Cowley College

2012-2013 Board of Trustees

board of trustees

The Board of Trustees is a six person corporate body elected by the citizens of Cowley County who assist the president of the college in the management of the institution.

Board meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:45 pm in the  McAtee Dining Center, 206 South 4th Street, Arkansas City, KS. All Board of Trustee meetings are open to the public.

To view the official minutes, press releases that summarize the board meetings and highlight discussions and decisions, go to Board Meeting Highlights.

Board members include:

Chairman: Ron Godsey
Vice-Chairman: Dennis K. Shurtz
KACCT Delegate: Mark Paton
ACCT Delegate: Jim Ramirez
Professional Negotiations Board Representative: Albert Bacastow Jr.
Board Representative to Open Bids: Donna Avery
College College Foundation Board Representative: Dennis K. Shurtz
Board Appointments include Libby Palmer as clerk of the Board, Tony Crouch as treasurer of the Board, and David Andreas as Board attorney.


Donna J. Avery, Board Representative to Open Bids

Donna AveryDonna has been a board member since July of 1998. Her current term expires in July 2013.

When asked what the role of a board member was, she replied “Board members are charged with making policy, approval of the budget, representing the taxpayers in fiscal oversight, strategic planning, making decisions in the best interests of the students, the faculty, and the institution. Board members interact directly with the president of the college. The president provides board members with the information and data we need to make sound business decisions.”

Donna is serving as the board representative to the AQIP council.

Donna was married for 55+ years to Joe Avery, a Cowley alumnus. Donna attended Cowley also. They have four children, all Cowley alumnae. Three of their spouses have also graduated from or attended Cowley. Donna has eight wonderful grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Donna interests include church activities, traveling, cooking, entertaining, and attending the grandchildren's sports activities.

Donna loves being involved in Cowley as a trustee and considers that one of her "favorite" activities.

Albert Bacastow Jr., Professional Negotiations Board Representative

Albert BacastowAlbert has been a board member for 18 years. His current term expires in July 2013.
Mr. Bacastow said that one of his primary roles as a board member is to hire the administrators and then let them do their jobs. The board sets policies and oversees all of the general college operations.

Albert grew up on a farm southeast of Arkansas City. He graduated from Arkansas City High School. He is also a 1965 Arkansas City Junior College (now Cowley County Community College) graduate. Albert received a business administration degree from Southwestern College. He is married to Karen and has one daughter, who is a high school senior. Ron farms and enjoys sports and hunting.

Ron Godsey, Chairman

Ron GodseyRon has been on the board since 1995. His current term expires July 2015. Mr. Godsey feels that one of his primary roles is to hire the Chief Executive Officer for the college (i.e. President). Board members endorse policies and procedures. They are not concerned with the day-to-day operations of the college.

Ron is married to Donetta; he has two grown daughters, and five grandchildren. He graduated from CCCC in 1979, with honors. He served in the healthcare finance world for 30 years before retiring. He now owns and operates the Sears store in Winfield, KS.

Mark Paton, KACCT Delegate

Mark PatonMark has been a board member since July 2003. His current term expires July 2015.

Mr. Paton feels that his primary role as a board member is helping with the overall direction of the college, including: solid financial condition, strong leadership in administration, quality education for students, quality services to the community, and quality facilities and equipment.

Mark is married to Debra. They have two sons; Andrew and Russell. He is the owner of Paton Wholesale and Vending. Mark graduated from CCCC in 1972 and from Kansas State University in 1974. Mr. Paton’s home town is Arkansas City.

Jim Ramirez, ACCT Delegate

Jim RamirezJim has been a board member since July 2011. His current term expires July 2015.

Mr. Ramirez feels that the primary roles of the board are to ensure the college provides good leadership from the top level down, represent taxpayers in sound fiscal oversight, remain goal-oriented with a strong passion for growth of the college with a vision quest for meeting tomorrows needs associated with program and services, all while making sure accreditation standards remain a high priority in providing a quality education at an affordable price.

Jim is married to Karon. They have two daughters, three step-daughters, and 11 grandchildren. Jim is owner of the Alumni Grill & Bar in Arkansas City. He is a 1977 graduate of South Dakota State University and was elected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Dennis K. Shurtz, Vice-Chairman & College College Foundation Board Representative

Dennis ShurtzDennis K. Shurtz was elected to the board in 2009. His current term expires in July 2013. Dennis served as a member of the Board from 1991 to 1999 and was Board Chair once during his pair of four-year terms.


Last updated July 2012.