Dr. Rittle provides College update during monthly Board meeting

March 15, 2022

Members of Cowley College’s Board of Trustees were able to hear about important events and projects going on at the College during the annual monthly meeting held Monday in the Patrick J. McAtee Dining Center.

Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle informed the Trustees of the recent Ed Hargrove Softball Field dedication and banquet that was held on Saturday, March 12. Also, that day, Senator Roger Marshall spoke to a full house at Cowley College’s Sumner Campus. Dr. Marshall mentioned his support of community colleges, and in particular Cowley College.

Dr. Rittle, who will conduct spring Tiger Talks at Cowley’s Arkansas City, Wellington, Mulvane, and Wichita sites, also provided an update on the student residential housing being built at the Sumner Campus. The new student housing is on track to open in the fall.

Dr. Rittle also spoke of the recognition Janet Davidson, director of early childhood education, received from the Wichita Business Journal as she was named among the list of Young Professionals in Education. And, he provided a Cowley Appreciation Tuition Scholarship (CATS) Initiative update which provides free-tuition to all Cowley and Sumner County residents taking classes during the upcoming May term.

Lastly, Dr. Rittle said the results for the Strategic Business Management Plan are being reviewed and negotiations with the Cowley Education Association will begin in a few weeks.

In other matters:

1. Marla Sexson provided the board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update.
2. Glennis Zimmerman provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update.
3. Board Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.
4. Approved the Financial Reports as presented.
5. Approved the Consent Agenda:

  1. Board Minutes of the February 21 meeting.
  2. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
  3. Administrative Reports.
  4. The Board approved the following revised policies: (129.00) Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); (141.00) Use of College Property; (161.00) Requisition and Selection – Non Faculty Personnel; (247.00) Class Work-Based Learning Projects; (261.00) Student Evaluation; and (273.00) Check-Out Process.
  5. The Board approved the resignation of Dr. Michelle Lett as Natural Science and Mathematics instructor, effective May 31; approved the resignation of Adrian Crosby as maintenance technician II, effective March 10.
  6. Approved the employment of Alison Nittler as assistant athletic director, effective March 15.

6. The Board approved Trustee Dr. Steve Abrams, president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, and CFO Holly Harper as the only authorized signees on all Cowley College bank accounts.
7. The Board approved the removal of the in-district tuition rate and replace it with an in-district scholarship of $10 per credit hour for Cowley County resident students.
8. Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update.
9. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
10. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, provided an update on the Cowley Collegiate Quiz Bowl team that placed 10th at nationals. Dr. Schoon also shared that the Golden Tigers enrollment numbers continued to grow throughout February. Currently, there are 208 community members taking part in Golden Tigers activities this semester.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
12. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that the final federal collection for the 2021-2022 IPEDS data year is complete.
13. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. Several faculty members presented information about Cowley programs to middle school students visiting from Chaparral Middle School, students at Winfield Middle School, and to high school college and career counselors from Wichita USD 259.
14. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger wrestling team recently placed 14th at the national tournament. The Tiger track and field teams also placed among the top-15 teams in the nation and had an individual national champion in Lady Tiger pole vaulter Arantxa Cortez and Adrian Diaz-Lopez in the 3,000-meter run. Also, the Tiger men’s tennis team recently achieved the No. 1 ranking.
15. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
16. The Board approved to create a Trustee Ad Hoc Business Plan Committee, consisting of the Board Chair (Gary Wilson), Board Vice Chair (Glennis Zimmerman), and Board Treasurer (Dr. Steve Abrams), to meet at least once per month in April, May and June.
17. The meeting adjourned at 6:41 p.m.

Rama Peroo

Director of Institutional Communication & Public Relations
Cowley College
125 South 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005