With construction continuing on schedule at the Sumner Campus Short General Education Center in Wellington, KS, members of Cowley College’s Board of Trustees heard about some exciting events planned for the new facility during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting held Monday in the President’s Dining Room.
An invitation only gala will take place at the Short General Education Center on Thursday, April 25. Following the invitation only event, the public will be invited to attend an Open House at the Short General Education Center on Saturday, April 27. There will be games, food, and other fun activities planned for the Open House, which is free to attend and open to the public.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Dr. Rittle discussed the upcoming Free Throw Battle fundraiser that will take place Saturday, February 23 in between the Tiger women and men’s basketball games. The Cowley Team Has Beens, made up of administrators, and the Team Tiger Beat, made up of Pep Band members, will compete against each other in the Free Throw Battle with all proceeds going to help the Tiger Beat Pep Band in the purchasing of much needed instrumental Pep Band equipment.
Tickets will be available in the lobby of W.S. Scott Auditorium during Wednesday and Saturday night’s Cowley College basketball games. Those with tickets supporting the winning team will receive a free Tiger Beat t-shirt after the contest. Those with a ticket for the losing team will receive a Cowley Band Cup good for one free refill at the Cowley Concession stand.
Also, on Saturday, February 23, more than 100 band members and former Alumni will join the Tiger Beat to perform at the Cowley basketball games.
In other matters:
1. Dr. Rittle provided a College update. Dr. Rittle discussed the upcoming Board Retreat that will take place March 23 at the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
2. Saw Dr. Rittle present Morgan Hettenbach of Arkansas City with a gift for being named the February Student of the Month. “Being from Ark City, Cowley was an easy choice for me,” Hettenbach said. “It will be weird leaving Cowley, it is home to me.”
3. Jessica Lucas, Government Affairs Liaison, provided the Board with a legislative update. Lucas told the Board there was a recent hearing on HB 2144, a bill regarding budget and taxing authority of community colleges; articulation of credits and student residency requirements. There was universal concern to this bill from community colleges, and Linda Fund, the Executive Director of Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, delivered testimony on this matter. The Cowley College delegation is aware of the college’s opposition to specific areas of this bill which erode local control and trustee authority. At this time, it hasn’t received a committee vote. Also, Lucas presented verbal testimony and Dr. Rittle provided written testimony on behalf of Cowley College for HB 2118, a bill providing income tax credits for aerospace and aviation program graduates and their employers. This bill would enable area manufacturing employers to receive a tax credit on the tuition paid to Cowley College (or other educational institutions) and for the program graduate to also receive a tax credit upon completion of training while employed at a Kansas company. Lucas and Dr. Rittle were joined in testimony by aviation industry companies, other collegiate institutions, the Workforce Alliance, and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce.
4. Student Senate president Tara Lukert provided the Board with a student update located inside the Board book. Lukert informed the Board of the many exciting Homecoming events planned throughout this week.
5. Dr. Rittle provided a recap of the ACCT National Legislative Summit he attended February 10-13 in Washington, D.C.
6. Approved the increase to the Dormitory Plans (room and board plan) by $200 per academic year; tuition by $2 for in-district, $3 for in-state and border state, and $4 for out-of-state and international; and the general fee by $2 per semester credit hour. Additionally, it was approved to initiate a technology fee of $5 per semester credit hour.
7. Approved the cost of $31,284 to satisfy change order #11 for the Sumner Campus Short General Education Center construction. This cost will be absorbed within the built-in contingency budget of the guaranteed maximum price for the project.
8. Dr. Gloria Walker, vice president of finance and administration, provided a Sumner Campus update. Construction remains on schedule. Dr. Walker informed the Board that two firms have submitted proposals for the campus master plan study. The evaluation committee has been selected and will review the submittals at the end of February. A recommendation to the Board is anticipated to take place at the April Board meeting. Dr. Walker also said the college is soliciting a Request for Qualification (RFQ) for the Deferred Maintenance and Energy Conservation Audit. The RFQ is due March 21 with recommendations to the Board by the May meeting.
