outgoing Board Chair Gary Wilson with a plaque in honor of his work with the Board of Trustees.

“This is probably the finest Board I have ever worked with,” Wilson said. “I appreciate the support you have shown to me.”

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

Also, on Monday, the Loyd Group, LLC announced it had completed the annual audit of all college funds for the year ended June 30, 2022. In performing the audit, the accountants examined the validity of financial transactions according to generally accepted accounting principles and State law. In addition, they have been instructed to apply the standards established by the policies of the Board of Trustees. Holly Harper, VP of Finance and Administration, provided the Management Discussion and Analysis (MDA) Christina Henson with Loyd Group, LLC. provided the audit findings. The 2021-2022 Audit may be viewed on the College website.

“Kudos to Holly Harper and her team,” Henson said. “Everything went smoothly and was well done. We appreciate the help we received.”

In other matters:

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith mentioned the progress being made on the fundraising for the construction of the CTE facility. He also praised the work of the recent student activities held on campus. “We have a great Fine Arts program at Cowley, and the recent student activities were extremely well done. The students did a terrific job.” Dr. Smith also mentioned his recent meeting with representatives of Cowley First and the College’s work they did in celebrating Native American Heritage Month. Lastly, Dr. Smith thanked the Board for their contributions and wished them a happy holiday season.
2. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
3. Board Chair Gary Wilson and Holly Harper provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
4. Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the November 21 meeting.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies: (113.00) Reserve Funds; (206.00) Academic Freedom; (465.00) Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (407.00) Student Organizations; (411.00) Student Travel; (424.00) Student Housing; (452.00) Varsity Athletics.
The Board was informed of a letter of retirement from Julie Rhoads, faculty-director of education, June 1, 2023.
The Board was informed of the employment of Stephanie Hopper as admissions recruiter, effective December 18.
7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. The bus barn structure is complete, while repairs to the Brown Center north entryway will continue through Christmas Break.
8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the College is working with the Kansas Department of Corrections on establishing a weld shop at the Winfield Correctional Facility.
9. Dr. Randy Smith, interim vice president of student affairs, provided an enrollment update.
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. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the IPEDS federal winter collection opened on December 7 and will close the first week of February 2023. The winter collection includes the graduation rates, graduation rates 200, student financial aid, and outcome measures.
12. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the college’s winter sports are off to good starts, and the indoor track and field season will begin in early January.
13. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
14. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
15. Brett Bazil provided a KACCT Quarterly Report.
16. Approved the contract with Fresh Ideas for Dining Services with the terms stated in the agreement.
17. Adopted the Community College Property Management Policy as presented and authorized College administration to pledge non-state College reserves in the amount of $2,245,000 as matching funds for the CTE project.
18. Approved proceeding with Conco Construction to construct the new CTE Building on the main campus, in conjunction with matching ARPA funds, at the stated 1.50% general condition fee and 4.00% overhead and profit fee.
19. The meeting adjourned at 1:14 p.m.

Cowley College selects a new food service provider

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Cowley College decided to switch to a new food service provider as the Board of Trustees approved a contract with Fresh Ideas Food Service Management during its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday inside the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

Fresh Ideas Food Service Management’s goal is to transform and expand the Cowley College dining experience through mutual collaboration with the students, faculty, staff, and campus leadership.

In addition to providing enhanced menu options with a focus on healthy and freshly prepared meals, Fresh Ideas’ proposal includes an investment option that will allow for updates to both the dining hall and the Tiger Deli. Their unique technology products will offer students a modern, convenient and fun way to engage with dining on campus.

The prior food service provider for the College was Great Western Dining.

