Members of the public joined the Cowley College Board of Trustees for Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) training Tuesday evening prior to the July Board of Trustees Meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

KOMA/KORA training highlights July Board meeting

Members of the public joined the Cowley College Board of Trustees for Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) and Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) training Tuesday evening prior to the July Board of Trustees Meeting held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

The training was held from 6-7 p.m. and provided by Donna Whiteman, assistant executive director of legal services and attorney for the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Whiteman discussed fiduciary duties of elected community college trustees. Trustees must follow policies, focus on management of the college, and evaluate the president.

KOMA ensures public access to information that forms the basis for public decision-making.

Whiteman discussed potential problems and the rules regarding executive session. She also went over the requirements for open records requests and the fees involved.

Also during the meeting, the Board approved the 2018-2019 proposed operating budget of $23,691,628 after adjusting for the 1% cost of living and $1,000 step increase for all full time and regular part time staff, as well as final state appropriations.

Dr. Gloria Walker, Vice President of finance and administration, said the proposed mill levy will remain flat.

“I know the budget is very tight and I appreciate the hard work by Dr. Walker not to raise the mill levy,” Trustee Jill Long said.

In other matters:

1. Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle informed the Board that 72 percent of Cowley College employees live in Cowley County and the college pays out $10 million every year in employee compensation. Over the last two years the college has spent $13.7 million in the state of Kansas and more than $7 million in Cowley County.

2. Dr. Rittle filled in for Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, to provide the Board with a legislative update. There will be no change to the budget passed earlier this year and signed by the Governor. Lucas will provide the Board with an overview of where things stand after the August primary.

3. Linda Fund, executive director of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT), provided a message to the Board from KACCT leadership. 

4. Resolved that the 2018-2019 Proposed State Appropriation Budget for Cowley College is approved for posting for the scheduled hearing of the public on August 13, 2018 at the Cowley College Winfield Center.

5. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, informed the Board that the August 2018 Board meeting will include the detailed budget by department for all funds.

6. Dr. Harold Arnett, vice president of academic affairs, stated in the Board book that the first two Military Science courses have been approved by the Kansas Board of Regents staff. Janice Stover and Devin Graves recently participated in a week of on-site training in preparation for a major update and to continue further implementation of the Student Information System (SIS). On June 22, Tina Grillot met with Aaron Plume (Kansas Workforce Registered Apprenticeship Coordinator), Jennifer Heersche (Kansas Workforce Business Services Representative) and Tech Aerospace Human Resources to begin the process of developing a Tech/Cowley Registered Apprenticeship program. More information will follow as the apprenticeship program develops.

7. Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, informed the Board in writing that the Cowley Foundation is beginning its conversion to the newest version of Blackbaud Raisers Edge, the donor database that is all things donor related. Dr. Gregg also informed the Board that Cowley College will serve as the premier sponsor of the Wheat Festival July 11-15 in Wellington, KS for the second consecutive year.

8. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided a Sumner Campus equipment and network update in his Board report. The main connection to the Sumner Campus network was configured and made active, and all wiring closet equipment was installed. Once the furniture has been delivered and set up, computer and audio-visual equipment will be installed in the offices and classrooms.

9. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided the Board with an enrollment update. Shaw said enrollment is up 183 students from this time a year ago, while full time equivalency is up 97.

10. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the IE Office, in collaboration with the President’s Office, has submitted several date correction request forms for information submitted during the previous academic year.

11. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update in his report. He also gave updates on the TRIO, IMPACT, and Upward Bound programs.

12. Jan Grace, Sumner Campus Operations Officer, informed the Board that she has been working with all departments of the college to prepare for the Fall 2018 opening of the Cowley College Sumner Campus.

13. Deborah Layton, faculty liaison, said director of vocal music Lindsay Allen, along with many other talented community members, is performing in the Burford’s Toast to Broadway performance benefit concert for Ark Valley Players on Saturday, July 14. Tickets are available Also, Math instructor Brooke Istas is currently in London speaking on the Power in Numbers Initiative.

14. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a Tiger Booster Club (TBC) Update in his report. The TBC will host the third annual Tri County Tiger Classic at the Wellington Golf Course on July 28. The annual Tiger Blitz Drive is set for Wednesday, August 8.

15. Accepted a letter of resignation from Suzie Bacon as director of accounting, effective July 11; accepted the resignation of Laura Thomas as administrative assistant to the vice president of academic affairs, effective July 27.

16. Approved the employment of Matthew Nies as international student services coordinator, effective August 1.