News & Events

Press Release



April 18, 2017


Board approves honorary degree to be awarded at Commencement


Upon the recommendation of Cowley College’s Academic Affairs team, Cowley College’s Board of Trustees approved the idea to present an honorary degree at this year’s Commencement exercises to Cowley College sophomore Garrett Misora, who was tragically killed in a car accident in November, 2016. The decision was made at Monday night’s Board meeting held in the McAtee Dining Center.

Misora was an exceptional student that was involved in the Cowley Pep Band and Academic Excellence Challenge team. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle said Misora represented the College’s four core values and praised the work done by vice president of academic affairs Dr. Harold Arnett in making this honorary degree a possibility.

Dr. Arnett and his team will bring a list of qualifications to the Board to consider for future honorary degrees.

Also during the meeting, Dr. Rittle presented Sid Regnier with a plaque for his years of service to the college. Regnier spent 26 years employed at the college as the vice president of business services before retiring in 2000. He also spent the past two years as a member of the college’s Board of Trustees prior to resigning due to health issues at the March meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“Thank you to all of the students and employees of the college that have had me in their thoughts and prayers,” Regnier said. “I have enjoyed my time here at the college as a student, employee, teacher, and member of the Board.”

Board Chair Bob Juden said Regnier was his supervisor when he first began working at the college.

“You will find nobody more dedicated to our college than Sid,” Chair Juden said. “I have learned so much from him personally and applaud him and thank him for his service.”

In other matters:


  1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle mentioned the recent visit of members of the Kansas Supreme Court. He also spoke of fall enrollment being underway and an upcoming opportunity for community members to learn more about the role of the Board of Trustees.
  2. Saw Dr. Rittle present Teryn Scott of Platte County, MO with a gift for being named the school’s April Student of the Month. “Cowley has been a great experience and I know I will carry it with me forever,” Scott said.
  3. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $797,402.48, financial aid funds/student refund checks of $515,158.60, federal funds of $5,482.58, and Foundation funds of $2,297.22.
  4. The Board authorized Chair Juden to sign the amended agreement to transfer real estate, extending the Carver Park property closing date, to take place on or before June 15, 2017.
  5. Board member Brian Sanderholm provided a brief overview of the ACCT Governance Leadership Institute he attended March 29-April 1 at Kapi’Olani Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii. “It was a great meeting, I learned a lot,” Sanderholm said.
  6. Approved Jetz Service to provide laundry services to Cowley College. Jetz Service will lease 29 New Speed Queen washers and dryers for a lease term of five years with the option to extend the lease for up to five additional one year terms at the same pricing. Jetz Service will include deliver, installation, set up and services including all parts and repairs to all equipment for the duration of the lease. The total cost per year is $13,440.
  7. Accepted the bid from Blue Valley Trailers to provide one concession trailer (portable food truck) to complete the Softball Complex project. Blue Valley Trailers proposed the lowest cost of $12,214 for one 8.5 X 16 foot concession trailer.
  8. The Board approved the request for Janet Davidson, director of early childhood education, to move forward with an in depth feasibility study to create a Cowley College Early Learning Center for children age 0-5. Davidson presented the Board with information describing the need for programs that focus on early childhood education in Cowley County.
  9. Jessica Lucas, Sumner County Campus Campaign Champion and Strategist, provided the Board with a legislative update. Lucas said a ceremonial signing for House Bill 2164 for a Sumner County seat on the Cowley College Board of Trustees will take place May 1 at 10 a.m. Individuals wishing to run for a Sumner County Board seat have until the June 1 filing deadline. Lucas also informed the Board it is becoming more likely that guns will be allowed on campus beginning July 1.
  10. Meg Smith, director of journalism, and 10 Media Club students informed the Board about their recent trip to New York to attend the Media Association Conference. Members of the Media Club raised funds to attend the conference. “We appreciate your support of education and travel for students,” Smith said.
  11. The Board approved the Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design degree program and the following four certificate programs: Graphic Design, Machine Tool Technology, Welding Technology, and Mechatronics (Manufacturing Technology). Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, thanked Mark Dykes, Mark Flickinger, Tina Grillot and Ricky Squires for their work on the certificate proposals.
  12. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board that Gavin Kreidler has been named this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award and will be honored during Commencement. Dr. Gregg also mentioned she and marketing director Abby Hollins have begun conversations with four mobile app development companies to explore their products and how they meet our organizational needs keeping in mind multiple goals: integration into the new student information system, confidential in-out communication flow from student to faculty/staff, and student and community engagement in Cowley. After the company exploration process is completed and bids have been obtained, the mobile app steering committee will decide on the best fit in hopes to roll out the Cowley mobile app prior to the student orientations leading into the 2017-18 academic year.
  13. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided the Board with a Student Information System update.
  14. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided the Board with an enrollment update. Shaw, who recently began her new position at the college, said customer service is the number one item on her list of priorities for her department and that the admissions department is working diligently to increase enrollment.
  15. Chris Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, spoke of the HLC annual convention he recently attended. Hollon took part in AQIP and accreditation meetings at the convention. He also mentioned Zogotech recently established the servers and data connections for the college’s data warehouse and predictive analytics.
  16. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided an update on the dorms and the many student life activities planned at the college. O’Toole also mentioned the Honors and Awards banquet that will be held at the college on Tuesday, April 18.
  17. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference president’s and athletic directors will have their spring meetings in Lawrence, KS on April 19-20. Among the new NJCAA Bylaws are the change to a four year divisional declaration cycle, men’s basketball national qualifying standards have moved to an eight at large system doing away with the zone qualifier system as well as an approved increase in soccer scholarships from 18-24 and a three year tiered increase in national dues. Larson also said the wrestling program is starting to come together. The wrestling program recently received its first letter of intent and has over 15 student athletes committed to compete at Cowley in the fall. Larson also reminded everyone that this year’s Athletic Banquet will be held on Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m. at the Agri Business Building in Ark City.
  18. Accepted a letter of retirement from Donni McClaflin as telephone receptionist, effective July 1.
  19. Accepted a letter of resignation from Joe Clasen as lead NDT instructor, effective April 12; accepted a letter of resignation from Adolphus “AD” Denson as admissions representative, effective April 14.
  20. Approved the employment of Landon West as Director of Student Life, effective May 23; approved the employment of Cara Kem as director of theatre, effective August 1; approved the employment of Tony Gulick as maintenance technician, effective April 18; approved the employment of Jason Lawson as technical support specialist, effective April 18.