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Press Release



April 19, 2005

Board hears construction report, updates from president during short meeting


The progress of three construction projects and updates on a few unrelated issues from Cowley College President Dr. Pat McAtee highlighted the monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees Monday night. The Board took less than 30 minutes to run through the light agenda. Tony Crouch, vice president of business services, gave Board members an update on the progress being made on three construction projects. "The (Webb-Brown Academic Center) building's looking great," Crouch said of the college's new classroom building, scheduled to be finished in time for fall semester classes. "It's really starting to look like it's supposed to."

Crouch said he would schedule a tour for Board members once a few more items were completed on the site.

The other construction projects are in Mulvane. Renovation continues on the Bloomenshine building that will house Cowley's general education classes beginning this fall. Unified School District 263 Mulvane is renovating the space, which will be leased by the college. Also, dirt work on a new building in the Mulvane industrial park that will house Automotive Technology and Machine Tool Technology has begun. Crouch said all three projects were on schedule.

McAtee then told the Board he would bring a recommendation to the May meeting on the economic development/entrepreneurship program. In another matter, McAtee told the Board that the Aviation Tech Center was in the middle of recruiting for a new class. Cessna, McAtee said, has made a lot of referrals.

"We're working on a plan for aviation recruiting," he said.

McAtee also said that the Kansas Institute for Technical Excellence (KITE) was getting ready to launch another venture. KITE, of which Cowley is a member, identified four key areas to develop centers for excellence. Aviation was the first.

"I will tell you around the first of May," McAtee said. "It's another huge venture, which will be a plus for the organization and lend credibility."

In other matters, the Board:

1. Heard a report from those who attended the 110th annual meeting of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College's and Schools April 9-12 in Chicago. Board member Donna Avery said, "It was an excellent meeting. And our group, (Natural Science Chair) Michelle (Schoon), (Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs) Sheree (Utash), (Director of Human Resources) Janice (Neagle), (Director of Library Services) Rhoda (MacLaughlin), and (Humanities Department Instructor) Marlys (Cervantes) gave a 45-minute presentation on a lot of the elements of AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Project). I felt the Board should see it, and Sheree is making arrangements for that to happen." Avery also said the trip afforded her time to meet one-on-one with college employees who attended the meeting. "I wanted to get inside of what's happening at Cowley," she said. "I was so impressed with the one-on-one conversations."

2. Viewed an enrollment report which indicates that as of April 14, fall full-time enrollment was 921, compared to 513 on the same date a year ago. Summer FTE was 448 on April 14, compared to 342 on the same date in 2004.

3. Approved the following personnel transactions: Letters of resignation from Randy Smithson, head men's basketball coach; Tatum Carroll, head athletic trainer; Shauna Smithson, Upward Bound administrative assistant; and Ricky Young, Automotive Technology instructor; the employment of Brian Jackson, head men's basketball coach; Cameron Belden, assistant men's basketball coach; Jonathan Raney, part-time assistant men's basketball coach; Cassandra Straub, tool room attendant at the Aviation Tech Center; and Matthew Strecker, custodian.

4. Set the morning of July 23 as the time for the annual Board retreat. Location will be announced at a later date.