News & Events

Press Release



August 15, 2017


Board views future Sumner Campus through 3D Virtual Modeling


Cowley College’s Board of Trustees got a glimpse into the future during the monthly Board meeting held Monday, August 14 in the McAtee Dining Center.

Members of the Board were able to use 3D Virtual Modeling goggles to see renderings of the future Sumner Campus. The 3D goggles will be available at the groundbreaking ceremony held at 1 p.m. October 11 at the Sumner Campus in Wellington, KS.

Cheri Hulse and David Herlocker with Agora Architecture in Winfield, KS, were on hand to answer questions about the 3D Virtual Modeling goggles, which will provide a naturalistic panorama.

“This is something we can bring to the groundbreaking to share with everyone,” Hulse said.

The 3D Virtual Modeling goggles will also allow donors to see what spaces will be available for potential naming opportunities.

Also, during the meeting, Cowley College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the 2017-2018 operating budget for the College.

The 2017-2018 budget has a projected an operating budget mill levy of 18.990.

Revenues are based on in-state enrollments, a state operating grant, and an estimated county valuation of $260,252,722. Expenditures are based on projected enrollments at each campus and objectives as set forth by the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Team.

The college’s total budget for 2017-2018 is $22,599,129 after adjusting for a 4% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for all full time staff and regular part time staff.

“Our staff are the best you can have. Our facilities are clean, our grass is cut, our employees are professional and proficient. This is a very worthy adjustment. What a good job these people do. They are very deserving,” Board Chair Bob Juden said.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a legislative update on behalf of Jessica Lucas, Cowley College Government Liaison. Governor Sam Brownback was notified of his appointment to the role of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom in the State Department. He has not been confirmed yet and thus continues to serve as the Governor. No date for his official departure has been announced. Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer will step into the role of Governor after Brownback’s departure. Colyer recently announced his intention to run for Governor in 2018. There are now six declared candidates and possibly more yet to announce on the Republican side. There are four declared candidates on the Democratic side with the prospect of more as well.
The legislature is adjourned until January. Last month it was noted there could be a special session in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on school funding. At this time, the Supreme Court has not ruled on the case.
Calls for a special session to address pay increases for corrections employees have been suggested by some legislators, but it’s not expected the legislature will reconvene solely for this purpose.
While, Cowley College Board of Trustee candidates Glennis Zimmerman and Kay Ryan, both of South Haven, advanced from the primary election to the general in order to fill the inaugural Sumner County seat.

2. Dr. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle informed the Board about the successful Dorm Storm event held on the main campus on Saturday, August 12. He also shared that on August 3, representatives from Cowley College and Wichita State University met at the Cowley College Mulvane Site to officially sign articulation agreements between the two institutions for five engineering programs. Programs included are computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and manufacturing engineering. These agreements represent a true 2+2 arrangement between the two institutions and will allow a student to seamlessly transfer from Cowley College to Wichita State University. The purpose of the 2+2 is to provide Cowley College’s students a four-year coordinated program through the pre-engineering curriculum where students will receive an Associate of Science degree at Cowley College in the first two years and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Wichita State University after two additional years. “This agreement provides a pathway for students, who complete their pre-engineering coursework at Cowley College and then transfer to Wichita State University, to save time to complete their four-year degree as well as tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, fees, and opportunity costs. Cowley College appreciates this tremendous partnership with Wichita State University, a premiere engineering institution” Dr. Rittle added.  

3. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented with general operating funds of $676,716.19, financial aid funds/student refund checks of $61,771.18, and federal funds of $27,197.

4. Authorized a previously tabled item, which was approving the College to share in the administrative costs associated with acquiring privately owned parcels within Carver Park, totaling $2,500. These costs will be paid by the College pending acquisition of the property, at closing.

5. Approved the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Federal Aid Recipients (433.00).

6. Reviewed a report on the Golden Tigers program from recently retired coordinator Margaret Neal. During the 2016-17 year 394 individuals participated in the Golden Tigers program.

“I would like to express the Board’s appreciation of Margaret Neal for her 20 years of service with the Golden Tigers program,” Board member Dennis K. Shurtz said. “She has done an excellent job.”

7. Congratulated the Cowley volleyball team for being named the recipient of the 2016-17 AVCA Team Academic Award. “They do super work on the court and in the classroom,” Board Chair Bob Juden said.

8. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board that the College will once again experience an overall decrease in health insurance premiums. Dr. Walker thanked the Board for allowing Cowley College to continue to experience the lowest rates and most comprehensive plans of any community College in the state. Dr. Walker also provided an update on the Wellington Campus. Programming services of the architectural services contract is completed. The architects are in scheme design phase, and the contractor has been brought on to establish the budget and start the estimation process. Also, Conco will self-perform dirt work at a cost plus in order to get started on moving dirt by August 28, 2017 instead of using sub-contractors which would not be able to start until late September.

9. The Board approved the professional services contracts and mechanical and electrical contractors for the Wellington Campus. Costs for these services will be included in the construction hard cost and the Guaranteed Maximum Price, which the Board will approve at a later date.

10. The Board approved the renting of a temporary chiller for the Brown Center at a cost of $21,200 from Winfield Plumbing using the Capital Outlay Mill funds.

11. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, praised the work done by Janet Davidson, Director of Early Childhood Education, during the fourth annual Cowley CARE Conference. Dr. Arnett said there were 42 registered educators, 13 vendors and eight presenters at the conference. Dr. Arnett also mentioned Mark Flickinger, Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair, and other Cowley alums recently helped complete a mural in downtown Arkansas City. The mural is on the north wall of the Burford Theatre. “This is another example of how our faculty and staff serve not only the College, but the community as well,” Dr. Arnett said.

12. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, praised the work done by the institutional advancement team, in particular marketing director Abby Hollins, for increasing the College’s view in the market place. Dr. Gregg mentioned the College’s television commercials, President’s Report, and social media platforms as items that targeted a push towards fall enrollment. “All of these items were produced in house, which speaks to the talent of the crew,” Dr. Gregg said.

Dr. Gregg also mentioned the Eli Hilderbrand Memorial Golf Tournament held on Tuesday, August 15 in Lawrence, KS, will have 100 percent of the proceeds go into the Eli Hilderbrand Endowed Scholarship.

Dr. Gregg also shared the hiring of Adriana Somerville as Alumni Relations/Golden Tigers Coordinator. “She will have tough shoes to fill, but I think we hired a tremendous young lady. She is an alum of Cowley College and said Cowley was bar none the best experience she has ever had and the opportunity to come back to Cowley is a dream come true,” Dr. Gregg said.

13. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on the summer projects the Information Technology Department has been working on. In its campus-wide network upgrade, they are updating the wiring in the computer closets in each building. Wiring has also been installed in the Cowley Recreation Building, to allow indoor wireless and long-range outdoor wireless to connect to the campus network. Erdmann said they have also been busy moving and rewiring to accommodate the Admissions/Enrollment area remodel, while also installing wiring and networking equipment in the new Journalism lab. Erdmann also hopes to have the 565 computers on the main campus replaced by the end of the year.

14. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, informed the Board that the College had a record number of students (535) take part in New Student Orientation on Monday, August 14. Shaw also said that the College is up in enrollment by 101 students from this same time a year ago. As of Monday, August 14, there were 2,589 students enrolled for the fall semester.

15. Chris Hollon, executive director of institutional effectiveness, provided the Board with a retention module update, Zogotech update, and a reporting update.

16. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a Housing update. O’Toole said there are 500 students in the dorms at the start of the fall semester. He also mentioned the Dorm Storm event and the upcoming Student Life activities to kick off the new year.

17. Shane Larson, athletic director, informed the Board the athletic department expects an increase of about 50 student-athletes in the fall semester. Larson also mentioned the Foster Parent Meet and Greet event scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday, August 27 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. He also shared this is the 10th anniversary of the Cowley Sports Network, which live streams Cowley’s home athletic events. Also, the Tiger Hall of Fame Committee met on August 7 and set the date for the annual Hall of Fame game to be on January 27, 2018 against Butler Community College. The 2018 induction class will be announced at a later date after the selection process and confirmation has been completed.

18. Approved the bid from Agora Architecture to provide Sumner Campus Renderings and 3D Virtual Modeling.

19. Approved the employment of Adriana Somerville as Alumni Relations/Golden Tigers Coordinator, effective August 15.

20. Accepted a letter of resignation from Jane Maynard as bus driver, effective July 28, 2017.

21. Held a 20-minute executive session for discussion on non-elected personnel.