In other matters:

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith informed the Board that members of Cowley College's men's and women's soccer teams were thrilled to provide instruction to special needs individuals in the community. “The event was highly impactful for all involved.” Dr. Smith also mentioned that a new Dyslexia and Reading partnership with Pittsburg State University is taking shape. The partnership will increase reading skills in the local school districts. Dr. Smith also visited with Spirit AeroSystems about possible partnerships with Cowley College students. Dr. Smith then praised the work of the Visual and Performing Arts Department in the recent Alumni Art Showcase. He also mentioned the successful FFA and Legislative meetings conducted at the Sumner Campus in Wellington and the main campus in Arkansas City. Lastly, he thanked the Student Services Department for the events they planned to honor Native American Heritage Month.
2. Saw Dr. Smith present a gift to November Student of the Month, Zane Hubble of Winfield, KS.
3. David Stanley provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
4. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the October 17 meeting.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies: (111.00) Employee Code of Conduct; (262.00) Assignment of Grades; (266.00) Academic Progress; (267.00) Academic Fresh Start.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (113.00) Reserve Funds; (206.00) Academic Freedom; (465.00) Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
The Board was informed of the resignation of Matthew Nies as international student services coordinator, effective November 4; accepted the resignation of Somsy Sengvixay as groundskeeper, effective November 8; accepted the resignation of Anthony Rubin as educational navigator at the Winfield Correctional Facility.
The Board was informed of the employment of David Hitzfelder as electromechanical maintenance instructor, effective November 7, and Alie Raga-Simoes as international student services coordinator, effective November 9.
7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. The bus barn structure is nearing completion.
8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the College is working with KDOC on establishing a weld shop at the Winfield Correctional Facility.
9. Dr. Randy Smith, interim vice president of student affairs, provided an enrollment update.
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. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the College’s fall census data collection is currently under review using Tableau dashboards by members of the Knowledge Management team. This survey will be locked by the December 2 deadline, and certification by the President is scheduled during the week designated by the Regents.
12. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that four of Cowley College’s five fall sports won their regional tournaments and received berths in the national tournament.
13. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
14. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
15. Approved the purchase of two kits from Snap-On Tools for $65,370 to be paid through the Perkins Reserve Grant.
16. Approved the contract with Dean E. Norris to replace the chiller in the Walker Tech Building at a cost of $170,662.01.
17. Accepted a letter of resignation from Trustee Marla Sexson, effective immediately. Chair Wilson requests the Board authorize the Board Clerk to publish the official notice of a Trustee vacancy, as presented. Any such applicant must be a Cowley County resident. Applications may be submitted to the Board Clerk at P.O. Box 1147, Arkansas City, KS 67005, or emailed to: boardclerk@cowley.edu.
18. Dr. Smith provided an overview of the proposed 3D home printing program at the Sumner Campus in Wellington.
19. Approved the time change of the December 12 Board meeting. The meeting will be conducted at noon in the President’s Dining Room.
20. The meeting adjourned at 7:07 p.m.

Board of Trustees approve new programs at Cowley College

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Looking to add new courses to the list of student options, the Cowley College Board of Trustees approved new programs during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Monday in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

The programs approved were Advanced EMT 1, Advanced EMT 2, and Graphic Design AFA Nested Certificate A.

Advanced EMT 1 is the first course in the Advanced EMT (AEMT) technical curriculum and helps prepare the student for progression through the program. The student will develop fundamental depth and breadth in the principles and practice of AEMT-level patient care. Successfully completing this course and the other AEMT curriculum courses will prepare the student for Kansas and NREMT AEMT certification and to function as an AEMT.

Advanced EMT 2 is the second course in the Advanced EMT (AEMT) technical curriculum and is comprised of hospital clinical rotations and capstone field internship. The student will develop fundamental depth and breadth in the principles and practice of AEMT-level patient care. Successfully completing this course and the other AEMT curriculum courses will prepare the student for Kansas and NREMT AEMT certification and to function as an AEMT.

Graphic Design AFA Nested Certificate A was developed to create a nested Certificate A within the Graphic Design AFA. “Introduction to Computer Graphics” will now be renamed “Design Software,” while a follow-up course named “Advanced Design Software” would allow students to advance the basic software skills they currently have to be more in-depth and professional. The number of hours for the Design Portfolio class will decrease from three to one, which will free up credit hours in the AFA schedule to make a nested certificate more feasible.

