News & Events

Press Release



July 20, 2017


Cowley College and Mulvane School District sign lease agreement


The Cowley College Board of Trustees authorized Chair Bob Juden to sign the lease of real property agreement between Cowley College and USD 263 during Monday night’s meeting of the Board held at the Mulvane Bloomenshine facility. The agreement allows the college to lease the Mulvane Bloomenshine property, with the option to purchase the property at the conclusion of the three-year lease term.

“I see what a good deal this is for the college and community,” Board Chair Bob Juden said. “To have the ability to own the building is a good step.”

The college recently conducted successful negotiations with the Mulvane School District permitting Cowley College full access to the facility.


Cowley College has conducted classes in the upper level of the building since 2005. This agreement will allow the college to have two additional classrooms and office space in the basement of the facility. Also included is street front parking.

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle thanked the Board for meeting at the Mulvane Bloomenshine building and praised the work done by Mulvane Center administrative assistant Julia Jarboe in preparing the meeting room.

“The presence of the college in Mulvane is growing as evidenced by the website traffic showing individuals in Derby, Haysville, and Mulvane interested in the college,” Dr. Rittle said.

Luciano’s Italian restaurant provided appetizers prior to the meeting.

Natural Science Department Chair Dr. Michelle Schoon then provided the Board with an overview of the Mulvane Center. Dr. Schoon informed the Board that the college began offering classes in Mulvane in 1987. The Center offers students an opportunity to get involved through Phi Theta Kappa, Creative Claws, Math and Science Club, and community involvement activities.

The college intends to transform the Mulvane Center into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Center and is working on a 2+2 articulation agreement with Wichita State University. The five areas of the articulation agreement would be pre-engineering industrial, pre-engineering mechanical, pre-engineering computer, pre-engineering electrical, and computer science.

“This will be a game changer for Cowley in Mulvane,” Dr. Schoon said.

The Academic Affairs council has approved proposals for four new courses to assist with the articulations. The proposed new courses are Introduction to Digital Design, Assembly Language Programming, Engineering Probability Statistics I, and Engineering Economy.

Also during the meeting, 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 14, December 11 (5 p.m.), January 16, and March 12.

In other matters: 

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a legislative update on behalf of Jessica Lucas, Cowley College Government Liaison. The primary election for a trustee member in Sumner County is scheduled for August 1. The top two vote getters in the election will advance to the general election ballot. The four candidates are M. Kay Ryan, South Haven; Glennis Zimmerman, South Haven; William Butts, Wellington; and Brian Fitch, Argonia. There is not a primary election in Cowley County for the trustee seats. The top four vote getters among the seven candidates will be elected to the role of trustee in the November general election. Also, there is a school finance case being litigated before the Kansas Supreme Court. Oral arguments began on July 18. It’s possible the Court could rule the legislature has additional work to do to satisfy their school finance formula obligations, necessitating a special session.

2. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle said the Army National Guard will have a presence on the college’s main campus in Arkansas City beginning in September. The Army National Guard will have an office on campus where students can learn about the benefits they can obtain to help cover the cost of their education.

3. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $1,572,652.96, financial aid funds/student refund checks of $274,602.22, federal funds of $93,079.82, and Foundation funds of $1,200.

4. Approved the Firearms Policy. Cowley College will abide by State of Kansas Statute for higher education institutions regarding firearms on campus. If there should be an illegal discharge of a firearm, Cowley College reserves the right to terminate, expel, and/or prosecute the individual, as deemed necessary, to the full extent of the law.

5. Held a first reading on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Federal Aid Recipients.

6. Approved the 2017-2018 proposed operating budget of $22,599,129 after adjusting the 2.75 % cost of living and final state appropriations.

7. Approved the state appropriation budget for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Revenues are based on the enrollments, state operating grants, and estimated county valuation of $260,252,722. The county will notify the college around Nov. 1, 2017 of the actual amount.

8. Approved Midwest Building’s bid to provide 26 gauge hi-rib steel in segments to cover the area of two 4’ tall side fence as well as the 8’ tall outfield fence and 10’ batters eye behind center field at the Tiger Baseball Field. Midwest Building will also provide the screws and trim at a total cost not to exceed $11,946. The installation will be completed by the baseball coaches and maintenance staff.

9. Approved All Wood Lockers’ bid to deliver 30 pre-assembled lockers at a price not to exceed $14,320. The purchase is part of the end of year projects funding under Recreation Gym Upgrade.

