News & Events




Press Release



July 21, 2009


Paton named Chairman at regular monthly Board meeting

Mark Paton was named the Chairman of Cowley College’s Board of Trustees during the school’s regular monthly meeting held Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Officers elected for the upcoming year: Chairman, Mark Paton; vice chairman, Albert Bacastow Jr.; Kansas Association of Community College Trustees voting delegate, Ron Godsey; Association of Community College Trustees voting delegate, Albert Bacastow Jr.; Board representative for professional negotiations, Mark Paton; trustee designated as the Board representative to the College Endowment Association, Dennis K. Shurtz; and Mark Paton was named trustee designated to open bids received for college purchases.

Paton, who will begin his sixth year on the college’s Board of Trustees, felt privileged to be asked to serve as chairman of the board for the upcoming year. He previously served as chairman of the Board four years ago.

"I am honored to serve as Board Chair but I have one vote just like everybody else," Paton said. “We have got a great group of board members, they make it easy to fulfill the role of Board Chair. We have also got great staff and faculty as well as outstanding students. Our major challenge has been the budget. We will work to keep the college fiscally sound and keep enrollment up.”

The Board also extended the contracts of Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee and the college’s administrative staff an additional year through the 2010-2011 academic school year, making it a two-year contract.

"Dr. McAtee has a wonderful vision to lead the college to new areas," Paton said. “He is without a doubt one of the top community college presidents in a several state region.”

Donna Avery, who served as Board Chair during the 2008-09 academic year, thanked the Board for their support during what was a difficult year for her personally, with the passing of her husband, Joe, on Sept. 13, 2008.

“I am so glad you encouraged me to go ahead after Joe died and make a run at staying on the Board because he wanted me to. My running again and being reelected made a big difference to me," Avery said. “I count you as my very best friends, thanks for everything.”

The Board also appointed Libby Palmer as clerk of the Board, Tony Crouch as treasurer of the Board, and David Andreas as Board attorney.

"David is one of the best (attorneys) I have had the privilege to work with, he works fast and does a very good job for us," McAtee said.

The Board designated Home National Bank, Union State Bank, CornerBank, Verus Bank/Derby, Sunflower Bank/Wichita, and Mulvane State Bank as official depositories. The Board also designated the Arkansas City Traveler and Winfield Daily Courier for publication of official notices, and kept the Board meeting time at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of every month.

In other matters, the Board:

  1. Swore in Dennis K. Shurtz as a member of the Board of Trustees. Shurtz previously served on the Board from 1991-1999 and was the Board Chair once during his four terms. Also swore in incumbents Donna Avery and Albert Bacastow Jr.
  2. Held a 15-minute executive session to discuss property acquisition, personnel matters of non-elected personnel, and consult with the governing body’s attorney.
  3. Approved the purchase of properties located at 1600 and 1600 ½ S. Summit Street in Arkansas City; Approved lease agreements with Wolfe R.E., L.L.C. and Ronald Flickinger on properties in Mulvane.
  4. Heard from Dr. McAtee, Donna Avery and Ron Godsey about the KACCT/COP Retreat they attended June 19-20 at Seward County Community College.
  5. Changed the August Board meeting date to Aug. 10, which would also be the adoption of the 2009-10 operating budgets.
  6. Discussed the 40th Annual Community College Leadership Congress, which will be held Oct 7-10 at the San Francisco Hilton.
  7. Viewed a proposed operating budget for the 2009-2010 academic year. The final budget will be presented at the Aug. 10 Board of Trustee meeting.
  8. Using federal ARRA (stimulus) money available only for deferred maintenance, the Board approved Mahaney Roofing complete all remaining sections of the Brown Center roof. Two sections have been completed. The total cost to complete the remaining sections is $189,700.
  9. Approved the Access to College Facilities policy.
  10. Viewed a summer enrollment report that indicates as of July 12, full-time equivalency was 630, which is up from 599 at this time last year. The fall enrollment report indicates as of July 20, full-time equivalency was 1,915, which is up from 1,857 this time last year. On campus FTE is 992 compared to 964 at this time last year. Online FTE is 455 compared to 347 at this time last year, and the Mulvane Center FTE is 344 compared to 223 at this time last year.
    Dr. McAtee credited the work of the college’s admission’s department as well as vice president of student affairs, Sue Saia, for the increase in enrollment.
    "I want to credit Sue Saia for her good work and her work with the summer Jump Start program," McAtee said.
  11. Accepted a letter of resignation from Michelle Kelley as Student Life Office Secretary, effective July 17; Accepted a letter of resignation from Ben Maxon as security officer, effective Aug. 7; Accepted a letter of resignation from Dan Squires as instructor in the Industrial Technology Department due to medical/health reasons, effective May 20. Squires spent the past 19 years as an instructor at Cowley College.
    "Dan was a great teacher for us for a long time," Dr. McAtee said. “We lost a solid teacher but he had no choice but to retire due to health reasons.”
  12. Approved the employment of Dr. Gloria Tham as an instructor in the Humanities Department; Approved the employment of Krista Ellis as administrative support at the college’s Mulvane Outreach.