News & Events




Press Release



June 22, 2004

Cowley scores higher than national average on student satisfaction survey


Nearly 1,000 Cowley students surveyed during the spring semester rated their level of satisfaction with various college services higher than the national average, members of the college’s Board of Trustees learned Monday night during their regular monthly meeting.


Board member LaDonna Lanning was absent.


Sheree Utash, Cowley’s vice president of academic and student affairs, and Pam Doyle, Cowley’s dean of student learning, gave a report on the 2004 Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory. Noel-Levitz is a consultation firm Cowley uses to assist with enrollment management issues, including student recruitment and retention.


All identified strengths from the 2003 survey also appeared as strengths in the 2004 survey of 910 students, half on the main campus in Arkansas City and half at the college’s Southside Education Center in Wichita. New strengths that appeared when the survey was given in February are “There is a good variety of courses provided on this campus,” and “It is an enjoyable experience to be a student on this campus.”


“This survey will give us some guidance and direction for the next few years, particularly in student services,” Utash said. “Even though we scored above the national average, we still want to get better, because there are priorities that need to be addressed.”


Academic advising and the academic early alert warning system are just two items Utash said would be looked at as a result of the survey.


In other matters Monday night, the Board:

  • Heard Dr. Pat McAtee, president, discuss some of the important issues that will be addressed during the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees/Council of Presidents retreat this coming weekend in Dodge City. Among the topics: The current funding formula for higher education, specifically community colleges; the centers for excellence that have been talked about; and sign off by Regents universities when other colleges want to offer courses and programs in the Regents university’s county. McAtee responded to each issue.
  • “Now that we’re all under the Regents, I believe that all counties should be assessed for funding community colleges and that not all of the burden should be on the local county,” McAtee said. “We can’t continue to go down the road we’re on. The system needs to be changed.”
  • On centers for excellence: “Pratt (Community College), Butler and Hutchinson all have nursing. If one is established as a center for excellence, then the question is what happens to the other two programs,” McAtee said.
  • On Regents university sign-offs: “My belief is that the whole state should be open, and with online enrollments, there aren’t boundaries like there used to be.” Currently, if a college not located in Sedgwick County wants to offer classes in Wichita, it must get permission from Wichita State University.
  • Albert Bacastow Jr., Board chair, appointed Donna Avery and Mark Paton as the nominating committee that will recommend Board members for various positions during the 2004-2005 fiscal year, including chair and vice-chair, and Board representatives to various committees, councils and duties. The committee will present its recommendations at the July meeting.
  • Held an executive session for 26 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel, professional negotiations, and property acquisition. No action was taken.
  • Heard a construction report from Tony Crouch, vice president of business services. Crouch said the new classroom building was about a week away from the start of construction, and that the project to renovate the south lobby of W.S. Scott Auditorium remained on schedule. Two additional summer projects were approved. The roof of the Recreation Building on West Washington Avenue is leaking, and Bloyer Roofing of Winfield was awarded the contract to repair the roof at a cost of $13,500. Also, the floor of W.S. Scott Auditorium/Dan Kahler Court that was refinished three years ago must be redone. That includes sanding the existing floor down to the wood and starting over. The floor has been peeling between the layers of finish. Four State Maintenance of Coffeyville has agreed to do the work at a cost of $19,300. The cost will include the graphics that are on the floor now.
  • Approved the following personnel transactions: Advisement pay totaling $32,212.50 to 34 people who advised 859 students during the 2004 spring semester; a letter of resignation from Kristy Gottlob, admissions representative, effective June 30; the employment of Brock Buckingham as dorm manager and assistant baseball coach effective July 1; the employment of Julie Kratt as English instructor effective Aug. 1; the employment of Kathryn Witte as library assistant effective July 19; compensation for full-time instructors for teaching summer school during the four-week and eight-week sessions; and administrative contracts for McAtee, Utash, Crouch, Doyle, Vice President of Administration Conrad Jimison, Dean of Student Life Sue Saia, Dean of Research and Technology Charles McKown, Director of Athletics Tom Saia, Dean of Development and College Relations Terri Morrow, and Dean of Northern Campuses Sarah Wesbrooks.
  • In a personnel-related matter, the Board also approved a 3.5-percent increase in salaries or hourly wages for the 2004-2005 academic year effective Aug. 1. The college’s fringe benefit contribution also was increased $20 per month to $480 per month. Together, the total compensation increase is 3.6 percent.
  • Board members also heard a report from Crouch concerning the cost to air condition W.S. Scott Auditorium. Crouch said he polled 18 other community colleges in the state. Six responded. Coffeyville Community College, which has a more modern gymnasium, told Crouch it cost the college $2,200 per month to keep the gym at 72 degrees year-round. The contractor that gave Crouch the initial bid to install air conditioning in the building was not able to estimate the monthly cost. Crouch said currently, it costs the college $5,000 to $6,000 per month just to heat the building.