In other matters:

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith informed the Board of the recent articulation agreement that was signed to allow all Cowley College graduates the ability to transfer to any of the 21 private universities or four-year colleges in Kansas with junior-level status. He also spoke of the recent visit by Senator Roger Marshall and the successful Boots and Black Tie Gala held at the Sumner Campus in Wellington. The College will have two floats in the Arkalalah parades, each highlighting the school’s 100th anniversary. Dr. Smith also mentioned that the College is working with Conco Construction to create possible internships for its students. Lastly, Dr. Smith shared that the Theatre Department’s production of The Addams Family sold more tickets than any other theatre production in the previous five years. “I appreciate those in the Fine Arts that put that production together.”
2. Saw Dr. Smith present a gift to Shaybree Haynes for being named the October Student of the Month.
3. Board Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
4. Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
5. Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update. Butler Community College and Cowley College have formed a nursing partnership that will begin in the fall of 2023.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the September 19 meeting.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies: (148.00) Identity Theft Protection; (250.00) Admission; (260.00) Transfer Coursework.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (111.00) Employee Code of Conduct; (262.00) Assignment of Grades; (266.00) Academic Progress; (267.00) Academic Fresh Start.
The Board was informed of the resignation of Christian Hedrick as welding instructor at the Winfield Correctional Facility, effective October 13.
The Board accepted a retirement letter from Jim Brown as Student Accessibility/Title IX Coordinator, effective December 9, 2022.
The Board was informed of the employment of Brailee Tipton as adult education instructional staff, effective October 13.
7. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
8. Dr. Kori Gregg, Foundation President, provided a Foundation quarterly update.
9. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. Ireland Hall renovations recently began, and repairs to the Brown Center North Entryway will begin at the end of the month.
10. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the College received an Integrating Academics Grant for $64,000 to assist in the development of the Adult Education Pathway with EMT and Healthcare at the Winfield Center. The Grant will pay stipends for GED and EMT faculty working on the Pathway, along with classroom supplies and computers.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the Kansas Board of Regents released their annual fall enrollment press release on Thursday, September 29th.
13. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that four of Cowley’s five fall sports programs are currently in the national rankings. Also, the next Tiger Booster Club luncheon will be held Wednesday, October 19, at 11:30 a.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
15. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
16. Heard a public comment from community member Lori Barnes.
17. Approved the transition from PowerFaids to Jenzabar Financial Aid at an annual cost of $21,400. There was also a one-time implementation fee of $35,520.
18. Approved the work on the Walker Tech Boiler to be done by P1 Service LLC at the cost of $152,223 to be paid through the Tech Capital Outlay Fund.
19. Held a pair of 15-minute executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel regarding recent personnel transactions.
20. Trustee member Marla Sexson was absent.
21. The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

Board approves new athletic programs at Cowley College

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The Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the College to begin the application process to add sanctioned golf and rodeo programs for the 2023-2024 academic year during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting held Monday in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

“This is a great opportunity for our athletic programs to grow,” Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith said. “We are losing kids I think we can recruit to Cowley College. We have had some phenomenal input and desire to add these programs.”

Having last had a golf program in 2005, a Golf Club was recently started at Cowley College with the plans to have it eventually transition into an NJCAA-sanctioned Golf program.

The original golf program at Cowley College began in 1937 and ran until 1972. The program captured conference championships in 1939, 1955, 1956, 1959, and 1963. Cowley went 25 years without a team before resurrecting the program in the 1996-97 season. Under the guidance of former coach Rex Soule, Cowley was Region VI/District III champions in both the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 seasons. However, the program was discontinued in 2005.

Thomas Weaver, a biology instructor at Cowley College, serves as the head of the Golf Club. The goal is to have an NJCAA-sanctioned golf team in the spring of 2023.

Cowley College is also planning the start of a NIRA-sanctioned rodeo team at its Sumner Campus. Cowley College currently has a judging team that travels to eight competitions. Cowley’s agriculture program features clubs and competitive teams to enhance the student’s experiences and education.

