News & Events




Press Release



January 19, 2016


College reflects on vision cast at August Board Retreat

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided the Board of Trustees with his vision for the 2015-2016 academic year during the Board of Trustees monthly meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 19 in the McAtee Dining Center. Dr. Rittle said that since the August Board Retreat the College has a sense of where we were to where we are now.


Dr. Rittle spoke of Administrative Team Development with the hiring of two new vice presidents; compliance with governing bodies such as the upcoming Higher Learning Commission visit and the recent annual audit; Community Engagement and Relations such as clothing drives, police training, legislative forums and sporting events.; brand recognition and advancement with Cowley College recently being listed as the second most recognized College in the Greater Wichita Area; expansion of course offerings; reputation of the college; Business and Industry courses and offerings; sustainability of athletic programs; data driven decision making; advancement of external partnerships; new property acquisition; and new academic/athletic programs.


The recent addition of two new programs cost the College no new monies but directly tie to new enrollment.


“We are very mindful of entering into any debt process/activity in which a clear return on investment is not evident,” Dr. Rittle said.


In other matters:
1. The annual Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Luncheon will be held at the Ramada Downtown/Topeka on Thursday, Feb. 11. Dr. Rittle and Board representative Bob Juden plan to attend.

2. Dr. Rittle, along with Jim Ramirez, Board representative for professional negotiations, Dr. Gloria Walker and Dr. Harold Arnett, will meet with the College’s CEA representatives and Tim Knoles of the KNEA on Jan. 25. The new Professional Negotiations Act passed last year in the legislature mandates that all bargaining teams (both local and board teams), receive training on the new regulations and dates set forth, before you can actively start bargaining for the 2016-2017 year. The notice date has been moved from Feb. 1 to March 31.

3. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, spoke of the heaters that were recently installed in the McAtee Dining Center. She also mentioned the renovation and move of the Cowley College Security and Public Safety Department. The Department recently moved from the first floor of the Storbeck Dormitory to the north side of the Nelson Student Center. The move aligns with Cowley College’s focus on keeping students, employees, and visitors’ safe while on campus. The College also has a new part-time officer patrolling the other Cowley College campuses while delivering and picking up mail on the school’s other campuses on a daily basis. The College has also collaborated with the Wichita Police Department to make the school’s Downtown Center a part of its patrol.

4. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, provided an update on the recent armed intruder training provided by Director of Security and Public Safety Officer Matt Stone during the College’s in-service. He also mentioned the College is progressing with the construction apprentice training partnership.

5. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, informed the Board that the “go live” date for the Student Information System has been moved to Sept. 12. No punitive costs will occur. Erdmann also said the IT team has been evaluating products that would help the College achieve single sign-on. Single sign-on is where you log in once, and are then granted access to several different systems without having to re-enter a name and password. The College was recently notified that is was the recipient of a grant to cover the cost of installation and integration into the network. Installation will begin in the next month.

6. Ben Schears, vice president of institutional advancement, provided the Board with an update on gifts the Cowley College Foundation has received to date compared to gifts the College had received up to this date a year ago. Schears also spoke of the recent contract the Cowley College Foundation approved with Cargill Associates to begin the first phase of the capital campaign. Cargill Associates recently met with Foundation staff and Dr. Rittle to begin the pre-campaign survey. The survey will wrap up in the middle of April and provide guidance for the campaign.

7. Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Cobble also said campus visits, first time prospects, and applications were up in the month of December. Enrollment at the College’s Wichita Downtown Center continues to climb and the school is continually working on new avenues for the location to accommodate the increasing demand.

8. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided an update on the dorms. The dorms are currently at 99.2% occupancy. O’Toole also praised the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame and Martin Luther King, Jr. events that were hosted this past weekend by the College.

9. Shane Larson, athletic director, said the Tiger Booster Club has begun initial planning for a second athletic department golf tournament to be held at the Wellington Golf Course. A tentative date in April is being considered. Larson also shared news of the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame that was held Saturday, Jan. 16. There were just shy of 100 people at the luncheon to honor the three new inductees, while seven former Tiger Hall of Famers were in attendance. Larson also said the College’s admissions department will have a presence at the South Central Border League Basketball Tournament hosted by Cowley College Jan. 21-23.

10.  Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $446,120.01; financial aid funds of $1,252,074.88; and Foundation funds of $6,422.61.

11. Board member Brian Sanderholm suggested the administrative council discuss the possibility of adding hand rails inside the seating areas of W.S. Scott Auditorium and report back to the Board at a future meeting.

12. The Board asked the College Administration to come up with a fall presentation date to be presented at the February Board meeting in regards to conducting a feasibility study on future academic, athletic, and activities programs

13. Accepted a letter of retirement from Diana Dicken as director of web services, effective May 1. Accepted a letter of resignation from Jessica McIver as admissions representative, effective January 15; accepted a letter of resignation from Milan Anich as technical director of theatre, effective January 15; accepted a letter of resignation from Carly Brock as dorm manager at The Lodge, effective January 9; accepted a letter of resignation from Stefani Jones as coordinator of support services/Health and Human Services so she could accept a position at the College’s main campus, effective Dec. 21, 2015.

14.  Approved the employment of Lynlea Bartlett as dorm manager at The Lodge, effective January 30.