News & Events




Press Release



April 19, 2016


Board receives presentation on additional student housing concept


With Cowley College’s dorms near capacity, the school’s Board of Trustees received a PowerPoint presentation on an additional student housing concept during the monthly Board meeting held Monday, April 18 in the McAtee Dining Center.

Steven J. Martens, CPM, CCIM/SIOR of the Martens Companies was joined by Craig Nelson of Conco Construction, and Merrill Gordon of Gordon & Associates Architecture to answer questions and address student housing needs with a student housing proposal.

The development team will return to campus in June to visit more about possible plans for additional student housing.

Also during the meeting, Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided the Board with an update on the college. Dr. Rittle recently attended the Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. While at the conference Dr. Rittle had an opportunity to meet with the HLC reviewing team that was on Cowley’s main campus in March. Dr. Rittle said members of the review team had many positive things to say about the college.

“We are being viewed very well,” Dr. Rittle said. “They said we have very good employees and people here that care about students.”
Dr. Rittle also informed the Board that federal Pell Grant disbursements are expected to continue to increase.

And lastly, he mentioned Cowley College’s two commencement ceremonies that will be held Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and praised the work done by the Board members that served on sub-committees reviewing college policies.

Also during Monday’s meeting the Board was informed that Libby Moore, administrative assistant to the president/Board clerk, Joycelyn Goff, accounting coordinator, and Julie Rorabaugh, Learning Management Administrator, plan to retire this summer.

Moore and Goff are the college’s two longest tenured employees. Moore began working at Cowley on September 1, 1978, and Goff started at Cowley on June 4, 1979.

“I have seen this institution grow from a few city blocks of downtown Arkansas City into a wonderful campus and three outreach centers of today,” Moore said. “There have been many Board of Trustee members, president’s, administrators, instructors, staff, and students past and present that I will hold close to my heart with fond memories.”

In other matters:
1. Saw Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle present Paige Lundin of Wichita, KS, and Payton Baker of Wellington, KS with gifts for being named the school’s March and April Students of the Month.
2. Approved a Board of Trustees retreat be conducted on Saturday, Aug. 6 in the President’s Private Dining Room. The retreat will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11:30 a.m.
3. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board of her findings on the possibility of adding handrails in the seating area of W.S. Scott Auditorium.
4. Stephani Johns-Hines, associate vice president of business and industry advancement, informed the Board that the Fire Science and Milling AAS program proposals have passed the Technical Education Authority sub-committee, full committee and BAASC (Board Academic Affairs Standing Committee) with unanimous approval at each step. The final step is approval by the Kansas Board of Regents. Johns-Hines also joined Dr. Arnett, Dr. Walker, Dr. Rittle, and Josh Cobble at a recent meeting of Sumner County Commissioners to discuss potential programs and funding options. Dr. Arnett later joined Dr. Rittle, Cobble and Janice Stover to meet with current and future superintendents of Wellington schools along with the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development directors for similar discussions.
Johns-Hines also shared information about a recent state meeting to review prior learning credit for military personnel in the area of Criminal Justice. Cowley College was recognized as the only school in the state to submit advance work in preparation of the meeting.
5. Approved policy 216.00 Graduation Requirements.
6. Bryan McChesney, systems administrator, provided an information technology update. McChesney said work continues on configuring and implementing the new Student Information System. Also, all new underground fiber has been installed, tested, certified and labeled.
7. Rama Peroo, director of institutional communications and public relations, provided a Foundation update. The Pre-Campaign Survey is coming along very well. Initial feedback from the survey will be coming back to the college in late April. There will be a special meeting in early May to discuss the findings and see what recommendations Cargill Associates will make to the college and Foundation going forward. Also, preparation for the Great Cowley Duck Dash on Saturday, May 14 are underway. The event is expecting another solid crowd and several new sponsors.
8. Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Summer and fall enrollment is underway. Enrollment at the school’s Downtown Wichita Center continues to climb. Cobble also informed the Board that he recently graduated from the KACCT Kansas Community College Leadership Institute which has been an eight month program at various community colleges throughout the state. “It was a great experience and I appreciate the support and opportunity to participate in the program,” Cobble said.
9. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. The College’s dorms are at 90 percent occupancy which is slightly up from last year. Also, the Honors and Awards banquet is set for Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room, while the IMPACT Student Support Services TRIO program recently held its end of the year celebration.
10. Shane Larson, athletic director, discussed the Tri County Tiger Classic Golf Tournament that was held at the Wellington Golf Club on Sunday, April 10. The event was well received and should end up generating $600-$900 for the Tiger Booster Club (TBC) Scholarship Fund. Larson also reminded the Board that the annual TBC Athletic Banquet will be held Wednesday, April 27 at 6 p.m. at the Ag-Building. Larson also mentioned Cowley College baseball coach Dave Burroughs recently becoming the all-time winningest coach in Cowley sports history. “This is an outstanding achievement that highlights a lifetime commitment to Tiger athletics,” Larson said.
Larson and Dr. Rittle plan to attend the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) spring meetings in Manhattan, KS on Thursday, April 21. There will be several bylaw proposals to be considered. Following the KJCCCC meeting there will be the bi-annual Region VI meeting where the bylaw and rule changes from the NJCAA that go into effect in August will be discussed.
11. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $497,594.89; financial aid funds of $307,920.80; and Foundation funds of $29,840.27.
12. Lory West, BCIT faculty, Frank Owens, criminal justice instructor, and Landon West, director of housing, informed the Board of the On Course conference they recently attended in Anaheim, CA. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, also attended the conference. The On Course textbook is the best-selling student success textbook in the world and the program has improved student persistence, completion and academic performance at numerous colleges. The conference stressed multiple activities to increase student engagement through active learning. Since the group returned Owens and Lory West have used activities from the conference in classes they teach.
“We have been able to bring back to the classroom what we learned at the conference,” Owens said. “The student engagement has been phenomenal.”
13. Accepted letters of resignation from Darshaya Gallard, assistant volleyball coach, effective April 8; Kaitlyn LaKous as adult education secretary, effective April 15; Courtney Peterson as financial aid service specialist, effective April 30; Marcia Wieland as faculty/director of vocal music, effective May 31; and Jeff Benito as head men’s tennis coach/dorm manager, effective June 30.
14. Approved the hiring of Steven Gream as head volleyball coach, effective April 25; approved the hiring of Shae Nichols as systems network administrator, effective May 1.
15. Held a 15-minute executive session for preliminary discussions of property, non-elected personnel, and to consult with legal counsel.