A fundraising kickoff for the rodeo team, equine, and ag programs called Boots and Black Tie Gala will be held Thursday, September 22, at the Sumner Campus in Wellington.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith provided a college update. Dr. Smith informed the Board of the upcoming fall musical The Addams Family, which will be held October 14-15 in the Robert Brown Theatre. “This will be a great fall musical; the community will love it,” Dr. Smith said. He also mentioned his opportunity to speak at the Veteran’s Quilts of Honor event in Wellington. Also, the fundraising for the new Technical Center is going well and is a little over halfway to its goal. Dr. Smith also mentioned his recent discussion with the administration at Southwestern College and Pittsburgh State University regarding potential pathways and collaborations. Lastly, the College recently received a $64,000 grant for its Adult Education program at its Winfield Center.
2. Dr. Smith presented a gift to September Student of the Month Arnau Sagrera-Barnet of Spain.
3. Brett Bazil provided a KACCT Quarterly update.
4. David Stanley provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
5. Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the August 22 meeting.
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.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (148.00) Identity Theft Protection; (250.00) Admission; (260.00) Transfer Coursework.
The Board approved the following policies: (159.00) Professional Attire; (170.00) Nepotism; (259.00) Student Review of Confidential Records.
The Board approved the employment of Christian Hedrick as welding instructor, effective August 22; approved the employment of Kansas Mumford as maintenance technician, effective September 19; approved the employment of Marcos Longo Ribeiro as assistant soccer coach/dorm manager, effective September 19.
7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update.
8. Approved to contract with Mid-Continental Restoration Co, Inc. at a price of $108,362.00 for them to make repairs to the Brown Center north entryway on the upper and lower levels of the building.
9. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the College is working on the new CTE Building layout. Also, the 2023-2024 academic calendar has been approved.
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, Vice President of Student Affairs, 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 the annual year collection was certified by Cowley College president Dr. Randy Smith on September 13. This collection includes information that directly impacts funding at Cowley College.
14. Lynlea Bartlett, director of student housing, provided a housing update.
15. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors.
16. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive raised over $100,000 to support Cowley College student-athletes.
17. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
18. Held a pair of executive sessions totaling 60 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel regarding institutional advancement staffing, pursuant to the exception for discussion relating to non-elected personnel.
19. The meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.

Newly installed Trustees take part in Board meeting at Cowley College

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Cowley County residents Dr. Alan Marcotte and Pastor David Stanley took part in their first Board meeting as Trustees for Cowley College during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Dr. Marcotte and Pastor Stanley join Chair Gary Wilson, Glennis Zimmerman, Bob McGregor, Brett Bazil, Dr. Steve Abrams, and Marla Sexson as Cowley College’s Board of Trustees.

Also, during Monday’s meeting, the Board accepted a letter of retirement from Joseph Shriver as lead bus driver. Shriver has been involved with the college for 40-plus years, beginning as a student. He went on to help the College in a number of ways throughout his many years of service. His wife, Mindi, worked in Cowley’s academic affairs office for 25 years before retiring.

“I have worked with a number of great people at Cowley and have grown close to a number of students that were foster kids, athletes, and students that I have gotten to know through the years. Many of which I still keep in contact with,” Shriver said. “As Cowley College moves into its second century, I am glad for the 40 some years Cowley has been a part of my life.”

In other matters:

