Board approves Strategic Plan

May 17, 2022

The Cowley College Board of Trustees approved the College’s Strategic Plan during Monday’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting held in the McAtee Dining Center.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Thanked the Board members who were able to attend the 99th commencement ceremonies on May 7th. Mentioned the article being written by Barbara Shelly, journalist with the Kansas Leadership Center, which discusses the value of community colleges in Kansas. Barbara and her photographer were recently on campus to interview Dr. Rittle for the article. Tennis is competing for a national championship in Tyler, TX this week entering the tournament as the #1 team in the nation, while baseball begins its quest to win Region VI this week with their first game taking place Tuesday evening against Butler Community College in Manhattan, KS. Should the team win the tournament, they will win an automatic bid to the JUCO world series in Grand Junction, Colorado at the end of May. The residential housing project continues on the Sumner Campus, with an expected opening date in the fall of 2022. Recent delays in the delivery of windows have presented challenges, but this should not be a factor for the opening of the housing units. Additionally, Dr. Rittle mentioned the College 2022-2025 Strategic Plan which is due to begin this fall.  Lastly, Dr. Rittle mentioned the McAtee Dining Center which is to be under construction for HVAC system, etc. during May 31st – July.
2. Bob McGregor provided the board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update. Mr. McGregor reported on course changes pertaining to Welding programs.
3. Dr. Steve Abrams provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update. Four items were on the agenda: purchasing new welding machines, health insurance costs, Sumner housing, and tax abatement under review by local entities including Cowley College.
4. Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update. Two policies discussed – access to facilities and the Nepotism policy. First readings of both policies.
5. Chair Gary Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Ad Hoc Business Plan Committee update. A guide of institutional projects created by Dr. Rittle that includes an outlook of programs aligned with student feedback from local high school students within Sumner/Cowley last December.
6. Approved the Consent Agenda as amended: Board approved.

  1. Board Minutes of the April 18 meeting.
  2. Financial Reports for the month ending April 2022.
  3. Bills and Claims. Approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.
  4. Administrative Reports.
  5. The Board held first readings on the following policies: Access to College Facilities (142.00); Nepotism (170.00).
  6. The Board approved the following policies: Political Activity (138.00); Technology Usage by Employees (143.00); Student Appeal of Course Grades (263.00); Credit Hour Definition (280.00); Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Federal Aid Recipients (433.00).
  7. The Board approved the resignation of Eddie Andreo as AVP for Distance Learning, effective June 10; approved the resignation of Kyle Hays as humanities instructor, effective July 31.
  8. Approved the employment of Nicholas DiMeo as English instructor, effective August 1; approved the employment of Rick Squires as welding instructor, effective August 1; approved the employment of Dr. Andrew Tucker as Precision Ag instructor, effective August 1.

7. Approved advance pay for 16 faculty members that have completed their contractual obligations at the end of the school year, along with the final pay for club sponsors.
8. Trustee member Brett Bazil provided the Board with a KACCT quarterly meeting recap.
9. Kristi Shaw, vice president of student affairs, provided the Board with an enrollment, recruitment, and retention update. Fall 2022 Enrollment is up for incoming academic year. USD 259 Bootcamps being held for Juniors this summer.
10. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
11. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, mentioned the Student Pantry, run by Phi Theta Kappa members, has grown extensively this year.
12. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
13. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), provided the Board with a strategic plan update. Question was asked by Chair Wilson if new president would adjust the Strategic Plan, therefore waiting to approval. Phelps suggested that the new president bring forward amendments if necessary. The Board approved the goals for the strategic plan.
14. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors. She also mentioned that all full-time faculty will be participating in Professional Development Day on May 17th with Sean Glasberg from Educator Training & Consulting, spending the morning engaging with instructional technology.
15. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that all spring sports teams are competing at regional or national tournaments as the season nears an end.
16. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided a legislative update.
17. Approved the purchase of 15 welders from A&W Welding at a cost of $52,050 from Tech Ed Capital Outlay funds.
18. Accepted the letter of resignation from Trustee Christopher Swan.
19. Authorized the Board clerk to publish the official notice of a Trustee vacancy. - Approved
20. The June and July Board meetings will be held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Approved
21. Held three executive sessions totaling 55 minutes.


Rama Peroo

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