News & Events




Press Release



October 16, 2012

Cowley president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee to retire after 26 years at the college


Showing tremendous vision and an ability to lead, Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee has taken Cowley College to new heights during his 25 ½ years as the school’s president.

In an emotional meeting with Cowley College’s Board of Trustees Monday night in the McAtee Dining Center, Dr. McAtee submitted his letter of retirement effective Dec. 31, 2012.

In a tearful gathering, Dr. McAtee informed the college’s employees Tuesday morning inside the Robert Brown Theatre.

"The last 25 ½ years have been the greatest of my life and I will truly miss being with the Cowley family every day," Dr. McAtee said. “The Trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students are the best anywhere. I especially thank my secretary, Libby Palmer, and the Board past and present for 25 ½ years of continued support. I know the college will continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead."

During McAtee's years at Cowley, 15 buildings have been constructed and enrollment at the school has more than tripled.

"I express my appreciation to Dr. McAtee for your long standing service to the college," Cowley College Board of Trustees member, Dennis K. Shurtz said.

Prior to becoming president at Cowley College in 1987, Dr. McAtee taught speech, debate and theatre at Hays High School and was a teacher, director of community services, assistant dean of instruction, dean of instruction and vice president at Barton County Community College.

Along with the incredible academic success of the school, McAtee has also been a part of some tremendous athletic accomplishments and was inducted into the school's Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Under McAtee’s leadership, Cowley captured the 2011 NJCAA Division II national volleyball championship, as well as two JUCO World Series titles in baseball, two national championships in men’s tennis, and national championships in men and women’s cross country.

Dr. McAtee led the renovation of W.S. Scott Auditorium; the construction of the Tiger Track and Field and Soccer Complex; and the building of the Travis Hafner Training Center.

In other matters:

  1. Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference commissioner, Bryce Roderick, spoke to the Board and presented Dr. McAtee with a plaque to commemorate his service as an executive board member of the KJCCC during the past three years, including a term as president of the conference.
  2. Saw Dr. McAtee present a gift to Jennifer Mendez of Arkansas City for being named October Student of the Month.
  3. Held a pair of executive sessions totaling 45 minutes for preliminary discussions relating to non-elected personnel, property acquisition, and consult with legal counsel.
  4. The Board received a handout and brief report from Jim Ramirez on the ACCT 43rd annual Leadership Congress he and Slade Griffiths, Cowley College vice president of academic affairs, recently attended in Boston, MA.
  5. Discussed the annual Phi Theta Kappa banquet and activities at the Topeka Capitol for 2013, which will be held Feb. 14 from 12-2 p.m. at the Topeka Ramada Hotel and Convention Center.
  6. Tony Crouch, executive vice president of business services, informed the Board that Truett Roofing has removed and reinstalled the flat roof section on Ireland Hall. Crouch also let the Board know that the Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive has now raised over $70,000 for Tiger Booster Club Scholarships.
  7. Approved the Family and Medical Leave Act and Academic Code of Conduct policies.
  8. Heard from Charles McKown, Cowley College vice president of research and technology, about the growth of the college’s online program and what the school needs to do to in order to keep up with the growing numbers of the school’s online FTE.
  9. Viewed a fall enrollment report that indicates as of Oct. 7, full-time equivalency was 3.105, which is up from 3,023 at this time last year.
  10. Discussed having a Board Retreat sometime during the first week in November.
  11. Approved overload contracts for the 2012 fall semester.
  12. Accepted a letter of retirement from Bev Grunder as Department Chair and Director of Business/Industry Training, effective Dec. 31, 2012. Grunder has worked at the college for the past 22 years. “I can say with certainty that it has been a fulfilling career. It has been a privilege interacting with the students and college personnel," Grunder said.
  13. Accepted a letter of resignation from Sue Saia as vice president of student affairs, effective Oct. 15, 2012.
  14. Approved the personnel transactions with the exception of the approval of the new position of Coordinator of Video Production.
  15. Along with his current duties as the school’s vice president for institutional advancement, the Board approved the decision to appoint Ben Schears as the vice president of student affairs, effective immediately.