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith informed the Board he was recently elected Vice Chair of Cowley-First Economic Development Coordinating Council. Also, in advance of the upcoming Proclamation Day event on Wednesday, August 31, Dr. Smith let the Board know he plans to meet with area legislators in the following week. He also mentioned the back-to-school activities that have taken place and that the fall sports season is underway. Dr. Smith also had an opportunity to attend the Winfield Chamber Banquet and Sumner County Farm Bureau meeting, while also planning to speak at the Cowley County Farm Bureau in mid-October. Lastly, he mentioned the planning for the new Tech Building on the main campus in Arkansas City.
2. Board Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
3. Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
4. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update. Butler Community College and Cowley College have formed a nursing partnership that will begin in the fall of 2023.
5. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the July 18 meeting and special meeting conducted on July 27.
Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policy (165.00) Sick Leave-Full-Time Non-Faculty Employees.
The Board held first readings on the following policies: (159.00) Professional Attire; (259.00) Student Review of Confidential Records.
The Board was informed of the retirement of Joseph Shriver, lead bus driver, effective August 31.
The Board was informed of the resignation of Mike Rosales as TriO advisor and transfer specialist, effective August 5; resignation of Verlan Willhaus as welding instructor, effective August 10; and resignation of Susan Silliman as adult education/GED instructor, effective August 26.
The Board was informed of the employment of Steve Anderson as custodian, effective August 18; Randy Bramwell as custodian. August 17; and Kurt Mount as custodian, effective August 10.
6. Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that Butler Community College and Cowley College are entering into a partnership to provide the Associate Degree Nursing program at the Winfield Allied Health Center starting in Fall 2023.
9. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
10. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board the 2022 IPEDS Collection Year opened with institutional registration and confirmation of required information on August 10, 2022. The IE Office completed registration and information update with contact information for Dr. Randy Smith, Cowley College’s new President.
11. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger Blitz Drive on July 26 has raised more than $90,000, and the Tiger Skins/Brian Groves Memorial Golf Tournament on August 20 had 32 teams and 40 hole sponsors.
12. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors.
13. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update in the Board book. Lucas mentioned the upcoming Proclamation Day Event that will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, August 31, at Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City. The event will celebrate 100 years of Cowley College with Kansas Lieutenant Governor David Toland on hand to read a proclamation.
14. The Board approved exceeding the Revenue Neutral Rate at 19.521. Chair Wilson recognized Cowley County taxpayers in attendance, who then had an opportunity to share their thoughts with the Board. In meeting the requirements of this Statute, a notice was published in the Cowley CourierTraveler on August 11, 2022, stating the College’s intent to exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate, set at 18.375.
15. The Board approved the 2022-2023 State Appropriation Budget. A notice was published in the Cowley CourierTraveler on August 11, 2022. Revenues are based on the enrollments, state operating grants, and estimated county valuation. The county will notify the College around November 1, 2022, of the actual amount.
16. Approved alcoholic beverages be allowed to be served during the Boots and Black Tie Gala at the Short General Education Center Community Room on the Sumner Campus on Thursday, September 22. An outside vendor will handle the purchasing and serving of the alcohol as the event will feature a cash bar. The vendor will accept all liability and be in compliance with the Kansas Liquor Control Act and no college dollars will be spent on the alcohol.
17. Appointed the new Trustees to committee positions. Dr. Marcotte was appointed to the Policy Committee, while Pastor Stanley will serve on the Finance Subcommittee.
18. The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Board approves faculty master agreement

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The Cowley College trustees supported the proposed changes to the 2022-2023 Master Agreement between the Board of Trustees of Cowley College and the Cowley College Education Association and College Administration during a special meeting held Wednesday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Approving the changes to the Master Agreement will allow administration and the CEA to sign the agreement and issue faculty contracts for the 2022-2023 academic year. The changes reflected were the addition of $100 to the fringe benefit plan for each full-time employee and the 2% pay raise for all qualified Cowley College employees.

The Agreement shall be for a period beginning Aug. 1, 2022, through July 31, 2023, with the right of the Board and/or the Association to open for negotiations regarding Salary and Wages, New Hires, and Current Professional Employees.

Also, during the meeting, the Board gave approval for the College president to be responsible for the overall operation of the college, its facilities, and personnel. Chair Wilson requests that the president of the College, as Chief Executive Officer, be delegated authority by the Board of Trustees to execute necessary personnel transactions to best serve the college, staff, and students effectively and efficiently to fulfill its mission. The Board of Trustees will be provided a report detailing new hires and terminations at their regular monthly meeting.

“The Board is not giving up our authority; we are just making it easier for our administration to hire quality people,” Chair Wilson said.

The Board also filled the two Trustee vacancies by selecting Cowley County residents Dr. Alan Marcotte and David Stanley to fill those spots.

Board discusses upcoming visit by Lieutenant Governor

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One week after taking over as president at Cowley College, Dr. Randy Smith took part in his initial Board of Trustees meeting Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Dr. Smith took over as president at Cowley College for Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, who recently left to lead a community college in Arkansas after seven years in Arkansas City.

Dr. Smith spent his first week on the job getting to know as many employees and people in the community as possible.

“You can tell Cowley College has amazing people and is surrounded by an amazing community,” Dr. Smith said. “I am excited about this opportunity and getting to know everyone.”

