Board meeting held at Sumner Campus

September 22, 2021

With plans to construct student housing on Cowley College’s Sumner Campus, the Board of Trustees had an opportunity to view the area during the annual monthly meeting held Monday at Cowley College’s Sumner Campus in Wellington.

The meeting was conducted in the Short Community Room and was open to the public. The Sumner Campus is home to the Short General Education Center and the Technology and Innovation Center. The campus is located at 2208 Davis-White Loop in Wellington. The Short General Education Center offers general education classes, while the Sumner Campus Technology and Innovation Center offers programs of study in manufacturing, agricultural studies, computer science and information technology, and general educational development. The College also offers general education transfer coursework and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) courses at Sumner Campus.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a college update. Dr. Rittle discussed ways to combat enrollment decline that is plaguing many colleges and universities across the state. Strategies such as increased faculty engagement in retention, advocacy in the value of a higher education and targeted recruitment techniques were discussed.
2. JoLynn Foster provided a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update. The Finance Subcommittee supports the Administration to move forward with their plan to remediate Ireland Hall. The Finance Subcommittee also determined that the College will continue with our current method of transportation utilizing our current buses, while chartering longer trips at the discretion of the administration.
3. Chair Wilson provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.

4. Approved the Consent Agenda to include:

  1. Board Minutes of the August 23 meeting.
  2. Financial Reports. The Treasurer is directed to file said reports with the financial records of the College for audit according to the policies of the Board of Trustees and the Statutes of the State of Kansas.
  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: (140.00) Exemption from Alcohol Policy; (147.00) Records Retention; (183.00) House Policies; (253.00) Registration and Enrollment; (254.00) Adding/Dropping a Class; (274.00) Late Registration Fee Payment; (410.00) Refund of Tuition and Fees.
  6. The Board approved the following policies: (107.00) Advisory Committees; (114.00) Performance Appraisals; (120.00) Exempt Employee Pay; (158.00) Banking Services Policy; (246.00) Faculty Evaluations.
  7. The Board approved the resignation of Ian Alumbaugh as dorm manager/intramural coordinator, effective September 20; approved the resignation of Kit Kirby as department specialist/Perkins Retention, effective August 20; approved the resignation of Cheryl Shepherd as Winfield Site Coordinator, effective September 8.
  8. The Board approved the employment of Crystal Hunt as administrative assistant to the vice president of academic affairs; approved the employment of Luke Larson as safety inspection/public safety officer; approved the employment of Kristi Martinez as academic department specialist/Perkins Retention; approved the employment of John Stevens as custodian.

5. Trustee Chris Swan provided a recap of the KACCT quarterly meeting held August 27-28.
6. Approved the renewal of the existing 1.25 capital Outlay Mill Levy (COM) for a period of five years, beginning on July 1, 2022, to provide funds for deferred maintenance and capital projects. Eligible projects must occur in Cowley County.
7. Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) update.
8. Dr. Michelle Schoon, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board that the Cowley College Perkins grant team received a diverse grant award from the Kansas Board of Regents. This award recognizes the multiple activities utilized in Cowley‘s Perkins grant to ensure student success.
9. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.
10. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Shaw also informed the Board of the recruiting events the admissions representatives have assisted with over the past month and have lined up in the coming months.
11. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the 2021 KBOR Annual Year Collection was completed and certified by the President on September
12. Lynlea Bartlett, director of student housing, provided a housing update. The dorms are at 94.4 percent occupancy.
13. Julie Rhoads, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors.
14. Jason O’Toole, director of athletics, informed the Board that the Tiger Booster Club Blitz Drive has raised over $62,000 in pledges. He also provided an update on the turf project. 
15. Authorized the Board Chair to finalize and execute the purchase and any activities related to the purchase of the additional 3.5 acres of land on the Sumner Campus in accordance with the terms of the contract for the Sumner Campus housing project. The purchase of this property was included in the overall cost of the project. The property is ideal for the construction of the new student housing as it results in savings because of less additional expense related to increased infrastructure and site development costs if the College used property on the existing 18 acres.
16. Approved the College to enter into the design phase of the Investment Grade Audit at a cost of $35,000.
17. On April 6, 2021 the College entered into an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Arkansas City, the Arkansas City Recreation Commission, USD 470, and the AC Tennis Association. The Agreement addresses access to and maintenance of existing recreational facilities. The Board adopted the signed Interlocal Agreement for use and maintenance of the public tennis courts.
18. The meeting adjourned at 7:12 pm.

Rama Peroo

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