10. Approved Dollamur’s bid to supply three wrestling mats at a price not to exceed $27,000. The mats are 42’x42’, one mat will have specific branding for competitions and the other two will be used in the practice room. The college will be reimbursed by the Foundation through its fundraising.

11. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Sumner Campus update. Dr. Walker said the architects are in scheme design phase, and the contractor has been brought on to establish the budget and start the estimation process. Conco has provided a time-line of the construction schedule as of July 12, 2017.

12. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, praised the work done by Dr. Schoon, Martin Shaffer, Humphrey Wamocha, and David Hays with the proposed 2+2 articulation agreement with WSU. He also credited Eddie Andreo, associate vice president of distance learning and site management, with helping save the college more than $60,000. Dr. Arnett also spoke of the hybrid (face-to-face and online) paramedic program which allows full-time employees an opportunity they would not have. Students from Salina, Junction City and Emporia along with some local residents are working in the program.

13. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board that with the recent retirement of Margaret Neal as the coordinator of the Golden Tigers, the opportunity was presented to move her current position into institutional advancement and to revise the position description to include alumni relations. The transition of this position will allow for a newly created position – Alumni Relations and Golden Tiger Coordinator which will be a full-time, exempt, 10-month position reporting to the vice president of institutional advancement. Along with the current duties of coordinating the Golden Tiger program, this position will also be responsible for developing and maintaining alumni relationships, coordinating alumni programs and events, developing alumni communications and building and maintaining a robust alumni directory.

14. Abby Hollins, director of marketing, and Chris Absher, webmaster, demonstrated features of the CowleyGo mobile app which is now available in both the IOS store and Google Play stores. At the start of the fall semester they plan to have a student collaborative team rotate working hours to keep the content and functionality growing to be led by the work study team.

15. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, gave a Student Information System update. Erdmann also discussed the final step of the campus-wide network upgrade. In order to make it easier to navigate the equipment racks and troubleshoot problems, the IT Department is fixing the wiring in the wiring closets in each building. The project encompasses the replacement, color coding and cable management of thousands of patch cables.

16. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided the Board with an update on fall enrollment. Shaw also discussed the remodeling of the Admissions Offices that is currently underway. The new testing center located in the basement of Galle-Johnson is also nearing completion. “It looks amazing,” Shaw said. Work is expected to be done by August 1.

17. Chris Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, said the retention team is happy to welcome Stefani Jones to her new position as advisor/retention coordinator. Jones’ new position will be vital to the success of the college’s retention goals. Hollon also said Degreestat data is live and Cowley College is in good standing with the community colleges in the state. In many areas Cowley College is listed in the top three across the State for affordability.

18. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. O’Toole said he is confident the dorms will be at capacity or above at the start of the fall semester. O’Toole also mentioned 24 Upward Bound students participated in classes, workshops, field trips and extra-curricular activities during their six-week Summer Excellence Camp. Twelve students were involved in work study positions on campus and out in the community.

19. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board that the annual Blitz Drive is set for Wednesday, July 19. The Blitz Drive is conducted to raise money for Tiger Booster Club scholarships. TBC members are invited to attend the reception Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Larson also mentioned there is still time for teams to sign up for the Tri County Tiger Classic which will be held Saturday, July 29 at the Wellington Golf Club. Individuals can also join the Wrestling Founders Club by calling 620-441-5268. Lastly, Larson said the concession trailer for the softball field is on its way to Arkansas City and can be used for other college related activities as well.

20. Approved the employment of Tracy Circle as Visual and Performing Arts Department Secretary, effective July 18; approved the employment of Glenwood Edwards, Jr. as assistant track coach, effective July 18; approved the employment of Kimberle Martin as Trio Department Secretary, effective July 18; approved the employment of Adam Parsons as custodian supervisor, effective July 18; approved the employment of Julianna Smarsh as admissions representative, effective July 18; approved the employment of Jancye Sturd as assistant coordinator of admissions, effective July 18; approved the employment of Sterling Terry as assistant wrestling coach/dorm manager, effective July 18; approved the employment of Laura Thomas as administrative assistant to the vice president of academic affairs, effective July 18; approved the employment of Delayne Dale as cosmetology clinic floor instructor, effective August 1.

21. Held a 25-minute executive session for discussion on non-elected personnel, property, and consult with legal counsel.

22. The trustees concluded the meeting with a 15-minute tour of the Bloomenshine facility. The Trustees and President Rittle shared comments expressing their appreciation to the Mulvane School Board and Dr. Rahe in partnering with the college to develop an agreement which clearly demonstrates the college’s visionary interest in providing the greater Mulvane region with access to high-quality and affordable higher education.