9. Dr. Michelle Schoon, interim vice president of academic affairs, shared information on the Academic Affairs Night held at the Cowley basketball games on February 6, while the Humanities Department was recognized at the basketball games on February 11. Dr. Schoon also discussed the GED graduation for Winfield Correctional Facility held on February 13, and the outstanding presentations done during the recent Professional Development Day held on February 8.
10. Rama Peroo, director of institutional communication and public relations, filled in for Dr. Kori Gregg, vice president of institutional advancement, to provide an Alumni Relations update. Peroo shared information on the recent scholarship kickoff event to celebrate the start of a new scholarship and the memory of Corbin Wilt, a former Cowley student. Peroo also said the Foundation is getting close to having its database conversion and cleanup done and that they continue to grow the Alumni Association. The Cowley College Alumni Association currently has 60 members, with 42 Lifetime members and 18 Annual members. The Alumni Association is still recruiting Charter Members, which are the first 50 Lifetime members to sign up, with only eight spots remaining.
11. Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided a Student Information System update. Erdmann also said the phone system upgrades for each site have been completed as well as the projector and projection screen installation with the exception of one grant funded installation that is currently awaiting some necessary components. “You have done a very professional job on the installations,” Board member Gary Wilson said.
12. Kristi Shaw, executive director of enrollment management, provided an enrollment update. Spring enrollment headcount is currently 2,486 and full-time equivalency is 1,705.20.
13. Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness, informed the Board that the IPEDS Winter Collection is now complete and the Spring Collection is open. Phelps also said the 2019 Housing Feasibility Study is in the data collection stage, while the EMSI Economic Impact Study is nearly complete. Phelps also discussed the Outcome Measures Survey and the Follow Up survey, which is complete and submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents. A total of 622 students whose enrollment records were part of the 2018 AY collection were identified as Perkins Concentrators and information about their status as of the 20th day for 2018 Fall was collected by the Institutional Effectiveness Office, Chris Cannon (Perkins Coordinator) and the CTE faculty and support staff.
14. Jason O’Toole, executive director of student affairs, provided a housing update. O’Toole said the dorms are currently at 82.6 percent occupancy. O’Toole also mentioned the numerous Student Life activities during the month of January and the wonderful job being done by Health Services.
15. Jan Grace, Sumner Campus Operations Officer, discussed the monthly Chamber meetings, Rotary, City Council, Sumner County Commission, and Sumner Campus construction meetings she attended. Grace also spoke of the Golden Tigers program that will begin in March at the Sumner Campus as well as the Veteran’s program that is being developed at the Sumner Campus. Also, last week, the Sumner Campus hosted an all-day conference for American History teachers.
16. Deborah Layton, faculty liaison, informed the Board that she and her team are currently processing feedback from the successful Professional Development Day held February 8. Also, the Writing Center will hold workshops on thesis statements and commas in February and will be working with adult education students on creating resumes. Layton also mentioned the Phi Theta Kappa induction ceremony that will take place Sunday, February 24 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room with over 80 new members set to be inducted.
17. Shane Larson, athletic director, provided a sports update. All of Cowley’s spring sports are ranked in the top-20 nationally in their respective divisions. The Tiger wrestling team qualified eight wrestlers for nationals, and the Lady Tiger indoor track and field team captured its third straight Jayhawk East title. Also, the last Tiger Booster Club spring luncheon will take place Thursday, March 7 at 12 p.m. in the Earle N. Wright Community Room. Larson also mentioned the Tiger Beat Fundraiser as well as Band Alumni and special recruitment event planned with the home basketball games on Saturday, February 23. Larson thanked the Board for helping sponsor the Tiger Beat Fundraiser.
18. Approved the resignation of Samantha Robinson as registrar secretary, effective January 30; approved the resignation of Dan Adler as head cross country coach, effective March 4; approved the resignation of Evan Ricker as director of instrumental music, effective May 10.
19. Approved the employment of Dr. Michelle Schoon as vice president of academic affairs, effective February 19; approved the employment of Ann Edwards as TRiO program specialist, effective February 25; approved the employment of DeAnna Harp as accounts receivable specialist, effective February 19; approved the employment of Cameron Reith as head cross country/assistant track coach, effective March 5.
20. Board member Glennis Zimmerman was absent.