News & Events


Press Release



July 20, 2016


Jill Long fills vacant seat on Board of Trustees


During Monday night’s meeting of Cowley College’s Board of Trustees, Jill Long of Winfield, KS was selected through a vote to fill the empty Board seat vacated by Jim Ramirez, who spent nearly five years as a member of the Board of Trustees before resigning in May. Long’s term will expire in January 2020.

Long was selected among a pool of four candidates. Others running for the vacant seat were, Jeremy Biddle of Winfield, and Bonnie Niles and Forrest Smith of Arkansas City.

“Every one of them were super,” Board member Bob Juden said.

The board also approved the nominations for Board of Trustees’ officers for 2016-2017: Bob Juden, Chairman; JoLynn Foster, Vice-Chairman; Dennis Shurtz, Past Chairman Who Shall Serve as an Advisor to the Chairman of the Board; Jill Long, Voting Delegate to the Kansas Association of Community Colleges Trustees (KACCT); Brian Sanderholm, Alternate Delegate to Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT); Brian Sanderholm, Voting Delegate to the Association of Community Colleges Trustees (ACCT); Dennis Shurtz, Alternate Delegate to the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT); JoLynn Foster, Trustee Representative for Professional Negotiations; Sid Regnier, Trustee Representative to Receive Open Bids; Ned Graham, Trustee Representative to the Cowley College Foundation Association; Ned Graham, Trustee Representative to the Tiger Booster Club; Dennis Shurtz, Ned Graham, and JoLynn Foster, Three Trustees to serve on the Finance Sub-Committee; Bob Juden, Brian Sanderholm, and Jill Long, Three Trustees to serve on the Academic Sub-Committee.

Board appointments include Tiffany Vollmer as Clerk of the Board, Dr. Gloria Walker as Treasurer of the Board, and David Andreas as Attorney for the Board.

The Board designated RCB Bank, Union State Bank, CornerBank, Sunflower Bank/Wichita, and Carson Bank/Mulvane as official depositories, and utilize all qualified institutions in the County for the investment of idle funds.

The Board also designated the Cowley CourierTraveler for publication of official notices, and kept the Board meeting time at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of every month with four alternate dates of August 8, December 12, January 17, and March 13.

In other matters:


  1. Dr. Rittle provided the Board with an update on the College. Dr. Rittle mentioned the High School: Pell ‘Dual Enrollment’ Program, and the LiveSafe mobile app that Cowley has acquired and will begin utilizing this fall. Cowley College is providing all students, faculty, and staff with the LiveSafe app- a safety tool that provides a quick, convenient, and discreet way to communicate with Cowley College Security. Dr. Rittle also praised the work of the Budget Sub-Committee, those working on the Student Information System (SIS) migration, and the Admissions team and Student Affairs Office for continuing to serve students.
  2. The Board approved the contract of Dr. Rittle as president of Cowley College.
  3. Agreed to conduct the Board Retreat from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, August 6.
  4. Board member Ned Graham read a statement reflecting the Boards feelings towards Cowley College faculty and staff. The statement, which mentioned the thanks and appreciation of the Board of Trustees, will be included in the employees’ paychecks.
  5. Discussed the 47th Annual Community College Leadership Congress which will be held October 6-8 in New Orleans, LA.
  6. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $227,368.78; financial aid funds of $459,829.64; and Foundation funds of $12,280.87.
  7. Approved policy 137.00 Conflict of Interest.
  8. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with the proposed State Appropriation Budget and proposed Operating Budget for 2016-2017. The budget will be approved at the August Board meeting. Notices will be published in The Cowley CourierTraveler upon approval of the Board.
  9. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, discussed recent faculty negotiations. “We came up with an agreement that we all felt good about,” Dr. Arnett said. He also mentioned the Electrical training (customized) that Daniel Higdon will be providing for International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) members Aug, 2-4 on the Arkansas City campus. There are now 14 signed up. Dr. Arnett also thanked associate vice president of business and industry Stephani Johns- Hines for her exemplary work and for representing the College in a positive manner for more than 20 years. Johns-Hines recently was named Vice-President of Instruction at Salina Area Technical College.
  10. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, informed the Board that July is a busy month for the information technology team as final configurations of the new Student Information System (SIS) are taking place.
  11. Sarah Bryant, interim vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board of a check presentation for the Wichita Independent Business Association Scholarship Thursday, July 28 at 3 p.m. at the school’s Wichita Downtown Center at 532 South Market. The Cowley College Foundation will be receiving a $10,000 donation from the Wichita Independent Business Association. Along with the check presentation a signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be conducted. Ray Frederick, Jr., Chairman of the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority, and Wichita Mayor, Jeff Longwell, will speak at the event. Bryant also praised the work of Foundation Coordinator Elizabeth Thummel.
  12. Josh Cobble, executive director of enrollment management, shared with the Board that the first two high school students have enrolled in the Pell ‘Dual Enrollment’ Program. Cobble also mentioned mailers will be sent out in regards to the new FastTrack Dual Enrollment Program.
  13. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided the Board with information on the recent feasibility study for a new dormitory. Along with the feasibility study, a student survey was conducted. It was determined that there is not enough evidence to support additional student housing at this time. “I thank Jason O’Toole and Mr. (Sid) Regnier with allowing us to make data driven decisions,” Dr. Rittle said.
  14. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board of several upcoming events. The annual Blitz Drive will be held July 27, a Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame meeting will take place August 2, the KJCCC fall meetings will be held in Pratt on August 5, and the Tiger Magic Alumni Baseball Weekend will be held September 9-10. For more information on the Tiger Magic Alumni Baseball Weekend contact 417-850-2032. Larson also mentioned the seven Tiger athletic programs that earned NJCAA academic team awards, while 35 Tiger athletes received NJCAA academic student-athlete awards.
  15. Accepted letters of resignation from Linda Kreutzer, director of human resources, effective July 19; Stephani Johns-Hines as associate vice president of business and industry and interim department chair of Career and Technical Education, effective July 31; and Elizabeth Thummel as Foundation Coordinator, effective August 11. “We thank those three for their work and wish them the best,” Chairman Shurtz said.
  16. Approved the employment of Christopher Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, effective August 1; approved the hiring of Mark “Evan” Ricker Jr, director of instrumental music, effective August 1; approved the hiring of Suzie Bacon as director of accounting, effective June 28; approved the hiring of Ben Maxon as public safety officer, effective July 19; approved the hiring of Blake Smith as assistant athletic trainer, effective July 19; approved the hiring of Gaileen Nguyen as LMS administrator, effective August 1.
  17. Held a 20-minute executive session for preliminary discussion of professional negotiations, property, non-elected personnel, and consult with legal counsel.