JoLynn Foster takes part in final meeting as Board Chair

December 18, 2018

With Cowley College opening a new campus and exceeding $1 million in fundraising during the past year, Cowley College President Dr. Dennis C. Rittle thanked JoLynn Foster for her year of service during her final meeting as Board Chair during Monday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees held in the McAtee Dining Center.

Along with the opening of the Sumner Campus Technology and Innovation Center and the successful fundraising campaign, Chair Foster also oversaw the college adding several new programs and a growth in enrollment under her leadership.

Dr. Rittle presented Chair Foster with a plaque and thanked her for a job well done.

Chair Foster said it has been an eventful year.

“It is nice to see the many accomplishments at the College and to have my name associated with that,” Chair Foster Said.

Official Board meeting minutes will be available following the conclusion of the January meeting of the Board of Trustees.

In other matters:

  1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle discussed the Strategic Plan that was recently put together and also discussed the recent production of Elf Jr. The Musical that was attended by 2,800 students from around the area. Dr. Rittle also said enrollment is doing well and thanked Great Western Dining for its generosity in providing the Board with a Christmas dinner prior to the start of Monday’s meeting.
  2. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update. The 2019 legislative session begins on Monday, January 14, 2019. This is the day Governor-elect Laura Kelly will be sworn-in. Later this month committee assignments will be announced. The House Education committee will see at least six new members. Two other committees that significantly impact Cowley College are the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means. From the Cowley service area, Senator Alley serves on Ways and Means and Rep. Kyle Hoffman on Appropriations.
  3. Dr. Rittle shared information from Student Senate president Tara Lukert, including the recent Cowley Free Movie Night held at the Cowley Cinema 8 as well as the Christmas tree decorating contest, Late Night Breakfast and other finals events.
  4. Board member Glennis Zimmerman and Dr. Rittle provided a brief recap of the KACCT Quarterly meetings they attended December 2-3 at Independence Community College.
  5. Approved the revisions to Board policies 207.00 Selection, Adoption and Ordering of Textbooks; 257.00 Attendance and Classwork; and 264.00 Credit for Previous Military Service.
  6. Approved the phone system upgrades at a cost of $36,900.
  7. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided a Sumner Campus construction update. Dr. Walker said the College is soliciting Request for Qualification (RFQ): Campus Master Plan Study. The RFQ is due Friday, January 18, 2019. The RFQ is posted on the College’s website and has been sent to over 15 firms. Deadline for written questions is Friday, January 4, 2019 at 5 p.m. The College will also solicit RFQ in mid-January 2019 for an entity to conduct an investment grade assessment of facility and utility infrastructures for constructing, improving, rehabilitating, operating and managing improvements to its existing facilities and utility infrastructure at minimum upfront or out of pocket costs to the College. The RFQ will be posted to the College website.
  8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, interim vice president of academic affairs, provided Department updates. Dr. Schoon also mentioned the Distance Learning team is in the process of preparing to schedule and plan an upgrade of the Learning Management System – Blackboard to a SaaS environment on May 15-19, 2019. Dr. School also mentioned the success of the Writing Center. So far, 188 students have attended the Writing Center through 409 visits, more than a 50 percent increase from last fall.
  9. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, provided a Foundation update.  Dr. Gregg also mentioned the Scholarship Committee, which was recently formed at the College to review current scholarship practices and determine the effectiveness on student recruitment. Dr. Gregg also mentioned the success of digital marketing in active campaigns and recent key projects, including the Giving Tuesday campaign which cultivated donations totaling $2,750 with a budget cost of only $32. “That kind of return on investment is awesome,” Dr. Gregg said. Dr. Gregg also mentioned the success of the Winter Session campaign. The search component of the campaign is centered around prospective students that may have recently searched for the types of courses offered during the Winter semester.
  10. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided the Board with a Student Information System update. He also mentioned work being done on the installation of projectors/screens in classrooms as well as the equipment installation in the McAtee Dining Center and President’s Dining Room.
  11. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Final fall FTE (1,981.73) and student headcount (2,844) at Cowley College is up from this date a year ago. She also said Spring enrollment is looking good heading into the new year and is excited about the hiring of Eric Smith as Military Services Coordinator.