Dr. Smith holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.S. in Emergency Health Services Administration, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership. He also completed the Educators’ Leadership Academy at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a recipient of the USDA Lincoln Honor Award (for his work with rural colleges and communities), the highest award presented by the US Department of Agriculture.

In other matters: 

1. Dr. Smith provided the Board with a College update. Dr. Smith informed the Board he was recently elected Vice Chair of Cowley-First Economic Development Coordinating Council. “We want to work on economic development programs in our community and help meet the needs of our service area,” Dr. Smith said.
Dr. Smith also mentioned the upcoming Cowley Proclamation Day event which will be held August 31. The Kansas Lieutenant Governor, David Toland, will be on hand to read a proclamation. Lastly, Dr. Smith let the Board know he plans to meet with area legislators in the following week.
2. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
3. Board Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
4. Marla Sexson provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
5. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda:

Board Minutes of the June 20 meeting and special meetings conducted on June 22, June 23, and July 6.
Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
Administrative Reports.
The Board approved the following policies (115.00) Professional Development Policy; (118.00) Guidelines for Staff Reduction in Force; (216.00) Graduation Requirements.
Returned policies: (165.00) Sick Leave Policy; (170.00) Nepotism back to committee for further review and additional edits.
The Board approved the resignation of Bryan Faber as manufacturing technology instructor (WCF), effective July 12.
Approved the employment of Evan Dolley as welding instructor, effective August 1; approved the employment of Sydney Vanderbilt as educational navigator, effective July 19; approved the employment of Kathleen Phillips as administrative assistant to academic affairs, effective July 19.
7. Cowley College Foundation president Dr. Kori Gregg provided the Board with a Foundation Quarterly Report. The Foundation ended the year with a record of over $1,000,000 in donations.
8. Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
9. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
10. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the renovations to the Tiger Learning Center are almost complete. Also, the main campus is gearing up for fall classes starting in August.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board the 2022 Annual Year (AY) Collection opened on July 1, with all data files due August 26. Data teams will begin their review of the submitted data on August 27, culminating September 2. Presidential certification will take place between September 3-9. The 2022 AY Collection includes 18 files containing a wide range of data for the 2021-2022 academic year.
13. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Athletic Department is preparing for the Tiger Blitz Drive on July 26 and the Tiger Skins/Brian Groves Memorial Golf Tournament on August 20.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided the Board with updates from several Cowley College instructors. Among those, she informed the Board that for the first time ever, all Cowley College cosmetology students who took the state boards passed.
15. Campus Operations Officer Jan Grace shared information on the Robotics Camps that have been taking place this summer at the Sumner Campus in Wellington.
15. The Board approved the purchase of the Elite Trailer from SLE Equipment for $31,850 using JIIST Grant funds.
16. The Board approved the College to contract with Wells Built LLC to concrete the parking lot at The Lodge for $61,328.60 using Capital Outlay Mill funds.
17. The Board approved the College to continue to use Union State Bank, RCB Bank, Sunflower Bank/Wichita, and Carson Bank/Mulvane as official depositories, and utilize all qualified institutions in the County for the investment of idle funds. Additionally, the Board authorized the removal of Dr. Dennis C. Rittle and the addition of Dr. Randy L. Smith to all Cowley College bank accounts and transfer of the Union State Bank credit card from Dr. Rittle to Dr. Smith.
18. The Board discussed the proposed Strategic Management Business Plan. “I think it’s a good starting point,” Trustee Dr. Steve Abrams said. Dr. Smith echoed those sentiments. “I think we could tweak the document to make it more of a strategic enrollment management report.”
19. Held a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, regarding the faculty negotiations.
20. Approved a 2 % pay raise for all faculty and staff at Cowley College.
20. The meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.

Cowley College names Dr. Randy Smith new president

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After open forums for Cowley College employees and the Arkansas City community, dinner, and a face-to-face interview with the Board of Trustees, it was announced that Dr. Randy Smith has been selected as president of Cowley College following a special meeting of the Board of Trustees Wednesday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Dr. Smith is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma. He has been involved in higher education for over 26 years. He has served as a faculty member, dean, vice president of academic affairs, and College president. He currently serves as the Director of Program Development/Emergency Management and special advisor to the Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

“My Great Great Grandfather was a Choctaw Chief, and he always promoted the importance of education over a hundred years ago,” Dr. Smith said. “He knew how important education was and he encouraged the Choctaw people to get as much education as possible because it would serve them well. I believe that counsel holds true today for everyone. I do my best to try and fulfill his legacy and honor my Choctaw culture.”

