March 12, 2024

Dr. Schoon updates the Trustees on recent happenings

placeholder image

Cowley College president Dr. Michelle Schoon updated the Board of Trustees on recent happenings during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees on Monday in the McAtee Dining Center.

Dr. Schoon informed the Board that the Cowley College Quiz Bowl team recently placed 10th at nationals. She congratulated Jamie Hibbs, Education Faculty, who defended her dissertation and is now Dr. Hibbs.

Dr. Schoon also mentioned that DECA had a successful state competition in Hillsboro and qualified all eight students for the national tournament in Austin, TX. Also, she gave kudos to the Wellness Center staff for the steady increase in usage.

Dr. Schoon was also happy to report that enrollment for spring is up from last spring; March 1 started Summer enrollment, March 18 starts 2nd eight weeks of the semester, and April 1 is the start of fall enrollment.

The College recently hosted a soccer clinic that had 86 young players participating.

Dr. Schoon and other employees at the college are also taking part in the Wellington Challenge, which consists of a six-day, 12-event challenge.

Dr. Schoon also mentioned that the Gaming Lounge reveal will take place on March 28 in the basement of Galle-Johnson. The event is slated from 4-6 p.m., with KSOK Radio conducting a live remote. Students and the community are invited to test the games out and be in the running for some fun prizes during the grand opening. The Gaming Room will be open 2-10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 2-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Time slots will run in 1 hour play time intervals.

Another upcoming event at the College is the Tiger Enrollment Open House on April 4.

In other matters:

Jessica Lucas, government affairs liaison, provided a legislative update where she discussed the Governor’s budget.

The board viewed administrative reports provided in the board packet with the following highlights.

Holly Harper, vice president of finance and administration, provided the Board with a facilities maintenance update. Sheetrock and millwork are installed in the new Career and Technical Education building. Painting and tile installation in the Cosmetology part of the building has started. Exterior concrete work has also begun to the west and south of the building, while equipment ordering is ongoing.

Dr. Rachel Bates, vice president of academic affairs, informed the Board of ongoing academic affairs and administrative daily operations. Among the information shared was Shelby Huddleston, Director of Distance Learning, who has been appointed to another year with the Anthology Community Leadership Circle. Also, the College launched a new webpage, with the assistance of Webmaster Chris Absher, for faculty to use for time estimates in courses. Both face-to-face and online classes can use this.  

Paul Erdmann, vice president of information technology, provided an update on projects the information technology staff has worked on over the past month.

Debbie Phelps, executive director of institutional effectiveness (IE), informed the Board that work continues on the College’s Assurance Argument, a document that provides evidence of Cowley College’s compliance with the federal criterion. 

Stefani Jones, director of student enrollment and success, provided an enrollment update. All Cowley College enrollment locations continue to enroll new students for late start and second 8-week courses. 

Kristi Shaw, executive director of student services, provided a housing and student life update.

Jeff Fluty, athletic director, provided the Board with updates from the spring sports. The Tiger baseball and softball teams are off to solid starts, while the Cowley men’s and women’s tennis teams are each ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division I. Also, the Cowley outdoor track and field teams will host the Mark A. Phillips Tiger Open on Saturday, March 23. Lastly, the Tiger men’s basketball team will host Northwest Kansas Tech on Tuesday at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the semifinals of the Region VI Playoffs.

Dr. Scott Layton, faculty liaison, provided updates from several Cowley instructors.

Trustee Dr. Alan Marcotte provided the Board with a Trustee Academic Subcommittee update; Trustee Bob McGregor provided the Board with a Trustee Finance Subcommittee update; and Board Chair Brett Bazil provided the Board with a Trustee Policy Subcommittee update.

The Trustees held first readings on the following policies: (111.00) Employee Code of Conduct and (155.00) Keys to College Facilities and Equipment.

The Trustees approved the following policies: (255.00) Withdrawal from Class); (257.00) Attendance and Coursework, and (258.00) Official Class Rosters.

The Trustees approved the Construction Technology – CERT A, CERT B, CERT C, and AAS program revisions and the Milling Technician – CERT C and AAS program revisions.

The Trustees approved the Consent Agenda, which consisted of the Board Minutes of the February 19 meeting, the Financial Reports, and Bills and Claims. They also approved fiscal officers of the College to execute payment of all bills and claims as presented.

The Board was informed in the packet of the employment of Dae’Trell Gordon as dorm manager/assistant to Student Services, effective February 23; approved the hiring of Zakary Pegorsch as groundskeeper, effective March 4; and approved the employment of Daryl Rhodes as welding instructor, effective February 1.

The Trustees approved the request to contract with McConnell & Associates to resurface the track at the Mark A. Phillips Track Complex, and add a javelin runway. The cost of $217,487 will be funded through the 2024-25 capital outlay mill.

The Board reviewed and discussed the Faculty Professional Leave (Sabbatical) request. The Board approved the Sabbatical for instructor Deborah Layton.

The Board continued the previously tabled discussion on the vacant seat of Marla Sexson and authorized the Board Clerk to post the Trustee vacancy.

The Trustees also held a 30-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel regarding the president’s employment contract prior to the meeting adjourning at 7:03 p.m.

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005