  12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the Fall Census and Fall KHEER enrollment reports were submitted on time and are ready for the President’s certification. Also, IPEDS winter collection opened December 12, and the Institutional Effectiveness office completed the IMPACT program’s grant proposal.
  13. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. The dorms finished the fall semester at 95.6 percent occupancy. O’Toole also provided an update on Student Life activities and mentioned the third financial literacy Friday event that was held in the IMPACT office.
  14. Kristi Shaw filled in for Jan Grace, Sumner Campus Operations Officer, and informed the Board of the meetings Grace attended over the past month, and also discussed the events Cowley recently sponsored in Wellington, Caldwell, and Park City.
  15. Deborah Layton, faculty liaison, informed the Board of the recent ENGAGE conference Sarah Mathews and Cowley DECA officers attended in New York City. Also, Martin Shaffer had a group of students work on a research project with research facilities in Europe and their study will be included in a CERN publication sometime early next year. Michelle Lett recently gave a presentation on the profession of veterinary medicine and college, in general, at St. Mary’s High School, while Julie Rhoads is scheduled to present at a Professional Development Day for Elementary Teachers in Perry, OK, speaking on various instructional approaches. Layton also shared that Adult Education instructor Kathy Swain was recently honored to be an advisor for a secondary education textbook titled Economic Episodes in American History, while several faculty are working on workshops to take place during Cowley’s upcoming Professional Development Day.
  16. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a fall sports recap. Cowley head men’s soccer coach Ruy Vaz was named the Jayhawk East Coach of the Year as he led Cowley to a school-record 17 wins and its first-ever trip to the national tournament. Cowley head cross country coach Dan Adler was named the Central Region Women’s Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Tigers to conference and region titles, as well as a fourth place national finish. The Lady Tiger volleyball team also capped another stellar season finishing the season ranked fifth in the final regular season poll. The Tiger basketball teams are also off to strong starts to their season and will return from Winter Break to host Colby Community College Saturday, January 5 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The Tiger Booster Club Hall of Fame luncheon will take place Saturday, January 26 at 12 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Dale Pearson will not be a part of the 2019 induction class. He will instead go in with the Class of 2020 so he can attend the induction of the 1997 and 1998 JUCO World Series title teams at Cowley College that will be inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame on the same day and time as the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame.
  17. Approved the recommended adjustments to faculty compensation in the amount of $35,750.
  18. Accepted a letter of resignation from Ali Carpenter as admissions representative, effective December 21; accepted a letter of resignation from John Murray as NDT faculty at the Sumner Campus, effective December 21; approved the resignation of Kim Martin as TRiO/SSS/IMPACT Department secretary, effective December 21.
  19. Approved the employment of Wendy Neal as financial aid specialist, effective January 2; approved the employment of Manuel Raga as head men and women’s tennis coach, effective January 2; approved the employment of Eric Smith as Military Services Coordinator, effective January 2.
  20. Appointed Tiffany Vollmer to serve as Clerk of the Board; appointed Dr. Gloria Walker to serve as Treasurer of the Board; appointed David W. Andreas to serve as Attorney for the Board at a monthly retainer fee of $400.
  21. Appointed Jill Long to fill the role as Chair of the Board beginning January 1, 2019. Other officers elected and board appointments for the upcoming year were as follows: Bob Juden, Vice-Chair; Jill Long and Bob Juden, nominating committee; JoLynn Foster, Past Chair to serve as an advisor to the Chairman; Nancy Burger, voting delegate to the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees; Ned Graham, an alternate delegate to the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees; Glennis Zimmerman, a voting delegate to the Association of Community College Trustees; Brian Sanderholm, Alternate Delegate to the Association of Community College Trustees; Gary Wilson, Trustee Representative for Professional Negotiations; Gary Wilson, Trustee Representative designated to open bids received for College purchases; JoLynn Foster, Trustee Representative to the Cowley College Foundation Association; Brian Sanderholm, Trustee Representative to the Tiger Booster Club; Ned Graham, JoLynn Foster, Jill Long, Trustees to serve on the Finance Sub-Committee; and Brian Sanderholm, Nancy Burger, and Glennis Zimmerman, Trustees to serve on the Academic Sub-Committee.