Dr. Smith will assume the post on July 11, 2022. He will take over for current Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, who will be leaving to lead a community college in Arkansas.

“I hope to make a difference for the College and the community,” Dr. Smith said. “Working in higher education is what I do and who I am. I love serving a rural population because you have to be very responsive to the community.” “I am a rural living person; I would not live anywhere else!”

He served as the president of a large organization of rural colleges, which included lots of policy work in DC and countless on-the-ground trainings and consulting for rural colleges. Dr. Smith is a regular presenter at state and national conferences on the topics of leadership in higher education and student recruitment and retention at rural colleges, and workforce and economic development in rural communities.

“I love working with students and seeing their success,” Dr. Smith said. “Whether it be a degree or a certificate, an education can change an entire family culture.”

He has testified in front of committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate as an expert on issues regarding rural higher education. He was an invited participant to the White House Summit on Community Colleges and has served as a member of the 21st Century Community College Commission that was charged with developing a long-term strategic plan for community colleges nationally. He also facilitated the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between a higher education organization and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Smith facilitated the inclusion of rural community colleges in the Federal Farm Bill, the first-time rural colleges have been specifically included in federal legislation. He received a three-year appointment to the America’s College Promise Advisory Board which deals with higher education costs nationally. His true passion is helping colleges retain students to completion, and he has developed training programs to assist colleges in all aspects of enrollment management.

“Recruitment and retention of our students has to be our main focus,” Dr. Smith said. “An engaged student is a retained student. I want everyone at the College to be involved in this process.”

He also developed a Board Training Program entitled Roles and Responsibilities for Boards of Trustees at Rural Colleges, and he teaches this program across the Nation.
Dr. Smith enjoys serving in the community and has held several positions, including board chairman for a rural county hospital district, volunteer firefighter and paramedic, member of a municipal police commission, and board member for a regional chapter of the American Red Cross. He is currently a certified law enforcement officer and has been for more than 14 years. He has provided service as a police officer to his rural community for many years. He also served as a judge for the Miss Rodeo America Pageant in Las Vegas, and he coaches rodeo queens and contestants from across the Nation. His daughter Emily was a Miss Rodeo Oklahoma State Titleholder.

Dr. Smith holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.S. in Emergency Health Services Administration, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership. He also completed the Educators’ Leadership Academy at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is a recipient of the USDA Lincoln Honor Award (for his work with rural colleges and communities), the highest award presented by the US Department of Agriculture.

He and his wife Dora have horses and cattle near Seminole, Oklahoma. Their daughter Emily is a student-athlete at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (sophomore), where she is majoring in music education. She is an accomplished track athlete and is a member of the NWOSU track and cross-country teams.

Dr. Smith understands the importance of athletics at Cowley College and is impressed by the tremendous success of the Tiger athletic programs.

“I am grateful for the coaches and teachers I had that helped develop my love for athletics,” Dr. Smith said. “I believe athletics helped develop me into who I am today. I want the athletic programs at Cowley College to be successful and continue to grow. We also want to win and do things the right way.”

Dr. Smith knows there will be challenges but is excited to lead the College into the future.

“Enrollment at the College is the most important thing for us to focus on,” Dr. Smith said. “I am a huge employee advocate and want everyone to participate in moving things forward. I want Cowley College to be a great place to work. I am also an advocate for workforce and economic development and am eager to serve the businesses and industry and all stakeholders of this area.”

In his free time, Dr. Smith enjoys rodeo, ranching, working with horses, playing and coaching basketball, powerlifting, golf, community service as a law enforcement officer, and all outdoor activities. His favorite activity is simply being outdoors on his horse.

“Cowley is a wonderful College with amazing employees,” Dr. Smith said. “My wife Dora and I look forward to integrating ourselves into the community.”